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Exploiting the full potential of BACH1 as an anti-metastatic target in lung cancer

   School of Medicine

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  Dr L de la Vega, Prof R Petty  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Dundee United Kingdom Cancer Biology Cell Biology

About the Project

Division: Cellular Medicine

Start Date: 20/09/21

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death, being often detected in a metastatic stage. Metastasis, the spread and growth of tumour cells from primary tumours to distant organs, is responsible for 90% of cancer deaths, and the identification of new drugs that can reduce the spread of tumours is therefore an essential goal to increase survival for cancer patients.

Recent research showed that a protein called BACH1 is a critical factor for the spread of lung cancer cells, and that cancer patients with high levels of BACH1 have higher mortality. Importantly, studies in mice have also shown that if BACH1 is removed, lung cancer tumours are not able to spread to other locations, increasing survival. Unfortunately, in lung cancer cells, BACH1 is very resistant to its inhibition/degradation. Therefore, to maximise the impact of BACH1-targetting drugs against lung cancer, is important to understand why BACH1 is resistant in lung cancer cells, and how could we bypass that resistance.

The project will build on previous research from the lab to understand how BACH1 is regulated in lung cancer cells and to identify drugs (or drug combinations) to target BACH1 in lung cancer cells. To do so, the student will use a number of molecular and cell biology techniques such as CRISPR-Cas9, Live-cell imaging, and drug combination studies, and will collaborate with the National Phenotypic Screening Centre (School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee) and with oncologists to better translate our findings into the clinic.


Applicants to complete the Application form and email to [Email Address Removed] along with a CV and 2 academic references by Monday 22nd March 2021.

Eligibility Requirements

First class honours degree, and/or a Masters degree in a relevant discipline. (Non-clinical applicants)

MBChB (clinical applicants)

English language requirements

IELTS minimum overall score of 6.5

Reading 5.5, Listening 5.5, Speaking 5.5 Writing 6.0

Funding Notes

Funded by the Ninewells Cancer Campaign
RCUK stipend rate for 4 years (non-clinical applicants)
University of Dundee Clinical Research Fellow scale for 3 years (clinical applicants)