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Determining the cancer stem cell basis for metastatic squamous cell carcinoma

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  • Full or part time
    Dr G Patel
    Prof Matt Smalley
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

Cancer is a major cause of early loss of life in many countries and is the number one cause of death in the UK. While there are many types of cancer, some characteristics are shared, so that lessons learnt by studying one form of cancer (e.g. skin cancer) can be applied more broadly. Understanding these biological concepts, for example the basis for cancer growth and its ability to evade the host defences, will be important steps to developing new therapies that could eventually save lives.

The European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute represents a hub for cancer research within Cardiff University. Established in 2012, the institute has state of the art facilities for a broad array of cancer research with a common goal to improve the lives of patients with cancer. Multiple teams share an open space that allows for innovative, collaborative and integrated research approaches to flourish.

The studentship will be supervised by Professor Smalley (Director of the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute) and Dr Patel (Established investigator and clinician). Building on established projects within the lab, this project addresses fundamental aspects of cancer biology. The project will involve multiple techniques: cell culture, in vivo studies, RNA sequencing, bioinformatics and human tissue studies. The projects will also establish collaborations with a local charity (Skin Care Cymru) and local health board (Aneurin Bevan University Health Board) and the student will gain exposure to third sector and healthcare activities that bring home the challenges faced and relevance of the projects to individual lives.

The PhD offers an ambitious and motivated candidate the opportunity to carry out seminal research in the field of cancer, supported by two established PI’s, 3 post-docs and existing PhD students.

Funding Notes

It is a condition of eligibility for KESS2 funding that you have not applied for, nor are intending to apply for, a doctoral or research master's loan. Please read clause (3) (m) of The Education (Postgraduate Doctoral Degree Loans) (Wales) Regulations 2018 for more information.

Applicants for these awards must have a home or work address in the East area* of Wales at the time of their application for funding and enrolment.

*The East Wales region is comprised of 7 local authorities: Cardiff, Flintshire, Monmouthshire, Newport, Powys, Vale of Glamorgan and Wrexham.


Patel GK, Yee CL, Terunuma A, Telford WG, Voong N, Yuspa SH, Vogel JC. Identification and characterization of tumor‐initiating cells in human primary cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. J Invest Dermatol. 2012 Feb;132(2):401‐9.)

Olivero C, Morgan H, Patel GK. Identification of Human Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cancer Stem Cells. Methods Mol Biol. 2019;1879:415‐433.

Related Subjects

How good is research at Cardiff University in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 54.70

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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