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FULLY FUNDED PHD: Targeting Autophagy and Aberrant Metabolism of Leukaemic Stem Cells

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  • Full or part time
    Dr V Helgason
    Dr O Maddocks
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

TO APPLY, CLICK ’VISIT WEBSITE’ - *** A research proposal is NOT required when you apply ***

Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is a cancer in the blood and develops following a specific mutation in a bone marrow (BM)-located blood stem cell. We and others have shown that CML stem cells are not killed with currently available drugs (tyrosine kinase inhibitors; TKI) and can become TKI-resistant leading to relapse of patients. Therefore, CML stem cells represent a critical target for novel anti-cancer treatment.

The hypoxic BM microenvironment is essential for leukaemogenesis and can contribute to TKI resistance of CML stem cells. We have demonstrated that TKIs induce a cellular degradation process called autophagy, that protects CML stem cells against TKI treatment. We were also the first to demonstrate that CML stem cells rely on mitochondrial metabolism for survival.

Therefore, identification and testing of specific autophagy and mitochondrial metabolism inhibitors that are clinically safe and effective in the BM microenvironment is crucial.

The main aim of our CRUK funded project is to understand how hypoxia, autophagy and mitochondrial metabolism control the way in which CML stem cells function in the BM.

The student will use the best laboratory models for CML, including patient-derived xenograft model and live imaging of MB-located CML stem cells, to test novel pre-clinical drugs that block TKI resistance pathways.We hope that results from this project will lead to development of novel therapy options for CML and other stem cell driven leukaemias.

For this innovative and translational project, the student will be located the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre, a world-class research facility dedicated to cancer. The student will have access to advanced imaging technology and metabolomic facility at the CRUK Beatson Institute, required for the development of this project.

This setup will also provide the student with a valuable opportunity to:

i) interact with experts and gain knowledge in different research areas,
ii) work in world leading centres for translational research and training
iii) be actively involved in drug-development collaboration.

The student will gain significant experience in the isolation of leukaemic stem cells, survival assays following in vivo/vitro drug treatments, live cells imaging, Western blotting, immunofluorescence and energy metabolism/autophagy assays (Mass-spec/Seahorse Extracellular Flux Analyser).

The student will also join the Research Training Programme offered to all students studying for postgraduate degrees at the University of Glasgow. This will include various taught courses designed to help PhD students to obtain a range of generic and transferable skills to enhance their personal/professional development.

The student will have the opportunity to participate in public engagement events throughout the course of the programme to further develop his/her professional and personal skills.

A research proposal is NOT required when you apply

Funding Notes

CRUK PhD studentship

4-year PhD

Stipend is £19.000 per year. Running expenses/bench fees are fully covered.

References

A research proposal is NOT required when you apply

How good is research at University of Glasgow in Clinical Medicine?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 177.40

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities


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