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MRC Precision Medicine DTP: Mapping the transcriptomic, genomic and breakomic landscape of radiation resistance in pancreatic carcinoma and glioblastoma

Project Description

Dr David Chang
Dr Ross Carruthers

PhD project summary:
The determinants of response to radiotherapy in common tumour sites remain largely enigmatic, with no clinically useful biomarkers of radiation sensitivity being available. Both pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and glioblastoma (GBM) are highly aggressive, treatment refractory tumours with poor survival, nonetheless radiation provides useful palliation or tumour response in a significant subset of patients. A precision medicine strategy to identify radiosensitive subtypes of tumours and radioresistant tumours which are amenable to radiation sensitization through inhibition of DNA repair is urgently needed to improve patient outcomes. This project will utilize genomic and transcriptomic data in combination with conventional laboratory based radiobiological assays as well as cutting-edge genomic mapping techniques to unravel the complex biological landscape of radiation resistance, allowing development of biomarkers to facilitate rational use of radiotherapy and DNA damage response inhibition in future early phase clinical trials in these tumour types.

This MRC programme is joint between the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. You will be registered at the host institution of the primary supervisor detailed in your project selection.

All applications should be made via the University of Edinburgh, irrespective of project location:

Please note, you must apply to one of the projects and you should contact the primary supervisor prior to making your application. Additional information on the application process is available from the links below.

For more information about Precision Medicine visit:

Main programme page:

Funding Notes

Start: September 2019

Qualifications criteria: Applicants applying for a MRC DTP in Precision Medicine studentship must have obtained, or will soon obtain, a first or upper-second class UK honours degree or equivalent non-UK qualifications, in an appropriate science/technology area.

Residence criteria: The MRC DTP in Precision Medicine grant provides tuition fees and stipend of at least £14,777 (RCUK rate 2018/19) for UK and EU nationals that meet all required eligibility criteria.

Full eligibility details are available: View Website

Enquiries regarding programme:

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