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Elucidating resistance to AKT inhibition in metastatic breast cancer

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  • Full or part time
    Prof N Turner
    Dr C Lord
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

The Institute of Cancer Research, London, is one of the world’s most influential cancer research institutes. We are committed to attracting and developing the best minds in the world to join us in our mission—to make the discoveries that defeat cancer.

Elucidating resistance to AKT inhibition in metastatic breast cancer

About This PhD Project
This PhD studentship is an MRC industrial Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering (iCASE) studentship. As such the successful applicant will be based at the Institute of Cancer Research in London and work closely with collaborators at Astra Zeneca in Cambridge.
Supervised by Prof Nicholas Turner (ICR) and Dr Elza de Bruin (Astra Zeneca)

Project Description:
AKT inhibition has emerged as one of the most promising targeted therapies for breast cancer. In triple negative breast cancer with PI3K pathway mutations, AKT inhibition has substantial efficacy with paclitaxel. In ER positive breast cancer, capivasertib has substantial activity in AKT1 mutant breast cancer. However, there is very limited understanding of clinically relevant resistance mechanisms.
In collaboration with Astra Zeneca, we will study mechanisms of acquired resistance to AKT inhibitor resistance in breast cancer. We will use breast cancer patient derived models, including both organoid and xenograft, combined with patients’ material from AKT inhibitor clinical trials, to identify and validate mechanisms of resistance. Employing genetic and drug screens and next generation sequencing strategies, we will characterise acquired drug resistance at a molecular level.

Keywords /Subject Areas:
Patient derived organoids/xenografts
Next generation sequencing
Clonal evolution
CRISPR
Breast cancer

Funding Notes

Stipend, currently £21,000 per annum, tuition fees and project costs paid for the four-year duration. To be eligible for a full award a student must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship.

See icr.ac.uk/phds to apply

Candidates must have a first class or upper second class honours BSc Honours/MSc in either Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or Chemistry. Experience of tissue culture, molecular biology and next generation sequencing is desired.



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