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Developing novel treatments for rare childhood brain tumours

Project Description

Despite decades of research, the treatment of brain tumours has remained largely unchanged. These cancers are treated with an aggressive combination of neurosurgery, radiation and chemotherapy that fails to cure but damages the surrounding normal brain, leaving survivors with devastating side effects. One potential reason why we have failed to identify new brain therapies is because the system used to select drugs for clinical trial do not predict therapeutic activity in patients. Research within the Gilbertson laboratory uses novel genetically engineered mouse models and patient derived orthotopic xenografts of brain tumours to develop and test curative treatments for children with these rare tumours.

This project aims to develop and characterise models of both Choroid Plexus Carcinoma and Supratentorial Ependymoma, this will include monitoring tumour growth using imaging as well as single-cell RNA sequencing approaches to characterise tumour heterogeneity and understand radiation resistance. This project will be carried out through collaborations with the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) as part of the newly named Children Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence. The studentship will involve testing new chemical entities and natural products from high throughput drugs screens in a pre-clinical setting. The project is designed so that we are able to test the efficacy, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of candidate therapies in the context of ’standard of care’ sequential, neurosurgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Preferred skills/knowledge
The ideal candidate would have a relevant undergraduate degree, a keen interest in neurobiology and translational research, and would be highly motivated to drive an independent research project. A research Master’s degree, as well as good familiarity with in vivo models and pre-clinical pharmacology studies would be highly desirable. The successful candidate is expected to work closely with other team members, have excellent record keeping habits, organisational and time-management skills, and an inquisitive mind.

Funding Notes

This project is funded by a studentship that includes full funding for University and College fees, a stipend of £19,000 per annum and a generous consumables allowance.

No nationality restrictions apply to this studentship. Applications are invited from recent graduates or final year undergraduates who hold or expect to gain a first/upper second class degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject from any recognised university worldwide.

How good is research at University of Cambridge in Clinical Medicine?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 192.05

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

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