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Novel targeted cytotoxic chemotherapy for colorectal cancer

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 30, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This is one of three new fully-funded PhD studentships in the new Institute of Cancer Therapeutics Doctoral Training Centre (ICT-DTC) at the University of Bradford. Focused on the generation of new anticancer prodrugs, the ICT-DTC has been created following a major £2m investment by ICT spin-out company Incanthera Ltd.

Project Background
Metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) is largely incurable by conventional approaches and requiring the development of better therapeutics. Clinical studies indicate that increased levels of an enzyme known as cytochrome P450 2W1 (CYP2W1) positively correlate with the degree of tumour malignancy, as well as with decreased 10-year survival in patients with CRC. We have developed prodrugs of the duocarmycin family of natural products and shown in proof-of-concept studies that a lead prodrug (ICT2706) is selectively activated in CRC in vitro and in vivo.

To develop a new non-toxic prodrug therapy for colorectal cancer

Re-engineering of the duocarmycin scaffold through design and synthetic manipulations to discover novel prodrugs with clinical potential. Compounds with high affinity for CYP2W1 will be co-crystallised with the enzyme to provide mechanistic insight into the active site and function of the enzyme. Lead prodrug will be investigated in an appropriate in vivo CRC model.

Funding Notes

Studentships cover tuition fees, a tax free stipend (at standard MRC rates, £15,009 per annum 2019/20) for the duration programme and writing-up (3.5 years total) and a generous research budget. A travel fund is also provided for each student to guarantee participation in a national and international conference. Funding for specific training courses is also included in the DTC.


Entry requirements

At least 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacy or related subjects. A relevant Masters degree would be viewed favourably.
For full details of our entry requirements, please visit our website.

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