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Investigating anti-metastatic drugs in human melanoma cells

Project Description

Metastasis is the term used to describe the movement of cancer cells from the primary site of disease to other areas of the body. Developing our understanding of the pathways and molecules orchestrating this process will help to identify potential drug targets, which in turn may lead to new therapies designed to specifically inhibit metastasis.

This aims of this project is to investigate the anti-metastatic potential of phytochemicals (drugs from plants), and to identify the molecular pathways altered by these drugs. The methods used will by quantitative PCR, immunoblotting, 3D tumour modelling assays, and confocal microscopy.

Academic qualifications
A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in Biological/Biomedical Sciences with a good fundamental knowledge of Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, and Biochemistry.

English Language requirement
IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:
Experience of fundamental molecular and cellular biology lab skills including : qPCR, cloning, immune blottin, tissue culture and microscopy
Competent in lab maths, research skills, data analysis, problem solving
Knowledge of cell signalling, cell migration, cancer biology
Good written and oral communication skills
Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project
Good time management

Desirable attributes
The prospective candidtate should have astrong desire to undertake a lab-based research project in cancer cell biology. There will be opportunities to present your research at seminars and conferenaces, so confidence in public speaking, and familiarity with presenting your work is desirable. Training and research progress meetings will occur throughout the duration of the PhD, hoever, due to teaching commitments of the supervisor, that candidate shouls have the ability to work autonomously.

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded position, although access to consumables is available


Cheng S, Castillo V, Eliaz I, Sliva D. Honokiol suppresses metastasis of renal cell carcinoma by targeting KISS1/KISS1R signaling. International Journal of Oncology. 2015 Jun;46(6):2293-8.
Francis VA, Abera AB, Matjila M, Millar RP, Katz AA. Kisspeptin regulation of genes involved in cell invasion and angiogenesis in first trimester human trophoblast cells. PloS One. 2014;9(6):e99680.

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