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Exploration of novel approaches to anti-cancer treatment: manipulation of mutant p53

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Y. Haupt
    Dr S. Haupt
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

P53 is the most mutated gene in human cancer, affecting about half the cases of human cancer. We have recently identified novel regulators of mutant p53 using sophisticated loss of function whole genome high through put screen (image 1). We have combined computational and bioinformatics analyses together with biochemical assays to select key candidate novel regulators of mutant p53.

This PhD project will study key candidate regulators derived from this screen to explore the regulation of mutant p53, and to define novel target for anti-cancer drugs aiming at mutant p53. The student will explore the efficacy of manipulating these regulators as a novel approach to treating cancer cells bearing mutant p53 (majority of human cancers). The project will involve work with cancer cell lines and transgenic mouse models. In addition the project will expose students to a variety of molecular, cellular and biochemical techniques.

The Haupt laboratory explores novel regulatory pathways governing tumour suppressors.
The research is directed to:
1. Delineating the role of oncogenic E3 ubiquitin ligases in cancer
2. Defining mechanisms that disable tumour suppressors, with a special focus on new therapeutic targets to disable the potent cancer driver, the mutated form of the major tumour suppressor p53.

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne Australia
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is Australia’s only public hospital solely dedicated to cancer, and home to the largest cancer research group in Australia. Cancer is a complex set of diseases, and modern cancer research institutes such as Peter Mac conduct research covering a diversity of topics that range from laboratory-based studies into the fundamental mechanisms of cell growth, translational studies that seek more accurate cancer diagnosis, clinical trials with novel treatments, and research aimed to improve supportive care.

All students engaged in postgraduate studies at Peter Mac are enrolled in the Comprehensive Cancer PhD (CCPhD) program, regardless of which university they are enrolled through. The program is managed by the Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology (The University of Melbourne), based at Peter Mac.

Tapping into the depth and breadth of knowledge and experience offered by the ten partners of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) alliance, the University of Melbourne’s Comprehensive Cancer PhD Program provides a unique opportunity for multidisciplinary cancer-related PhD candidates to experience clinical and research activities across the alliance.

The Comprehensive Cancer PhD program builds on established conventional training for cancer research students providing a coordinated program of skills, research and career training in addition to usual PhD activities. The program is designed to complement existing PhD activities and provides opportunities to develop professional skills that will help candidates to fulfil their career ambitions.

Funding Notes

All PhD students at Peter Mac must have a scholarship from The University of Melbourne or through another government, trust or philanthropic organisation. Before applying for a scholarship, you must have agreed on a project with an institute supervisor.

For further information about the university application process, see:

For further information regarding scholarships (both local and international), see:
Closing dates for applications for scholarships to commence in 2019: Round 1 -31 October 2018; Round 2 - 28 Nov 2018; Round 3 - 20 Feb 2019.

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