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Novel Multifunctional Nanoparticle for Advanced Prostate Cancer (AL-JAMALU16SF)

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr W Al-Jamal
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Prostate cancer (PC) is the most common type of cancer and the second cause of death in men in the UK. PC has been primarily treated with radiotherapy and/ or hormonal therapy. Hormonal drugs have been developed to block the activity of endogenous testosterone, which plays an important role in cancer prognosis. This approach is effective at the early stages of the treatment; however, overtime androgen-independent PC cells develop. Therefore, a renewed interest in a novel therapy to manage this disease has emerged. Preclinical studies showed a range of effective anti-cancer drugs against PC; however, their systemic toxicity have limited their clinical use to treat recurrent and metastatic hormone refractory PC.

The project focuses on designing multifunctional nanoparticles for prostate cancer therapy. The scientific approach of this project is to identify a new target that is overexpressed in advanced (hormone-independent) prostate cancer cells. Targeted nanoparticles will encapsulate cancer therapeutics to enhance tumour accumulation and reduce systemic toxicity. The developed multifunctional nanoparticles will be characterised and their biological activity in vitro and in vivo will be evaluated. This highly interdisciplinary project combines expertise in chemistry, biophysics, and biology and will provide a unique opportunity for excellent students to work in a stimulating multidisciplinary teams.
The successful candidate: will be a highly motivated, hard-working graduate holding a good honors degree in chemistry, pharmaceutical or biological sciences, ideally at Masters level and with some experience of qualitative research. The candidate will have excellent communication and organizational skills; previous experiences with nanoparticles, drug delivery or prostate cancer will be welcome. Sound knowledge in analytical techniques for the characterization of nanomaterials will be an advantage.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


i) Al-Jamal WT and Kostarelos K (2011) Liposomes: from a clinically established drug delivery system to a nanoparticle platform for theranostic nanomedicine. Accounts of Chemical Research, 44 (10). pp. 1094-1104.
ii) Bandari RP et al (2014) Synthesis and biological evaluation of copper-64 radiolabeled
[DUPA-6-Ahx-(NODAGA)-5-Ava-BBN(7-14)NH2], a novel bivalent targeting vector having affinity for two distinct biomarkers (GRPr/PSMA) of prostate cancer. Nuclear Medicine and Biology 41 (2014) 355–363.

iii) Ferna´ndez-Martı´nez AB et al (2009) Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Behaves as a Pro-Metastatic Factor inhuman Prostate Cancer Cells. The Prostate 69:774 -786.

iv) Mandelin J et al (2015) Selection and identification of ligand peptides targeting a model of castrate-resistant osteogenic prostate cancer and their receptors. PNAS 24;112(12):3776-81.

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