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Development of novel therapy for colon cancer


   School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Applications are invited for a self-funded three-year PhD.

The PhD will be based in the Faculty of Science and Health, School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, and will be supervised by Dr Murphy Wan.

The work on this project could involve:

●   Design and in vitro evaluation of novel compound for colon cancer therapy

●   Evaluation of anti-cancer potential using in vitro (cell line or primary cells or organoids) and in vivo models (zebrafish embryo and/or mice)

●   Understanding of molecular mechanisms of diseases and discovery of novel biomarkers using high throughput omics technologies

Project description

Globally, colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the top most commonly diagnosed cancers according to the World Health Organisation. The global burden of CRC is expected to increase by 60% to more than 2.2 million new cases and 1.1 million deaths by 2030. Current management of CRC include the use of chemotherapy drugs, such as fluorouracil or irinotecan, and radiotherapy. However, these standard treatments often incur high cost and cause various side effects and organ toxicities resulting in a lower quality of life for patients. As such, there is an urgent need to develop less costly alternatives to chemotherapy.

This PhD project will focus on discovery of novel therapies for cancer, which involves the evaluation of the anti-cancer potential of the novel drug system through the uses of different analytical, cellular and molecular techniques in experimental models including cell culture and in vivo models (zebrafish embryo and/or mice). This is a multidisciplinary project which involves collaboration and interaction with experts from other fields. The successful applicant will receive training in all relevant areas, but not limited to analytical chemistry, nutrition, molecular biology, immunology, toxicology, with an emphasis on integration of different omics technologies for in-depth investigation of disease mechanisms and discoveries of novel biomarkers that can be translated in future clinical settings. While the majority of work will be undertaken in Portsmouth, the successful candidate will offer the opportunity to spend a short period at a collaborating laboratory.

General admissions criteria

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Specific candidate requirements

We are looking for a talented and motivated student with a background in Molecular and Cellular Biology or Immunology. Prior experience in bioinformatics techniques will be an advantage.

How to Apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr Murphy Wan () to discuss your interest before you apply.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.


Funding Notes

Candidates applying for this project may be eligible to compete for one of a small number of bursaries available.

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