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Cancer Biology (cell therapy) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 61 Cancer Biology (cell therapy) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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We have 61 Cancer Biology (cell therapy) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

A PhD in Cancer Biology would provide you with the opportunity to research a specific cancer in great detail. Whether you’re developing a new treatment, understanding the factors that allow a tumour to arise or innovating better diagnostic tests, you’ll be improving our understanding of cancer and saving lives.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Cancer Biology?

Doing a PhD in Cancer Biology, you’ll develop excellent laboratory skills, particularly in cell culture, working with RNA and studying the proteome. Most Cancer Biology projects link to other subjects and as such, you’ll have experience working with techniques from Cell Biology, Immunology and Genetics.

Some typical research topics in Cancer Biology include:

  • Developing novel diagnostic tests
  • Understanding a potential trigger of metastasis
  • Developing novel therapeutics to treat a specific cancer
  • The immune system and cancer interactions
  • Characterising the role of a specific tumour suppressor or oncogene in a certain cancer

Generally, Cancer Biology programmes are advertised on the university website with the research proposal, including the scope and primary aim of the research pre-determined by the supervisor. These projects are usually fully-funded.

It’s uncommon to propose your own research in Cancer Biology since the additional bench fees make self-funding difficult. It can also be tricky to find a supervisor with the interests that line up well with your suggested project that also have the equipment and expertise to supervise you through your PhD.

In your daily life you’ll be in the laboratory conducting experiments, reading the literature for new methods you could try, analysing old data, and talking to colleagues and your supervisor about your work. In the final year of your PhD you’ll submit a thesis of around 60,000 words that will contribute to the knowledge of your field and you’ll defend your work during your viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Cancer Biology PhD programmes involve a Masters in a subject directly related to Biology, with at least a Merit or Distinction. If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need to show that you have the right level of language proficiency.

PhD in Cancer Biology funding options

The Research Council responsible for funding Cancer Biology PhDs in the UK is the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). They provide fully-funded studentships including a stipend for living costs, a consumables budget for bench fees and a tuition fee waiver. Students don’t apply directly to the BBSRC, you apply for advertised projects with this funding attached.

It’s uncommon for Cancer Biology PhD students to be ‘self-funded’ due to the additional bench fees. However, if you were planning to fund yourself it might be achievable (depending on your project) through the UK government’s PhD loan and part-time work.

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Self funded BMS Project: Understanding the population dynamics of haematopoietic stem cells during gene therapy for sickle cell disease

Applications accepted for PhD Only. Background. This project builds on the recent discovery that whole genome sequencing approaches in blood stem and progenitor cells can be used to estimate the number of actively contributing blood stem cells in humans (Lee-Six et al., Nature 2018). Read more

Development of biodegradable polymeric systems for drug delivery & tissue engineering applications (SAEEDA_U23SF)

The goal of this project is to create a new line of biodegradable polymeric delivery systems with built-in cell adhesion moieties for formulation of therapeutic agent drug delivery as well as tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. Read more

Advanced 3D models for Cancer Research

Radiotherapy and many chemotherapies kill cells by damaging DNA. The efficiency of these DNA damaging agents differs between tumour types and individual patients. Read more

Investigation of antagonism of multiple RGD-binding integrins as a therapeutic strategy in advanced head and neck cancer

  Research Group: Institute of Cancer Therapeutics
Background. The integrins are a family of transmembrane receptors which mediate cell-cell and cell-ECM adhesion, and signalling across the cell membrane involved in pathways controlling cell migration, proliferation, differentiation, cell survival and apoptosis. Read more

Structural-guided PROTAC targeting of BMX to modulate apoptotic sensitivity in disease

What determines at the molecular level whether a cell lives or dies? Regulation of the cellular life–death switch is essential in healthy cells for normal foetal development and for the clearance of damaged cells. Read more
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Promoting cancer cell’s antigen presentation for serving as better targets for T cell immunotherapy

Commercial partner: . Oxford Vacmedix UK Ltd (OVM). , Oxford. Cytotoxic T cells (CTLs), which kill tumour cells upon recognition of antigenic peptides presented by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) on the cell surface, are the goal of precision medicine including immunotherapies. Read more

Fluorescent nanoparticle arrays for label-free monitoring of immunotherapy for bladder cancer

Download the full project proposal PDF here. The biological response to cancer therapy is extremely varied and complex. As a result, designing tools which monitor perturbations of specific proteins or nucleic acids in liquid biopsies can be challenging and often lead to low specificities and/or sensitivities. Read more

ABM CDT The mechanisms of portable negative pressure wound therapy on wounds

Wounds are a major unmet healthcare burden that impact on millions of patients per year. From those undergoing simple surgeries to complex ulcers of the lower limbs, a common form of therapy is the use of negative pressure wound therapy. Read more

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