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Investigating how cancer cells hijack immune cell mechanisms to cross endothelial barriers

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  • Full or part time
    Prof V Sanz Moreno
    Prof S Nourshargh
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Our Institute has an international reputation for cancer research, with world renowned experts in the field.
As part of our comprehensive training programme, fully funded by Cancer Research UK, we have funding for 3 PhD studentships to commence in September 2020.
Our training programme aims to develop a cohort of scientists equipped both intellectually and technically to conduct the highest quality research on cancer.
Our research degrees are supplemented by a comprehensive support programme, providing training in a wide range of biomedical laboratory methods and other vital transferable skills.

Metastasis is responsible for over 90% of cancer deaths. Migration and invasion underlie metastasis, and physical interactions between cancer cells and the surrounding tissue guide these processes. Key limiting steps in cancer cell dissemination are intravasation and extravasation, responses that describe the migration of cancer cells into and out of blood vessels, respectively. Due to the complexity of studying these events in vivo, the molecular and cellular basis of cancer cell interactions with blood vessel walls are not fully understood. A better characterization of such responses will allow therapeutic targeting of cancer spread in the clinic. To address this objective, the supervisors aim to take advantage of their collective expertise in cancer and immune cell migration. It is hypothesized that highly invasive and metastatic cancer cells use similar mechanisms to leukocytes to breach blood vessel walls. Specifically, we propose that the hyper-permeability nature of the local microenvironment of primary tumours promotes leakage of endogenously generated chemotactic cues such as chemokines into the blood stream, thus promoting a gradient towards the vascular lumen that attracts cancer cells to migrate into the blood circulation. This novel hypothesis will be addressed by cutting edge methodology, including advanced molecular, cellular and microscopy methods.

Academic Entry Requirements

This studentship is open to graduates with either:
- a 2:1 or 1st degree in a related subject; or,
- a 2:2 in a related subject with a subsequent MSc awarded with Merit or Distinction
If your degree has not yet been awarded but you are expected to meet the above entry requirements, you are welcome to apply.

English Language Requirements

Applicants for whom English is not a first language will also require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (with 6.0 in the written component), or equivalent, unless your undergraduate degree was studied in, and awarded by, an English speaking country.

Funding Notes

This studentship includes the following funding for 3 years:

- A tax-free annual stipend of £21,000
- Tuition fees at the Home/EU rate
- Project consumables

The funding for this studentship only covers tuition fees at the home/EU rate. Overseas applicants are welcome to apply, but will be required to fund the difference in tuition fees

Part-time students will receive pro-rata funding for 6 years.

How good is research at Queen Mary University of London in Clinical Medicine?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 144.11

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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