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Early detection of lung cancers through image and multi-omics data integration


   National Horizon Centre

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  Dr V Panagiotis Lenis, Dr Alex Newman, Prof V Rand  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The number of cancer diagnoses is increasing with 305,683 new cases diagnosed in 2017, an increase of 2548 from 2016 (latest Office for National Statistics figures). Strikingly, the highest rates were in the North East with more people diagnosed compared to the South East and London. Death from cancer across the Durham and Tees Valley region is also significantly higher than the average in the North East and England. Lung cancer remains a major public health problem in the North of England because of historically high smoking rates and the increase in lung cancer in non-smokers. It is therefore essential to develop approaches to improve diagnosis and outcome by detecting lung cancer earlier.

Working in partnership with The Respiratory Team at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust this project aims to develop novel approaches to detect lung cancers earlier. An innovative method, multimodally-directed ultra-slim bronchoscopy, has been developed for the early diagnosis of lung cancer in the clinic which has increased diagnosis accuracy by 40% compared to traditional techniques. This approach combines different navigational techniques, it provides a cost effective, safe and relatively non-invasive way to diagnose early lung cancer, improving both treatment options and the potential for cure. However, this method is often difficult to confirm a diagnosis when the tumour is small and before it has metastasised to other parts of the body. This project will combine digital bronchoscopic images with multi-omics approaches to develop the methodology to diagnose cancer in tiny biopsies and other routine patients samples, including cell-free DNA from blood samples.

This project will be based at the National Horizons Centre (NHC) where we aim to discover diseases earlier, develop novel treatments, and deliver life changing medicines to those in need, quicker, safer and more affordably.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a good honours degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant discipline. A masters level qualification in a relevant discipline is desirable, but not essential, as well as a demonstrable understanding of the research area. Further details of the expected background may appear in the specific project details. International students will be subject to the standard entry criteria relating to English language ability, ATAS clearance and, when relevant, UK visa requirements and procedures

How to Apply

Applicants should apply online for this opportunity at: https://e-vision.tees.ac.uk/si_prod/userdocs/web/apply.html?CourseID=1191

Please use the Online Application (Funded PHD) application form. When asked to specify funding select “other” and enter ‘RDS’ and the title of the PhD project that you are applying for. You should ensure that you clearly indicate that you are applying for a Funded Studentship and the title of the topic or project on the proposal that you will need to upload when applying. If you would like to apply for more than one project, you will need to complete a further application form and specify the relevant title for each application to a topic or project.

Applications for studentships that do not clearly indicate that the application is for a Funded Studentship and state the title of the project applied for on the proposal may mean that your application may not be considered for the appropriate funding.

For academic enquiries, please contact Dr Vasilis Lenis [Email Address Removed].

For administrative enquiries before or when making your application, contact [Email Address Removed]


Funding Notes

The Fees-Paid PhD studentship will cover all tuition fees for the period of a full-time PhD Registration of up to four years. Successful applicants who are eligible will be able to access the UK Doctoral Loan scheme https://www.gov.uk/doctoral-loan to support with living costs. The Fully Funded PhD Studentship covers tuition fees for the period of a full-time PhD Registration of up to four years and provide an annual tax-free stipend of £15,000 for three years, subject to satisfactory progress.
Applicants who are employed and their employer is interested in funding a PhD, can apply for a Collaborative Studentship.
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