Fully Funded EPSRC PhD Scholarship: A Multiscale Modelling Approach to Study the Effects and Responses of DNA Damage Response (DDR) Inhibitor Drugs
Start date: October 2020
Supervisor 1: Dr Gibin Powathil
Supervisor 2: Dr Noemi Picco
The increasing complexity of clinical and biological effects of multimodality therapies often result in substantial challenges to the clinical and preclinical development of novel therapeutic drugs. Mathematical modelling, based on a systems approach, informed by experimental data can be often very helpful in understanding and studying the multiple (nonlinear) therapeutic effects and responses of these drugs, helping the preclinical design and development, and its clinical implementation. The multiscale complexity of cancer as a disease necessitates the adoption of a multiscale approach, incorporating appropriate mechanisms to obtain meaningful and predictive mathematical models to study the therapeutic effects and outcomes.
This highly interdisciplinary project aims to develop a multiscale experimental data-driven mathematical and computational models to study and analyse the effects and efficacy of DNA damage response inhibiting drugs. Once the model is developed and fully calibrated and validated, it will be used to study optimal sequencing, scheduling and dosing alone and in combination with multimodality therapies. It will be also used to inform in vivo and preclinical studies, moving a step closer to potential drug development and clinical trial designs.
This project is in collaboration with AstraZeneca and the University of St Andrews.
The Departments of Mathematics is part of the Computational Foundry, a world-class centre for computational research, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government. The brand-new building of the Computational Foundry provides an ideal environment for doing a PhD.
Candidates must have a first or upper second class honours undergraduate degree (or equivalent) or a Master’s degree with Merit, in a relevant discipline.
Knowledge in cancer biology is not essential but the candidate will be required to learn appropriate biological and clinical knowledge in order to develop predictive mathematical and computational models. The candidate is expected to have a strong applied mathematical or related subject background. Strong computational and programming skills in one or more programming languages such as C, C++ and Matlab are preferred. Strong interpersonal skills and the capacity to work and learn independently will be required.
For candidates whose first language is not English, we require IELTS 6.0 (with 5.5 in each component) or equivalent. Please visit our website for a list of acceptable English language tests. We prefer candidates to have already met the English Language requirements at the point of application, although this is not a requirement.
Studentships funded by EPSRC are subject to UK/EU residency eligibility.
This is a three-year fully funded scholarship, which covers UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual stipend of £15,245.