Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher: Using Antibodies to Selectively Deliver Pairs of Mechanistically Complementary Drugs to Cancer Cells - Ref:1864950
Applications are invited for a 36-month PhD Studentship fully funded by the H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action and is available from June 2020. The successful candidate will be based in the Department of Chemistry at UCL and be registered as a PhD student at UCL to work with Dr Vijay Chudasama and Dr James Baker. The successful candidate will also go on secondments (lasting a few months) to different teams of the Targeted Anti-Cancer Therapies (TACT) Consortium.
Poor therapeutic efficacy and resistance are two major remaining challenges faced by conventional Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs), a category of therapeutic that has classically been based on the attachment of a single type of cytotoxic drug to an antibody that targets an antigen that is highly over-expressed on certain cancer cells. A major hurdle in eliciting reliable and effective responses is the inter- and intra-heterogeneity of tumours. Most tumours contain highly diverse cell populations, including proliferating and non-proliferating cells. Such widely diverse cell populations are often sensitive to different chemotherapeutics and a single cytotoxic agent is thus unlikely to produce a satisfactory response.
Our aim is to explore and solve this issue by using antibodies to selectively deliver pairs of mechanistically complementary drugs to cancer cells. The current objective is to compare the effects of using antibody targeting to deliver a combination of drugs versus classical single drug class ADCs. The student will contribute to the design, development and implementation of new chemical methods for antibody conjugation.
This is an exciting opportunity for a student with a strong chemistry background to tackle one of the biggest problems in science. A Chemistry-based degree with a strong knowledge of Organic Chemistry is an essential requisite, while some expertise in chemical biology or peptide chemistry is desirable. The successful candidate will join a group of highly motivated scientists (3 post-doctoral Research Associates, 9 PhD students and 3 MRes students) working at UCL to use organic chemistry to solve biological problems. The student will gain experience of direct collaboration within the EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network, which is a European Training Network offering the opportunity to motivated international Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to address the tremendous challenge of developing next-generation Targeted Anti-Cancer Therapies by training a new generation of scientists to think big, but also to work methodically and logically alongside colleagues from academia and industry.
The starting date for the contract is expected to be 1st September 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.
The successful candidate must demonstrate eligibility according to the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions eligibility requirements as an Early-Stage Researcher (ESR). At the date of recruitment, the candidate must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. A Master degree (MSc or MChem) in Chemistry or related area as well as knowledge of modern research techniques in Organic Chemistry is essential.
Guide for applicants Marie Sklodowska--Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks (ITN) 2018, at the link http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/other/guides_for_applicants/h2020-guide-appl-msca-itn_en.pdf
The first day of employment of the Fellow for the purposes of the project (i.e. the starting date indicated in the employment /fellowship contract or equivalent direct contract).
The applicant can be of any nationality, but must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the date of recruitment.
Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.
Candidates must be able to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Where required this may include entry clearance or continued leave to remain under the Points Based Immigration Scheme.
Interested candidates are strongly advised, prior to applying, to read carefully the Job Description & Person Specification below.
Applicants should include a CV and cover letter clearly explaining their interest in the ESR position and in investigating the origins of life and outline their eligibility for the ESR position.
Informal inquiries can be directed to Dr Vijay Chudasama at [Email Address Removed].
Any queries on the application process can be directed to Judith James at [Email Address Removed], and [Email Address Removed].
We particularly welcome female applicants and those from an ethnic minority, as they are under-represented within UCL at this level.
We will consider applications to work on a part-time, flexible and job share basis wherever possible.
Closing Date25 May 2020
Latest time for the submission of applications23.59
Interview date TBC
Salary (inclusive of London allowance) £37,730 - £46,950 per annum ( MCT grade)