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  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 14, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This is project two of three.

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) have awarded funding to the Cancer Research UK City of London (CoL) Centre to create a CRUK Radiation Research Unit - RadNet ( The unit will feature an ambitious research programme for radiation oncology and radiation biology. This network will accelerate the development of advanced radiotherapy techniques, challenging the boundaries of this mainstay treatment through world-first exploratory projects.

Via the Department of Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering at UCL, CRUK CoL is inviting applications for 3 x 4-year studentships to be based across the CoL partners, with 3 x 2month research placements across the Centre.

This PhD studentship are an ideal opportunity for outstanding applicants with a scientific background who would like to carry out research projects in radiation biology, cancer and radiotherapy.

PhD students will follow the four-year CRUK CoL Centre PhD training programme ( and will be based in their primary supervisor’s research group. Students will register for their PhD at the primary supervisor’s university. All students will have a three-person thesis committee made up of Centre faculty that they will meet with regularly to discuss progress and receive guidance and advice. In addition to carrying out their PhD research and participating in core mandatory activities, including taking part in multi-disciplinary radiation research workshops and seminars and participating in CoL cohort-building activities, each trainee will have a ‘customised’ training programme, which will be developed with their supervisors taking into account the trainee’s background and PhD project needs. The ‘customised’ elements of the programme will include short research placements, and training in a vast range of scientific and transferable skills, accessible via the Centre partners and beyond. There will also be a strong emphasis on career mentoring and support.

Project Information

In this PhD doctoral study, we will use preclinical disease models such as patient derived tumour organoids (PDOs) and syngeneic tumour models1, to address how radiotherapy may impact on the ability of T cells (including anti-GD2 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells2) to penetrate into the core of the tumour. We postulate that treatment resistance or disease recurrence following radiotherapy may be due to the inability of the immune cells to penetrate into the core of the tumour even though radiotherapy has ‘sensitised’ immune recognition.

Besides the main laboratory (Anderson lab) that provides training and knowledge on pediatric oncology and immunotherapy, the successful candidate will learn to use multiphoton optical imaging to visualise the cancer:immune interaction in 3D (Ng, KCL/UCL) as well as whole body imaging (Sosabowski, QMUL).

More detailed information about the research project is available on request from Professor John Anderson at .

Person Specification

Suitable candidates must have a minimum upper second-class Honours degree in an associated discipline, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. They must also have knowledge of molecular biology, immunology and imaging. Experience of laboratory techniques such as tissue culture, FACS, confocal microscopy and in vivo experience would also be desirable.


The closing date is 14th April 2020 and the anticipated start date is spring / summer 2020.
To apply for this studentship, you must submit only two documents:
1. Your full CV including a short summary (<500 words) detailing how your experience and ability matches the project and the person specification.
2. A single PDF file containing scans of two academic references, and the transcripts of your university degree(s) showing your unit/module marks.
These two documents should then be emailed to Michelle Craft, RadNet City of London project manager, at . Please write ‘Application for PhD Studentship [number, Title]’ in the subject line of the email.

Funding Notes

Funding will be for 4 years, with a tax free stipend of £21,000 per year plus UK/EU-level university fees. Due to funding body restrictions, only UK / EU nationals are eligible to apply for this programme.

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