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PhD studentship Hexokinase 2 promotes brain tumour meningioma growth by metabolic rewiring


   Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry & Human Sciences

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  Prof Oliver Hanemann  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

DoS Oliver Hanemann ([Email Address Removed], tel.: +44 1752 437418)

2nd Supervisor Leandro José de Assis ([Email Address Removed])

3rd Supervisor Jane Carré ([Email Address Removed])

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship should start on 1st Oct 2022 but 1st April 2022 is possible.

Project Description

The most common primary brain tumours are meningiomas, the analysis of hexokinase 2 (HK2) on grades II and III shows higher levels of HK2 compared to normal human meningeal tissue and meningioma grade I1. Tumour tissues due to uncontrolled growth rate overexpress HK2 and it is preferentially localized in the mitochondria interacting with proteins and controlling cell survival and masking cancer cells due to reduced interferon production that plays a role in cancer immune surveillance2,3. Thus, understanding how HK2 controls cancer development allows us to identify potential targets for drug intervention and cancer control. Our preliminary data showed meningioma presents higher levels of HK2. Indeed, HK2 showed higher expression in higher grade samples, II and III.

This Ph.D. sits in the Brain Tumour centre of excellence with about 25 researchers working in state of the art facilities https://www.braintumourresearch.org/research/university-of-plymouth-virtual-lab-tour. The project aims to characterize the role of HK2 on meningioma and to understand the effect on meningioma development after HK2 depletion. This project proposes to understand the mechanistic regulation of HK2 on cancer metabolism identifying possible targets for drug development and cancer treatment, training will be provided for the development of both knowledge and technical skills to enable the trainee to conduct high-quality and independent research. 

Eligibility

Applicants should have (at least) a first or upper second-class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant MSc or MRes qualification.

The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home tuition fees plus a stipend of £15,609 per annum (2021/22 rate, uplift will apply for 2022/23). The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between the Home and the overseas tuition fee rates (approximately £12,670 per annum for 2022/23).

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Prof C Oliver Hanemann. [Email Address Removed].

For further information on research studentships at the University of Plymouth and to apply for this position please visit: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/student-life/your-studies/research-degrees/postgraduate-research-studentships and select the studentship you would like to apply for. Please clearly state the name of the studentship that you are applying for on your personal statement.

Please see here for a list of supporting documents to upload with your application. 

For more information on the admissions process generally, please contact [Email Address Removed]

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 18/02/2022. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview later in June. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received an offer of a place should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.


Funding Notes

The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home tuition fees plus a stipend of £15,609 per annum (2021/22 rate, uplift will apply for 2022/23). The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between the Home and the overseas tuition fee rates (approximately £12,670 per annum for 2022/23).

References

1. Dunn, J. et al. Proteomic analysis discovers the differential expression of novel proteins and phosphoproteins in meningioma including NEK9, HK2 and SET and deregulation of RNA metabolism. EBioMedicine 40, 77–91 (2019).
2. Zhang, W. et al. Lactate Is a Natural Suppressor of RLR Signaling by Targeting MAVS. Cell 178, 176-189.e15 (2019).
3. Ciscato, F. et al. Hexokinase 2 displacement from mitochondria‐associated membranes prompts Ca 2+ ‐dependent death of cancer cells . EMBO Rep. 21, 1–13 (2020).
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