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MRC Precision Medicine DTP: Target autophagy and aberrant mitochondrial folate metabolism in leukaemic stem cells

Project Description

Dr Vignir Helgason
Dr Alexei Vazquez
Dr Zuzana Brabcova

Project summary:
Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) develops following a specific mutation in a single blood stem cell. Therefore, these cells serve as crucial target for therapeutic intervention. We have shown that patient-derived CML stem cells are not eradicated with currently available drugs. Therefore, drug combination therapy is required to cure CML patients. Our previous work has illustrated that autophagy (“self-eating”), a recycling process that maintains cell integrity, is an attractive target for CML stem cell eradication. We have also shown that CML stem cells rely on mitochondria metabolism for survival. This is an area of great importance in CML, and other stem cell driven cancer types where inhibition of autophagy/metabolism might also improve therapy. The overall aim of this project is to further understand how leukaemic stem cells use autophagy/mitochondrial metabolism to escape drug treatment and to test a newly developed pre-clinical inhibitors.

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 that your application along with any supporting documents will be shared between both the University of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

For information on ‘How to Apply’ is detailed here: https://www.gla.ac.uk/colleges/mvls/graduateschool/precisionmedicine/howtoapply/
Please note that all applications must be submitted via the University of Edinburgh: http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees/index.php?r=site/view&id=919

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

For more information about Precision Medicine visit: http://www.ed.ac.uk/usher/precision-medicine

Funding Notes

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 qualification, in an appropriate science/technology area.

Residence criteria: The MRC DTP in Precision Medicine grant provides tuition fees and stipend of at least £15,009 (RCUK rate 2019/20) 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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