Imperial College London Featured PhD Programmes
University College London Featured PhD Programmes
University of Bristol Featured PhD Programmes
University of Edinburgh Featured PhD Programmes
University of East Anglia Featured PhD Programmes

Identifying mechanisms leading to improved prostate cancer outcomes in statin users

Project Description

Evidence from epidemiological studies supports a role for the cholesterol-lowering statins in improving prostate cancer outcomes, but mechanisms are not understood. Using data from a large epidemiologic study, we identified a potential role for statins in modifying endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Lipid droplet formation is an important mechanism for alleviating ER stress and our preliminary data show that the number of lipid droplets increase with increasing prostate tumour grade. Moreover, a lipid droplet gene signature predicts poor outcome in prostate cancer patients. Statins regulate lipid droplet formation in several diseases but there are no studies to date in prostate cancer. The purpose of this multidisciplinary project is to test ER stress and lipid accumulation as mechanisms contributing to improved prostate cancer outcomes in statin users. To achieve this, we will integrate epidemiologic methods and molecular tumour profiling to build a unique prostate cancer dataset in which to explore these pathways using a bioinformatics approach, alongside laboratory experiments to test effects of statins on these pathways in vitro. Results from this project will provide novel mechanistic evidence supporting a role for statins in lethal prostate cancer prevention and identify biomarkers of statin response which could be used in statin clinical trials.


Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant biomedical or life sciences subject.

English Language

Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score.

The minimum recommended score for the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science is:
• IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years;
• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17);
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
• A valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A; or
• A first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking.

For a list of English Language qualifications also accepted by the School and University please see the following link:

INTO Queen’s English Language Courses offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained at:

Funding Notes

*FUNDING CONFIRMED – Department for the Economy (DfE) Award*

Eligibility for both fees (£4,327 for 2019/20, 2020/21 TBC) and maintenance (£15,009 for 2019/20, 2020/21 TBC) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship.

Non UK residents who hold EU residency may also apply but if successful may receive fees only.

For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on the following link: View Website


Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, website for further details about the Centre:

When applying, please choose 'MEDICINE' as your subject area/School.

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2019
All rights reserved.