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Cancer Biology (genomic) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 16 Cancer Biology (genomic) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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I am a self funded student


We have 16 Cancer Biology (genomic) 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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Immunogenomics of oesophageal cancer to improve early detection

Oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC) is a deadly disease whose incidence has increased substantially in recent years. OAC is preceded by a pre-cancer condition named Barrett’s oesophagus (BO). Read more

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

Personalised Medicine for Colorectal Cancer

In the. Conjoint Gastroenterology Laboratory. , we are interested in characterizing the genetic changes underlying the progression of pre-cancerous colonic polyps to colon cancer. Read more

Epigenetics and Cancer: Determining how Mistakes in V(D)J Recombination Trigger Leukaemias and Lymphomas

  Research Group: School of Molecular and Cellular Biology
V(D)J recombination is essential to produce an effective adaptive immune system but since the reaction involves the breakage and rejoining of DNA, it is highly dangerous and errors have long been thought to lead to leukaemias and lymphomas. Read more

Novel non-coding RNAs in regulating cancer epigenome

This opportunity will remain open until a suitable candidate has been found and so early applications are encouraged. Cancer-associated changes in gene expression and genome stability are often attributed to variations in DNA methylation. Read more

Investigating the role of the microenvironment in paediatric and adult acute myeloid leukaemia

The incidence of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) increases with age, and in childhood accounts for 20% of all leukaemia. The current overall survival rate in children is only 60-70%, and thereafter falls progressively with age to 5-15% in the elderly. Read more

Understanding apoptotic heterogeneity in cell populations

Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death that occurs in response to stress such as genomic damage. The decision to initiate apoptosis is taken at the outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) by members of the Bcl-2 family of proteins. Read more

Viral regulation of host cell DNA damage response pathways

Human adenoviruses are small non-enveloped viruses and possess a linear, double-stranded DNA genome. Adenovirus has long been used as a tool to dissect the molecular basis of key biological processes such as growth, differentiation and death. Read more

Coordination between RNAPII transcription and DNA replication

RNA Pol II (RNAPII) transcription and DNA replication are the two essential-for-life processes that use as a substrate the DNA in our cells, allowing the¬¬m to express the content of their genetic information and to propagate these instructions to daughter cells. Read more

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