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Development of Nano-Enabled Drug Carriers to Overcome Pan-Chemoresistance of Cancer Stem(-like) Cells

HEMS Allied Health

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Dr M Najlah Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The acquired resistance induced by repetitive exposure of cancer cells to anticancer drugs is one of the major limitations to successful chemotherapy. The resistant cancer cells are commonly cross-resistant to a wide range of anticancer drugs. Development of a new drug is a very lengthy and expensive process. Therefore, there is an increasing interest in repurposing of known drugs into new use in cancer therapy. For example, disulfiram (DS), an anti-alcoholism drug used in clinic over 60 years, has been shown high cytotoxicity in a wide range of cancer types while sparing non-cancer cells (Najlah et al 2017). Nevertheless, the clinical use of DS as an anti-cancer drug is limited by its rapid degradation in the blood. Nanocarriers (NCs) can encapsulate and deliver intact drug to cancer tissues. Our studies show that nano- encapsulation significantly extended the half life of DS in serum (Najlah et al 2019). Therefore, Nanotechnology may be a novel strategy for repurposing of DS and other drugs for cancer treatment.
Application are invited form self-funded (or those who have already have financial sponsor) candidates who would like to develop new drug delivery systems for cancer treatment. All formulation, characterisation and release studies will be conducted using our state-of-art facilities at Chelmsford Campus. Anticancer activity of the developed formulations on cancer cells will be evaluated in vitro.

You’ll need a Bachelor degree or equivalent with first or upper second class honours, in a related subject area.
If English is not your first language, you’ll require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component (or equivalent test). If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.


Najlah et al, Eur J Pharm Biopharm, 112, 224-233, 2017.
Najlah et al, pharmaceutics, Submitted, 2019.
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