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Characterising irradiation treatments in 3D tumour models using mass spectrometry and elemental imaging: towards personalised healthcare via tissue engineering


Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

, Dr Priyanka Gupta Wednesday, April 14, 2021 Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The majority of advanced research on cancer takes place in animal models. However, animal models are very expensive, complicated to use and they lack reproducibility and translatability of results to patients. Tissue engineering is an emerging approach that enables the design of biomaterial-based 3D structures that provide a three-dimensional cell growth environment which can mimic spatially, biochemically and biomechanically an actual human tissue. Such tissue engineered 3D models can, therefore, serve as animal free, low cost tools for studying the cancer disease as well as for novel treatment testing.  

The aim of this exciting multidisciplinary project is to use mass spectrometry and elemental imaging to understand the impact of different irradiation treatment regimes on tumour cell models. 

The model will enable advanced studies on the disease progression, treatment response as well as the screening of novel treatment methods. Therefore, it will be of benefit to clinicians, academics and the industry. Most importantly, it will facilitate faster development of personalised treatment protocols, accelerating appropriate individualized therapies for the disease from bench to bedside. 

This project will be carried out at the University of Surrey, and will be supervised by Dr Melanie Bailey and Dr Priyanka Gupta (School of Chemistry and Chemical and Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences). There is also a collaborative supervisor, Dr Eirini Velliou, from University College London and the student will have access to cutting edge tissue engineering facilities at the group of Dr Velliou. 

The Surrey Ion Beam Centre is the UK’s national facility for ion beam applications, and houses 3 ion beam accelerators, as well as state of the art instrumentation for elemental and molecular imaging. We are a multidisciplinary group of physicists, electronic engineers, chemists and biology and work with users from across the UK and EU to deliver ion beams for modification and analysis of materials.

This is a 3-year project starting in October 2021.

Entry requirements

Candidates should have a 2:1 or above in chemistry, biochemistry, bioprocess engineering, biotechnology, biomaterials, tissue engineering, stem cells or related discipline. 

English language requirements: IELTS Academic 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Chemistry PhD programme page on the "Apply" tab.

Please state clearly the studentship project at you would like to apply for.

Please also send your CV and cover letter to Dr Melanie Bailey ().

Interviews will be held the last two weeks of July (dates will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates after the closing date). 


Funding Notes

Full UK tuition fees covered for three years for applicants who can commence their PhD in October 2021. Stipend at £15,285 p.a. (2021/22) for three years. Research Training Support Grant of £1,000 p.a. Personal Computer (provided by the department). This opportunity is funded by the University of Surrey's Doctoral College.

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