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PhD in Cancer Research - Investigating the roles of PARP and ligase inhibitors in preventing escape from telomere crisis.

  • Full or part time
    Prof D Baird
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, February 28, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Telomere crisis (TC) is a natural defence mechanism against cancer. TC happens when the ends of human chromosomes, called telomeres, start to abnormally join with each other, causing cells to die. Precancerous tissue or early stage cancers often show the signs of TC, suggesting that escape from TC is a prerequisite for disease initiation or progression. Thus, stopping cells from overcoming the barrier of TC represents an attractive and yet unexplored way to prevent cancer development.
We recently discovered that two different types of drugs, called PARP inhibitors and ligase inhibitors strongly prevent human cells from overcoming TC. However, it is unclear how these drugs work. We propose that they stimulate abnormal joining of telomeres and increase DNA damage to kill cells during TC. In this project, we will use several complementary approaches to test these hypotheses. In addition, we will examine the possibility of using these drugs to kill crisis cells isolated from patients with early stage chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. The student will be trained in the basic research fields of telomere biology, DNA damage response and pharmacology as well as translational research involving clinical samples from CLL patients.
Overall, this project will lead to novel drugs that target TC to prevent cancer initiation or progression, and reveal which types of patients will benefit most from this innovative treatment.

Funding Notes

Cancer Research Wales will provide the funding covering full UK tuition fee, Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum, travel expense and research consumables for three years.
Applicants should provide a full CV and a cover letter to explain why they are interested in this studentship.
Applicants should possess a minimum of an upper second class Honours degree, master's degree, or equivalent in a relevant subject. In some cases, a medical degree and/or relevant professional qualifications or experience are required.
Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS).


In order to be considered you must submit a formal application via Cardiff University’s online application service. (to access the page click 'Apply Online' at the bottom of this advert)
There is a box at the top right of the page labelled ‘Apply’, please ensure you select the correct ‘Qualification’ (E.g. Doctor of Philosophy), the correct ‘Mode of Study’ (E.g. Full Time) and the correct ‘Start Date’ (E.g. October 2019). This will take you to the application portal.

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