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Exploiting a new therapeutic target in malignant melanoma (MORRISCU19SF)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, May 31, 2019
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

BACKGROUND: Despite recent advancements in treatment, cutaneous melanoma still remains a deadly disease once it has metastasised. New therapeutic targets are urgently needed for patients suffering from advanced melanoma. We have recently identified a novel target, serpinA12 (vaspin), which is over-expressed in melanoma cells and promotes their invasion and metastasis. This finding comes at a time when serpins have been found to play a key role in cancer metastasis.

THE PROJECT: The aim of this PhD project is to further explore the mechanisms underpinning the metastatic spread of vaspin-positive melanoma cells. With better understanding of these pathways you will develop novel approaches to inhibiting vaspin activity in melanoma using phage display technology. These experimental therapeutic peptides/antibodies will be tested in patient-derived melanoma models through close collaboration with clinicians at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital.

This PhD project is suited to a creative and ambitious student who is looking to contribute to the discovery of new therapeutic avenues in melanoma.

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please visit:
Type of programme: PhD
Start date: October
Entry requirements: A first degree in Biological Sciences, Pharmacology, Molecular Biology/Medicine. The standard minimum entry requirement is a 2:1.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at View Website.

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


i) Salvador et al. British Journal of Dermatology.
ii) Valiente et al. Cell. 2014 Feb 27;156(5):1002-16. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.01.040
iii) Gettins Chem. Rev., 2002, 102 (12), pp 4751–4804
iv) iv) Law et al. Genome Biol. 2006; 7(5): 216

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