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Electrotherapy for Childhood Brain Tumours

Project Description

Brain tumours cause more cancer deaths in children and young adults than any other cancer. They are cancers of electrically active cells. Recent work suggests cancer relies on electric charges to grow and invade. Existing electric field therapy is hard for children to use.

Applications are invited from UK/EU candidates for a three-year PhD studentship to study electric activity in two of the most common childhood brain tumours, for which there are no effective drugs and survival is poor. The studentship will contribute to a better understanding of electric charges and channels in cancer, and the potential to repurpose drugs which target electric functions in other conditions.

This project is the first study of electric function in childhood brain tumours. It is one of the first in any brain tumour. It will build on positive results seen for electrical treatment of brain tumours, bringing this new technique nearer to clinical use for children.

The techniques to be used in the project will include cell culture, molecular techniques including PCR and IHC and electrophysiological analysis. We offer a dynamic working environment, stimulating scientific surroundings in an enthusiastic, motivated team, and the opportunity to work on high-impact projects. The candidate will be based in the new purpose built Centre for Biological Sciences Centre. This will house all of the cancer specialities in Nottingham. The building will be equipped with the latest design tissue culture facilities, molecular biology, histology, flow cytometry and microscopy suites and will have all of the equipment to support THETAC correlative and exploratory biology.

Information about the Centre: Children’s brain tumours account for 25% of childhood cancers and although treatments have improved, we still only cure 50% of children diagnosed in the UK every year. Moreover, a substantial proportion of those cured are left with disabilities due to treatment related side-effects. Improvements in treatment and outcome of children’s brain tumours will most likely come from a better understanding of their underlying biology. The CBTRC ( was set up to address this issue and brings together multidisciplinary researchers from clinical, translational and basic science arenas, providing knowledge to optimize health outcomes.

The CBTRC links over 60 researchers from across the University and Nottingham University Hospital. Research is carried out on a number of malignant brain tumours of childhood, including Ependymoma, Medulloblastoma, Glioblastoma Multiforme, and CNS PNET. The centre has strong clinical links with the UK Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG), and with the International Society of Paediatric Oncology and Children’s Oncology Group (USA).

About the University: The University of Nottingham is the top 1% of global universities and is ranked eighth in the UK on a measure of ‘research power’, with more than 80% of research rated as world-leading or internationally excellent. The University of Nottingham also offers a world-class research training environment for postgraduate students, including an excellent range of support and services.

Funding Notes

Applicants should hold, or expect to hold, a first or upper second-class degree (or equivalent) and preferably a Masters in a relevant subject. It will be considered an advantage to have experience in practical laboratory work, including cell culture, molecular techniques. It would be desirable for the candidate to have some experience of electrophysiology.

The studentship will commence on 1st October 2019 and includes payment of fees at the UK/EU rate with a stipend of £ 15,009 in 2019/20 which will rise in line with inflation. The PhD student will have access to a number of research and project-related courses.

How good is research at University of Nottingham in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 90.86

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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