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Metabolic reprogramming and chemotherapy resistance in triple-negative breast cancer

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Treatment options for the triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtype of breast cancer are limited to conventional chemotherapy agents. Chemotherapy resistance is a major barrier to the successful treatment of TNBC. There is a critical need to identify novel and actionable strategies to circumvent resistance and enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy.

There has recently been renewed interest in understanding how reprogramming of cell metabolism promotes tumourigenesis. Our studies suggest that metabolic reprogramming is also a component of the highly coordinated response to chemotherapy exposure. The aims of this project will be to 1) identify adaptive metabolic reprogramming events triggered when TNBC cells are exposed to chemotherapy, and 2) identify novel therapeutic approaches to exploit adaptive metabolic reprogramming events and sensitize TNBC cells to chemotherapy. This research will lead to the identification of critical mechanisms driving chemotherapy resistance in TNBC and establish combination therapy strategies with potential to have a major impact on patient survival. Students will gain experience in mammalian cell culture, molecular biology techniques, metabolomics and stable-isotope labelling techniques.

The Brown laboratory investigates mechanisms that drive resistance to chemotherapy and targeted therapy agents in breast cancer.
This knowledge is applied to the pre-clinical development of novel and more effective interventions for breast cancer therapy.
https://www.petermac.org/research/labs/kristin-brown

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne Australia
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is Australia’s only public hospital solely dedicated to cancer, and home to the largest cancer research group in Australia. Cancer is a complex set of diseases, and modern cancer research institutes such as Peter Mac conduct research covering a diversity of topics that range from laboratory-based studies into the fundamental mechanisms of cell growth, translational studies that seek more accurate cancer diagnosis, clinical trials with novel treatments, and research aimed to improve supportive care.
All students engaged in postgraduate studies at Peter Mac are enrolled in the Comprehensive Cancer PhD (CCPhD) program, regardless of which university they are enrolled through. The program is managed by the Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology (The University of Melbourne), based at Peter Mac.

Tapping into the depth and breadth of knowledge and experience offered by the ten partners of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) alliance, the University of Melbourne’s Comprehensive Cancer PhD Program provides a unique opportunity for multidisciplinary cancer-related PhD candidates to experience clinical and research activities across the alliance.

The Comprehensive Cancer PhD program builds on established conventional training for cancer research students providing a coordinated program of skills, research and career training in addition to usual PhD activities. The program is designed to complement existing PhD activities and provides opportunities to develop professional skills that will help candidates to fulfil their career ambitions
https://www.petermac.org/education/comprehensive-cancer-phd-program

Funding Notes

All PhD students at Peter Mac must have a scholarship from The University of Melbourne or through another government, trust or philanthropic organisation. Before applying for a scholarship, you must have agreed on a project with an institute supervisor.

For further information about the university application process, see:
View Website

For further information regarding scholarships (both local and international), see:
View Website
Closing dates for applications for scholarships to commence in 2019: Round 1 -31 October 2018; Round 2 - 28 Nov 2018; Round 3 - 20 Feb 2019.

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