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Medical and Health Care Studies: Cancer Therapeutics: Fully Funded KESS II PhD Scholarship: Therapeutic targeting of vulnerabilities in mTORC1 overactive tumours

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 22, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

*This scholarships is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.*

Inappropriate activation of mammalian/mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is common in cancer and has many cellular consequences including impaired stress responses. These abnormal stress responses can be targeted to develop new therapeutic approaches to the treatment of cancer.

We have recently identified that genetically defined mTORC1 hyperactive tumour cells are sensitive to a combination of endoplasmic reticulum stress inducing drugs (Johnson et al, 2018). This studentship will build upon this and develop additional therapeutic strategies that target stress responses in mTORC1 hyperactive cells, in a variety of in vitro models. The work will encompass a broad range of cell culture and molecular biology techniques.

The successful applicant will be registered as a postgraduate research student at Swansea University Medical School ( under the primary supervision of Professor Conlan. However, the student will be based in the North Wales Clinical Research Centre (NWCRC). The NWCRC consists of a team of clinicians, scientists, and nurses, who collectively undertake clinical research involving many clinical disciplines, such as oncology, urology, ENT, pain management, audiology, and cardiology ( The research will be undertaken as part of collaboration between a mixture of basic scientists, with broad research experience, and clinicians, trained in oncology and genetics, from NWCRC, Cardiff University and Swansea University. During the course of the project there will be opportunities to undertake laboratory work in Swansea and/or Cardiff University (

Scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners including SMEs and micro companies, as well as public and third sector organisations. The scholarship provides 3 years of funding with a 6 month period to complete the thesis. The achievement of a postgraduate skills development award, PSDA, is compulsory for each KESS II scholar and is based on a 60 credit award. Aspects of this training will require the student to undertake courses at Swansea University.

Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree a life science degree (such as Biochemistry or Biology, as examples), or a related subject.

They should also be eligible for UK/EU Fees.

We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit –

For this scholarship students must also have:

- a home address in East Wales (details below)* at the time of registration and enrolment
- the right to take up paid work in the East Wales Area* on completion of the scholarship
*East Wales area covers: Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff, Newport, Monmouthshire, Powys, Wrexham and Flintshire

Funding Notes

The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend. The bursary will be limited to a maximum of £14,483 p.a. dependent upon the applicant's financial circumstances.

There will also be additional funds available for research expenses.

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