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Investigating how platelet-derived ncRNAs are altering the genetics of breast cancer cells

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Platelet-derived microparticles (PMPs) are capable of delivering non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) to cells that modulate gene expression. The profile of ncRNAs present in PMP is altered in type-2 diabetic (T2DM) patients and we hypothesise that this difference may contribute to the increased incidence and severity of breast cancer in T2DM women. To this end, we have gathered preliminary data demonstrating that T2DM PMPs contain increased levels of an oncogenic ncRNA that PMPs deliver to breast cancer cells, driving cellular proliferation. This project will investigate the effect of T2DM PMPs on the metastatic phenotype of breast cancer cells and establish the requirement of ncRNAs identified above in these processes.

Techniques and Methodology
qRT-PCR, BrdU assays, microplate fluorometry, scratch wound assays, transwell Boyden chamber assays, RNAi., general molecular biology techniques (western blotting, gene cloning, immunofluorescence).

Impact on breast cancer research
Oncogenic ncRNAs are a recently discovered and poorly understood group of master transcriptional regulators that when overexpressed drive breast cancer metastasis. This research will add to this important and emerging field of breast cancer research by investigating our novel observation that PMPs are able to deliver oncogenic ncRNA to breast cancer cells, increasing cellular proliferation. Moreover, it will provide valuable insight into the genetic basis underpinning the increased breast cancer incidence and mortality rates observed for T2DM woman.


Entry requirements

At least 2:1 honours degree and/or merit at MSc level in Chemistry, Pharmaceutical or Biomedical Science.
For full details of our entry requirements, please visit our website.

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