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Defining genomic, pharmacological and microenvironmental contexts in which to target a protein hydroxylase in cancer

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, March 08, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited from EU and UK students for a prestigious 4-year fully-funded CRUK PhD Studentship starting October 2020.

Protein hydroxylation is a poorly characterised post-translational modification, most famous for its role in oxygen sensing, the discovery of which was recently awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology/Medicine. The role of other protein hydroxylases is much less clear, but there is a growing appreciation that such enzymes play fundamental roles in development, homeostasis, and disease. Our group is funded by CRUK to explore the role of protein hydroxylation in cancer, with a particular focus on exploring how hydroxylase mutation and inactivation promotes tumourigenesis.

The PhD project on offer here aims to extend our initial findings to explore the genomic, pharmacological and microenvironmental contexts in which maximise the efficacy of hydroxylase inhibition. The work will require a multidisciplinary approach involving sophisticated cell models (including organoids), genome editing, genetic screens, genomics, and pharmacological interventions. The student will work within a close knit team with significant expertise in hydroxylase enzymology and cancer biology, with regular direct supervision from Dr Mat Coleman and his post-doctoral fellows, all located within a world-class cancer biology Institute at the University of Birmingham.

Person Specification
Applicants should have a strong background in molecular biology or biochemistry, and ideally some experience of tumour cell biology. They should have a strong commitment to a career in research, with a focus on cancer and cell biology, and hold or realistically expect to obtain at least an Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a relevant subject. The ideal candidate will have a strong work ethic, be self-motivated, and will show a mature approach to working in a professional team environment.
EU/UK students only.

How to apply
Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Mat Coleman:
Applications should be directed to Mat Coleman and David Piela:

To apply, please send:
• A detailed CV, including your nationality and country of birth;
• Names and addresses of two referees;
• A covering letter that highlights your research experience/capabilities and explains your interest in the project
• Copies of your degree certificates with transcripts;
• Evidence of your proficiency in the English language, if applicable.

Applicants will be required to attend an interview in March. This will include meeting the research group and a tour of the labs. While the interview can be conducted by telephone or skype, in person is preferred.

Funding Notes

This PhD is funded by Cancer Research UK and includes bench fees, tuition fees and a living stipend ~£19,000 pa.
for EU/UK students only.

N.B. Fees are only funded to Home/EU rate so international; applications must be able self-fund the difference.

References

OH, the Places You'll Go! Hydroxylation, Gene Expression, and Cancer. Ploumakis A, Coleman ML. Mol Cell. 2015 Jun 4;58(5):729-41. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2015.05.026.

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