Identifying key players in Colon Cancer Cell Differentiation
Aberrant activation of some pathways can create hierarchically organized tumour tissues where a subpopulation of self-renewing cancer stem cells sustain the long-term clonal maintenance of the neoplasm. These cells have proven to be resistant to conventional therapy and to be responsible for tumour relapse. Our objective is to target these cells based on their stem-like properties and thereby identify efficient approaches for cancer therapies to improve patient survival. I have recently described that differentiating cancer stem cells inhibits colorectal cancer progression (Ordóñez-Morán et al., 2015). Thus, our student will study the key players which govern the balance between stem cell maintenance and differentiation in colon cancer. To this end, we will use a modified yeast two hybrid system, mouse models, clinical association analyses, high-throughput approaches, single cell technologies, patient-derived material and 3D organoids. The practical goals of our research are to understand how cell fates can be manipulated for inducing cancer cell differentiation. Our results will help to increase patient’s response to treatment with target-directed therapy.
Industry partner Carmen Pin, AstraZeneca
The studentships will commence in October 2020, and a stipend (£15,009 for 2019/20) and fee waiver for 3.5 years is available for UK applicants, plus research training support grant, travel and laptop allowance.
Fully funded studentships are available for UK applicants. EU applicants able to confirm that they have been resident in the UK for at least three years before October 2020 may also be eligible for a full award. EU students who are not able to prove that they meet the residency criteria may apply for a fees only award.
Interviews take place week commencing 17 February 2020.