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Developing an Integrated Platform to Explore Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, December 09, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Despite increasingly sophisticated pre-clinical models, more than 9/10 promising cancer therapeutics fail in clinical trials. The nature of this resistance is complex and not fully understood. Of particular challenge has been solid tumours containing oncogenic KRAS, which generally represent aggressive disease that respond poorly to current therapies including potent RAS pathway inhibitors. The impact of addressing this challenge is significant: ~30% of solid tumours are ‘KRAS mutant’, leading to ~30,000 cancer deaths annually in the UK alone.

Exploring the challenge of KRAS-mutant tumours with different approaches, both the Sansom (mouse, organoids) and Cagan (Drosophila) laboratories have recently identified genomic complexity as a key contributor to drug resistance: increasing the number of genes altered in the mouse or fly blocked the efficacy of drugs that were effective against more standard, genetically simple models. This observation leads to a number of questions that will be explored through an extensive new collaboration, including integrating a novel organs-on-a-chip (OOAC) platform in development by University of Glasgow researchers led by the Gadegaard laboratory.

This studentship aims to use an integrated approach to understand how genetic complexity leads to drug resistance. In addition to a new understanding of tumour progression, this project will develop new technologies including an integrated platform for tumour studies – combing mouse, drosophila and OOAC technologies. The student will work closely with postdoctoral fellows in the Sansom, Cagan, and Gadegaard laboratories, providing a unique training environment while advancing a potentially transformative new project.


The Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute in Glasgow is one of the world-leading centres for cancer research. The Institute provides an outstanding research environment, underpinned by state-of-the-art core services and advanced technologies with special emphasis on imaging, metabolomics and in vivo models of cancer.

To apply, please click on the ’Visit Website’ button, which will take you to the Beatson Institute website where you should fill in the application form. Please do not email your CV.

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