Defining the mechanistic role and druggability of Junctional Adhesion Molecule-A (JAM-A) in multiple myeloma

   Department of Surgery

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  Dr A Hopkins, Prof Siobhan Glavey  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable blood cancer which causes certain immune cells to build up to abnormal levels in patient bone marrows. It is often diagnosed late, and can progress very quickly to aggressive disease. Using the joint expertise of a blood cancer clinician and a cancer scientist as co-supervisors, this PhD project will use innovative patient-centred laboratory models coupled with a medicinal chemistry approach to test potential new treatments for MM. These potential new treatments will centre around a pathway involving the protein Junctional Adhesion Molecule-A (JAM-A), which one of the PIs has investigated for many years in breast cancer, and which recent evidence has suggested is also important in MM disease progression. The objectives of the project will be to mechanistically probe JAM-A signalling in MM, and to optimise candidate drugs to test how its function can be antagonised. The student will also collaborate with MM patients on co-creating a new patient-friendly booklet on MM research for national dissemination to members of the public. By its conclusion, the student will have gained wide-ranging skills in cancer biology and contributed significantly to translational research in an under-served disease area.

Mandatory Specifications:

The successful applicant will have a degree (honours bachelors or masters) in a biological sciences subject, preferably cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, pharmacology or physiology. Enthusiasm, motivation, flexibility and determination are essential attributes for this position. Fluency or a high level of competence in English is required. 

The project will be carried out over a 3-year period in the RCSI Education & Research Centre, a modern inter-disciplinary facility on the campus of Beaumont Hospital. Students will receive a stipend of €18,000 per annum, and their postgraduate fees will be paid. RCSI is committed to the career development of its researchers, and accordingly students will have the opportunity to complete taught modules in professional research practices (eg. ethics, biostatistics) during the course of their studies. 

Desirable Requirements:

Experience with cell culture, peptide design or protein biochemistry are desirable but not essential.

‘How do I apply?

To apply, please access the following link and complete the application form in full:

Please complete all fields below in order to apply for the above project with Dr. Hopkins and Prof. Glavey Ref: 5122 Project title: Developing an innovative patient-centred model of multiple myeloma for drug screening applications and mechanistic studies

-Unfortunately, we are unable to provide individual feedback to applicants.

-Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview. 

-At this stage only successful candidates will be contacted to submit, CV, transcripts and other relevant documentation.

- Only their referees will also be contacted at this stage for a reference.

Applications must include:

(i) a completed application form

(ii) English language requirements – see

Deadline: All applications must be made online by 31 August 2022 (GMT)

It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure the application form is completed in full on time. Late and/or incomplete applications will not normally be assessed. 

Further information on the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland can be found here: 

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