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Investigating the role of USP17 in EMT


   School of Pharmacy

   Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

USP17 is over-expressed in a range of primary tumours (NSCLC, breast, colorectal, cervical, ovarian, osteosarcoma) and its depletion blocks the growth, and migration, of cells from all of these cancer types. As a result, USP17 represents a potential therapeutic target in these cancers.

Our lab has been working to explore the physiological function of USP17 to help us understand why it is important in these cancers, and how targeting this deubiquitinase will impact upon cancer and normal cells. We, and others, have shown that USP17 can impact upon molecules involved in epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), a cellular program that can contribute to cancer progression, as well as to normal functions such as wound repair. Therefore, in this project we will further investigate the regulation of EMT by USP17 in both normal and cancer cells, to determine what this tells us about the normal function of USP17, and how this might contribute to cancer progression.   

The student will be part of a cross-disciplinary team based in the School of Pharmacy with Dr Burrows. The student will have the opportunity to learn a broad range of molecular and cell biology techniques. This project will also allow the student to gain skills in written and verbal scientific presentation skills.

The student will have the opportunity to learn a range of molecular biology, protein biochemistry and cell biology related techniques as well as developing transferable skills such as written and verbal scientific presentation skills.

Home applicants must meet the following academic criteria:

1st or 2.1 honours degree in a relevant subject. Relevant subjects include Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biochemistry, Biological/Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, or a closely related discipline.

International applicants must meet the following academic criteria:

IELTS (or equivalent) of 7.0, a 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) and a master’s degree in a relevant subject.


Funding Notes

Department for the Economy studentships are open for applications to Home and International applicants for October 2023 entry. Eligibility and funding information is available here: View Website

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