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Personalised Medicine for Breast and Ovarian Cancer

School of Pharmacy

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Dr N Buckley , Prof Helen McCarthy No more applications being accepted Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding

About the Project

One in two people will develop cancer in their lifetime and it is a leading cause of death. While significant progress has been made in the treatment of some cancers, there still remain some forms of the disease with limited treatment options and poor outcome.
Our research approach focuses on the integration of in vitro, in vivo, bioinformatics and pathology approaches to identify key pathways underpinning poor outcome and uses detailed knowledge of this biology to identify appropriate targeted treatment options, personalising therapy in areas of unmet clinical need such as Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) and ovarian cancer.
While TNBC only accounts for 15-20% of all breast cancer cases, it associated with high rates of relapse and a dipropionate high number of deaths. Using gene expression from patient samples we have identified a number of key genes and pathways that we believe are playing a key role in TNBC. We now want to study these in more detail to elucidate their potential role in disease progression and/or response to treatment. These genes may be to as diagnostic and/or prognostic biomarkers as well as targets for the development of novel treatment strategies.

In addition, our research focuses on improving current treatment options using a number of strategies. This includes the development of predictive biomarkers to identify patients most likely to gain clinical benefit as well as harnessing pharmaceutical strategies, such as nanoparticle drug delivery systems in collaboration with Prof Helen McCarthy, to maximise clinical benefit and minimise off target toxicity.

Funding Notes

Applicants should have a 1st or 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Relevant subjects include Pharmacy, Molecular Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biochemistry, Biological/Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, or a closely related discipline. Students who have a 2.2 honours degree and a Master’s degree may also be considered, but the School reserves the right to shortlist for interview only those applicants who have demonstrated high academic attainment to date.

Important, applicants must fulfil the eligibility criteria set out by the Department for the Economy which can be found at this link:


Twitter : @DRNiamhBuckley
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