A major challenge in cancer therapy is to develop therapeutic agents that selectively target tumour cells but are not harmful to normal tissue. A promising way to increase selectivity of cytotoxic molecules (payloads) is to tether these to antibodies that preferentially bind to antigens expressed on the surface of membranes of cancer cells.
This new type of therapeutics termed antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are being pursued for various oncology indications. Although 12 ADCs have been approved for clinical use, there is still much to learn about their stability, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetic (DMPK) properties. Depending on the type of ADC used, various aspects of the ADCs are implicated and contributing to dose limiting toxicities. The primary ADC toxicity is likely linked to premature release of the payloads and/or the lack of understanding of how ADC uptake for delivery of cytotoxic payload occurs in non-targeted normal tissue.
To overcome some of these drawbacks, this project is focused on the modulation of payload toxicity via synthetic pharmacophore manipulation and evaluation of the DMPK properties of ADCs. We are looking for an enthusiastic student interested in exploring how to develop ADCs with improved clinical efficacy. You will be trained in payload and linker design, cell culture techniques with focus on cell uptake and target engagement and in DMPK techniques using a variety of different cell-free based assays and 2D and 3D cancer models.
Applicants should have at least 2:1 honours degree in Bioengineering, Chemical Biology, Pharmacy or a related degree. Formal applications should be made via the University of Bradford web site.