According to WHO, cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, with nearly 1 in 6 deaths been due to cancer. The principal modes of cancer management are surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and pharmaceutical agents. However, there are many side effects from extant treatments e.g., invasiveness of surgery, and with other treatments being systemic in nature; therefore, only a small fraction of the drugs reaches the tumor site. Due to the short period of actions, repeated doses are often required, which can lead to exacerbation of side effects and inconvenience. Due to these obstacles, targeted or localized release technology coupled with long-acting treatment functionality is a key research theme to replace systemic administration therapies and show potential for advancing cancer treatment including capability of personalizing the treatment. One especially promising therapeutic option gaining prominence is the use of multifunctional implants combining tumor-killing ability while promoting bone resorption/growth. Therefore, the main goal of this project is to investigate new approaches for targeted long-acting drug release for effective cancer therapies based on 3D & 4D printed drug-loaded implants.
The successful applicant will be integrated into QUB research groups of experienced researchers with access to world-leading facilities. The techniques that will be used during the project cover a wide-range and include: Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), Computed Tomography (CT), Contact Angle Goniometry (CAG), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy, Rheology, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), 3D Printing equipment and software, In Vitro Release Studies, and modelling.
The PhD student would be encouraged to engage in a variety of impact activities, disseminate the research project findings through public talks, and participate in QUB showcase events. Examples of impact activities includes: Blogs or web articles, Magazine articles, Public lectures, School visits, oral & poster Presentations (at local, national and international conferences), and Publication of scientific papers in peer reviewed journals.
Home applicants must meet the following academic criteria:
1st or 2.1 honours degree in a relevant subject. Relevant subjects include Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biochemistry, Biological/Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, or a closely related discipline.
International applicants must meet the following academic criteria:
IELTS (or equivalent) of 7.0, a 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) and a master’s degree in a relevant subject.
Applicants should apply through the University's Direct Application Portal: https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php