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Genomic determinants of long-term survival in ovarian cancer


Project Description

High-grade serous ovarian cancer is an aggressive disease in which only ~30% of women survive 5 years or more. Despite a poor prognosis, a subset of patients are highly responsive to chemotherapy, and some become long-term survivors (>10 years survival). This spectrum of treatment responses suggests fundamental differences in tumour biology that are not yet understood. In collaboration with the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study, our laboratory is currently performing whole-genome sequencing, transcriptome sequencing and immune profiling of high-grade serous ovarian cancer in long-term survivors. We have identified a number of candidate genomic alterations that may be associated with exceptional outcomes.

This project will involve verification of candidates using DNA sequencing, and functional validation using pre-clinical models of ovarian cancer. Students will gain experience in human tissue culture, tumour biology and immunology, molecular biology techniques, genomics and bioinformatics.

The Bowtell laboratory has a major focus on the genomic characterisation of ovarian cancer, seeking to understand the biology of treatment response and resistance, and to translate these findings into new treatment approaches. https://www.petermac.org/research/labs/david-bowtell

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne 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.
https://www.petermac.org/education/research-education

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.

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.
https://www.petermac.org/education/comprehensive-cancer-phd-program

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:
View Website

For further information regarding scholarships (both local and international), see:
View Website
Closing dates for applications for scholarships to commence in 2020: Round 1 -31 October 2019; Round 2 - 31 Jan 2020; Round 3 - 15 May 2020.

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