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Post-Doctoral Fellow: GTPase signalling and in vivo cancer models

Department: Chemistry and Biology, Faculty of Science
Position supervisor: Dr Michael Olson
Contract length: 3 years
Hours of work per week: 36.25
Position type: Term Vacancy
Rate of pay: $50,000 to $54,000 per annum
Deadline to apply: Posted until filled

About Ryerson

At the intersection of mind and action, Ryerson is on a transformative path to become Canada’s leading comprehensive innovation university. Integral to this path is the placement of equity, diversity and inclusion as fundamental to our institutional culture. Our current academic plan outlines each as core values and we work to embed them in all that we do.

Ryerson University welcomes those who have demonstrated a commitment to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion and will assist us to expand our capacity for diversity in the broadest sense. In addition, to correct the conditions of disadvantage in employment in Canada, we encourage applications from members of groups that have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples, Indigenous peoples of North America, racialized persons, persons with disabilities, and those who identify as women and/or 2SLGBTQ+. Please note that all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, applications from Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

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About the team

Professor Michael Olson is Canada Research Chair in Molecular Cell Biology and Professor in the Ryerson University Department of Chemistry and Biology. The Olson laboratory is located in newly built biomedical research facilities at the MaRS Discovery District (, external link in downtown Toronto (Queens Park subway station), within one of the highest densities of biomedical research activity in North America, offering an unparalleled environment for networking and collaboration. The Olson lab works on Rho GTPase regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, and the role of associated signaling pathways in cancer. Recent examples of the lab’s work include: (Cancer Lett. 2021 Oct 28;519:226-236, external link; Elife. 2021 Apr 19;10:e61983, external linkSmall GTPases. 2021 Jul;12(4):294-310, external link).

The opportunity

A post-doctoral fellow (PDF) position is available in the research team of Professor Michael Olson, In this position, you will use xenograft and genetically-modified (GM) in vivo models to learn more about the role of Rho signalling in tumour growth and progression, related to previous studies from the Olson lab (e.g. , external linkElife. 2021 Apr 19;10:e61983, external link; Cancer Res. 2018;78:3321, external link; EMBO Mol Med. 2017;9:198, external link; Cancer Cell. 2011;19:776, external link). The research you undertake will employ a variety of genetic, biochemical and imaging based methods that take advantage of the advanced state-of-the-art technical resources available in the Discovery District of downtown Toronto.

In addition to conducting research, the PDF will be expected to take a leadership role in the Olson lab, seek external funding opportunities to support their research, mentor junior members of the lab, and communicate research findings through presentations at scientific conferences and publication in internationally-recognized journals. The PDF will have dedicated desk and bench space, and access to infrastructure and financial resources to carry out the proposed research. The PDF will also be encouraged to seek professional development opportunities to benefit the PDF’s personal goals.


The following qualifications and skills are required:

  • PhD (held or to be awarded soon) in a relevant biomedical field (e.g. genetics, biochemistry, biology, immunology, etc.).
  • Experience with GM cancer models
  • Experience with at least some of: fluorescence microscopy, image analysis, immunohistochemistry
  • Ability to conduct independent research, data collection and analysis, and write technical reports, research grant proposals, and peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to work in a collaborative and multidisciplinary research group
  • A track record of peer-reviewed published research work
  • Background knowledge of signal transduction
  • Background knowledge of cancer

The following backgrounds would be considered as assets/highly desired:

  • Knowledge and experience in immunology research
  • Knowledge and experience in pre-clinical imaging and therapy
  • Knowledge and experience in data science/analysis

How to apply

Please email your application to Michael Olson at Applications should be submitted in PDF or word formats. In the subject line please indicate: “PDF Application”.

Applications should include: CV, cover letter, names of up to 3 references.

We thank all candidates for their interest, however, only candidates who are invited to an interview will be contacted.

Ryerson’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion

We encourage all First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples or Indigenous peoples of North America, to self-identify in their applications and also reach out to Tracey King, Indigenous Human Resources Lead for support during the selection process.

Please watch a message from Ryerson's Vice President, Equity and Community Inclusion for more information on our commitment to equity.

Important Notice Re: Job Postings during COVID-19

Following the advice of government and health authorities to slow the spread of COVID-19, all employees have been equipped to work from home until further notice. New employees will also work from home with the exception of those who have been deemed 'essential' and are required to be on campus.  All recruiting activities including interviews and onboarding are being conducted virtually.  

To protect the health and safety of community members on campus and to comply with the recommendations from public health authorities and requirements of the provincial government, Ryerson, like other post-secondary institutions in Ontario, will require employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit proof of vaccination.