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Differentiation in colorectal cancer

Project Description

Derangement of cellular differentiation is a key step in adenocarcinoma progression. Understanding this should provide novel targets for the development of new treatments, and new approaches to diagnosis and early detection.

We use an extensively characterised panel of more than 100 colorectal cancer (CRC) derived cell lines, together with organoid cultures from primary CRCs, for in vitro studies of the control of differentiation, and patient derived myofibroblast cell lines in co-culture with the CRC cell lines to mimic the epithelial microenvironment.

Our special interests are in the control of goblet cell differentiation and the interaction between myofibroblasts and epithelial cells.

A combination of extensive cellular, molecular and immunological techniques with exposure to
statistical bioinformatics approaches to data analysis and modelling. Also, opportunities to work
with fresh human biopsy material for organoid production and to be involved in considerations of
clinical applications for treatment of colorectal and other cancers.

Neil Ashley, Trevor Yeung and Walter F Bodmer (2013) Stem cell differentiation and lumen
formation in colorectal, cancer cell lines and primary tumours. Cancer Res; 73(18); 5798–809.

Hsia L, Ashley N, Ouaret D, Wang L, Wilding J, Bodmer W F.(2016) Myofibroblasts are
distinguished from activated skin fibroblasts by the expression of AOC3 and other associated
markers. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113(15):E2162 - 2171.

Marina Bacac et al (2016) A Novel Carcinoembryonic Antigen T-Cell Bispecific Antibody (CEA TCB) for
the Treatment of Solid Tumors. Clinical Cancer Research. Published On line First February 9, 2016.
DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-16

Funding Notes

All complete applications received by 12 noon (UK time) on Friday 11 January 2020 will automatically be considered for all relevant competitive University and funding opportunities, including the Clarendon Fund, Medical Research Council funding, and various College funds. Please refer to the Funding and Costs webpage (View Website) for this course for further details relating to funded scholarships and divisional funding opportunities.

Funded studentships are highly competitive and are awarded to the highest ranked applicant(s) based on the advertised entry requirements for each programme of study.


Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

Academic references are strongly encouraged, though you may use up to one professional reference provided that it is relevant to the course.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 238.51

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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