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Dissecting the role of periostin-myeloid cell interactions in mediating chemoresistance

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  • Full or part time
    Dr I Keklikoglou
    Prof V Sanz Moreno
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Our Institute has an international reputation for cancer research, with world renowned experts in the field.
As part of our comprehensive training programme, fully funded by Cancer Research UK, we have funding for 3 PhD studentships to commence in September 2020.
Our training programme aims to develop a cohort of scientists equipped both intellectually and technically to conduct the highest quality research on cancer.
Our research degrees are supplemented by a comprehensive support programme, providing training in a wide range of biomedical laboratory methods and other vital transferable skills.

Chemotherapy is the standard of care for the management of locally advanced, invasive breast cancer, especially the triple-negative subtype, as patients with this subtype do not benefit from targeted therapies. However, clinical trials have shown that combinatorial or sequential treatment of breast cancer patients with certain chemotherapeutic agents fails to significantly prolong patient survival and death is typically attributed to tumour metastasis to the body’s vital organs. Tumours often develop resistance to chemotherapy, while those that initially respond to the treatment eventually relapse, thus increasing the likelihood of metastasis formation. Periostin is an extracellular matrix protein that associates with poor prognosis in various tumour types and resistance to targeted therapies. This project aims to unravel how chemotherapy modifies periostin deposition and its interactions with myeloid cells, as well as their impact on metastasis formation. By exploiting state-of-the art mouse models of cancer, as well as quantitative molecular and cellular approaches, we will elucidate the role of the non-malignant cellular components in pre-metastatic niches in supporting/facilitating metastatic cancer cell seeding and tumour growth in chemotherapy treated mouse models of breast cancer. Ultimately, by developing an antibody-enzyme conjugate we will investigate whether targeting periostin, in combination with chemotherapy and immune check-point inhibitors, increases therapeutic responses.

Academic Entry Requirements

This studentship is open to graduates with either:
- a 2:1 or 1st degree in a related subject; or,
- a 2:2 in a related subject with a subsequent MSc awarded with Merit or Distinction
If your degree has not yet been awarded but you are expected to meet the above entry requirements, you are welcome to apply.

English Language Requirements

Applicants for whom English is not a first language will also require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (with 6.0 in the written component), or equivalent, unless your undergraduate degree was studied in, and awarded by, an English speaking country.

Funding Notes

This studentship includes the following funding for 3 years:

- A tax-free annual stipend of £21,000
- Tuition fees at the Home/EU rate
- Project consumables

The funding for this studentship only covers tuition fees at the home/EU rate. Overseas applicants are welcome to apply, but will be required to fund the difference in tuition fees

Part-time students will receive pro-rata funding for 6 years.

How good is research at Queen Mary University of London in Clinical Medicine?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 144.11

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

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