Our Lab

Our Scientific Approach:

We employ cutting-edge genomics approaches to create novel medicines for autoimmune diseases and cancer.

The goal is to translate these findings to clinical trials. Learn more about recent publications from the lab.

Current Projects

  • T Cell Engineering: We have leveraged evolutionary principles to design what we think are best-in-class T cell therapies for cancer. In a manuscript in press at Nature, we leveraged somatic mutations derived from T cell neoplasms in humans. These mutations confer fitness advantages that enable improved survival and fitness in the tumor microenvironment. When applied as potency enhancements to adoptive T cell therapies, we can cure solid tumors in syngeneic and xenograft models with small numbers of T cells.
  • Curing Autoimmune Disease: We are using single-cell RNA-seq and other high dimensional assays to identify putative pathogenic T cells in autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases. We are then utilizing CRISPR screens to identify putative targets for T cell reprogramming.
  • T Cell Cancers: We have a robust and growing clinically and genomically annotated database of T cell lymphomas. We are leveraging this dataset to identify clinically actionable biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets.


We are recruiting energetic graduate students, bioinformaticists, and postdoctoral fellows to join our group. Below are three specific positions currently open:

 Fully funded Post-doctoral Fellow Position in Lymphoma Genomics

Availability: Jan 2023

Position: We are currently recruiting a post-doctoral fellow to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying T cell lymphomas, a group of poorly understood and aggressive cancers.

  • We have what we believe to be one of the largest, if not the largest, dataset of clinically annotated T cell lymphoma genomes.
  • We identify clinically relevant gene mutations that drive lymphomagenesis utilizing a combination of next-generation sequencing, machine learning, and animal models.
  • In combination with patient samples, we will determine if these mutations can be targeted in patients.

We now seek a motivated post-doc to examine mutations that predict worse prognostic outcomes and their targetability with small molecule inhibitors and/or immunotherapies being applied in investigator-initiated clinical trials.

Qualifications: Experience in molecular biology, cell culture, immune assays are preferred. Critical thinking and clear communications are musts.


Post-doctoral position in Synthetic Biology

Availability: Jan 2023

Position: We are currently recruiting a post-doctoral fellow with experience in synthetic biology to help us advance our mission of genetically engineering and improving anti-tumor T cells.

  • We are generating novel engineering platforms to improve anti-tumor T cells.
  • We have designed synthetic constructs to improve T cell fitness in the tumor microenvironment.
  • These modifications alter T cell receptor signaling, T cell metabolism, and T cell epigenetics to improve anti-tumor T cell therapies.

We now seek a motivated post-doc to work on a fully funded project to implement novel synthetic constructs to improve adoptive T cell therapies for cancer. This position is ideal for a scientist who seeks to translate fundamental biological research into therapies we are seeking to bring to clinical trials.

Qualifications: MD, PhD, or dual degrees are required for the post-doctoral position. Critical thinking, expert communication skills are a must. Prefer prior experience with CRISPR-Cas9, T cell biology, and/or animal models of cancer.


Post-doctoral position in Bioinformatics

Availability: Jan 2023

Position: We are currently recruiting a post-doctoral fellow with experience in bioinformatics to help us advance our mission of analyzing clinical data to a) identify molecular and cellular drivers of disease and b) identify molecular predictors of response to immunotherapies.

  • We have >170 TB of clinical and molecular data on ~500 patients which we are using to identify molecular and cellular drivers of disease pathogenesis. In particular, our efforts are designed to identify molecular correlates that predict responses to targeted small molecules or immunotherapies.

We now seek a motivated post-doc to identify cellular and molecular correlates of immunotherapy in aggressive skin cancers. This position is ideal for a scientist trained in computational biology, computational immunology, or geneticists who seek to broaden their horizons into the development of novel therapies.

Qualifications: Ph.D., MD, or both degrees are required for the postdoctoral position. The position utilizes Unix, R, and Python. Previous experience with high dimensional immunology or genomic datasets are preferred but not required.


Environment: We have ongoing collaborations with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and Yale School of Medicine to enhance the scope and impact of this work. The goal of this work is both to make new scientific discoveries and ultimately impact the lives of patients.

Our group is located in bustling downtown Chicago, Illinois. Northwestern University is one of the premier academic medical centers in the world, excelling in both basic science and clinical research. We are leaders at Northwestern in precision immunology, immunology innovation, and the emerging precision immunotherapy center at the Cancer Center. We employ high-dimensional approaches to elucidate the molecular drivers of cancer and autoimmune disease. We offer a competitive salary in line with the cost-of-living in Chicago. We are fortunate to have numerous sources of funding including federal agencies and private foundations supporting our work. We are also fortunate to have extensive collaborations with other world-leading scientists across Northwestern University, as well as access to world-class core facilities to accelerate discoveries in biomedical research. Furthermore, our clinical collaborations allow for rapid translation of discovery from the bench to bedside. In addition, all mentorship and project design within our group is customized for the scholar’s career goals, whether entering academia or industry.

Funding: These three positions are fully funded with guaranteed salary and benefits.

 Applicant Instructions

Well-qualified applicants should send a CV, cover letter, and contact information for two references to Jaehyuk.choi@northwestern.edu.

“Cancer was not disorganized chromosomal chaos. It was organized chromosomal chaos.”
― Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer