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Epigenetic therapy using ultrasound-mediated microbubble drug delivery for cancer treatment


Project Description

The project is an interdisciplinary, pre-clinical study that aims to investigate the response of human tumour cells to treatment with epigenetic inhibitors (such as DNA methyltransferase inhibitors), as a potential combination therapy for colorectal cancer (CRC). As epigenetic modifications contribute to tumour growth, drugs that modify the epigenome have great potential for cancer therapy. Epigenetic drugs have the capability to target cancer stem cells, restore sensitivity of tumour cells to chemotherapy or to prime tumours prior to secondary treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Tumour cell lines will be tested for response to combination drug treatments using 2D/3D cell culture and other models. Microbubbles will be generated using the University of Leeds patented microfluidic system, and could be combined with liposomes containing encapsulated drugs. Novel cancer models or therapeutic microbubbles could be developed further for targeted drug delivery. Our long-term aim is for ultrasound-triggered microbubble delivery to deliver drugs more efficiently to tumours, to enhance therapeutic response and to minimize off-target side effects.

You will work closely with members of other groups at the University of Leeds including Prof. Evans’ group in the School of Physics and Astronomy. The opportunity will involve training in a wide variety of techniques and research skills. These may include mammalian cell culture, drug testing using monolayer or spheroid/organoid cell culture, molecular biology and cell biology techniques to monitor epigenetic biomarkers of response, generation and testing of functional microbubbles in cancer models and drug delivery using ultrasound.

You will be trained as part of an established, interdisciplinary team of clinicians, academics and research scientists- the Leeds Microbubble Consortium- (https://microbubbles.leeds.ac.uk/) that includes PhD researchers from other Schools in the University.

Eligibility
You should hold a strong first degree equivalent to at least a UK upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject area.

The Faculty minimum requirements for candidates whose first language is not English are:

• British Council IELTS - score of 6.5 overall, with no element less than 6.0
• TOEFL iBT - overall score of 92 with the listening and reading element no less than 21, writing element no less than 22 and the speaking element no less than 23.

How to Apply
To apply for this scholarship applicants should complete a Faculty Scholarship Application form using the link below https://medicinehealth.leeds.ac.uk/downloads/download/129/faculty_graduate_school_-_application_form and send this alongside a full academic CV, degree certificates and transcripts (or marks so far if still studying) to the Faculty Graduate School

We also require 2 academic references to support your application. Please ask your referees to send these references on your behalf, directly to

If you have already applied for other scholarships using the Faculty Scholarship Application form this academic year you do not need to complete this form again. Instead you should email to inform us you would like to be considered for this scholarship project.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr. Elizabeth Valleley

Any queries regarding the application process should be directed to

Funding Notes

This project is available to self funding applicants only

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