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Cancer Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 222 Cancer Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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I am a self funded student


We have 222 Cancer Biology 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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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

The role of vimentin in cell adhesion and motility in disease

This role supports an active research program to assess the molecular mechanisms underlying adhesive, mechanical and motile changes in cells as they relate to vimentin, the intracellular protein, and its assembled filamentous form in vimentin intermediate filaments. Read more

Combined targeting of PD-L1 and TRAF6 pathways: Implications for Cancer Treatment

The majority of deaths from advanced, difficult-to-treat cancers are a result of metastases. Programmed death 1 ligand (PD-L1), a negative regulator of the immune system, is highly expressed in metastatic cancer cells, and its expression is associated with suppressed anti-tumour immunity. Read more

Differential effects of Cannabidiol: Mechanism(s) of Action and Implications in Cancer

Increasing social acceptance of the ‘non-intoxicating’ cannabidiol (CBD) – one of the major bioactive and non-psychoactive cannabinoids in cannabis sativa – have accelerated its availability and on-/off-label use around the globe. Read more

Expanding the ligandable E3 ubiquitin ligases for targeted protein degradation

Out of more than 600 E3 ubiquitin ligases in cells, currently only a handful have small molecule binders that can be used for PROteolysis Targeting Chimeras (PROTACs) and harnessed for targeted protein degradation. Read more

PhD Student in 3D skin proteomics

The Dengjel Lab at the Dept. of Biology, University of Fribourg (. www.unifr.ch/bio/en/research/biochemistry/dengjel.html. ) is interested in skin biology and wound healing (1-2). 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

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