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PhD Studentship in Cancer Biology - Single cell dissection of the clonal evolution of therapy resistant Burkitt lymphoma

Translational and Clinical Research Institute

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Dr S Bomken , Dr C Bacon No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Number of awards:

Start date and duration:
September 2020 for 4 years.

Are you interested in applying cutting-edge single cell genomics techniques to understand the determinants of cancer therapy resistance? Burkitt lymphoma is a highly aggressive cancer which requires intensive multi-agent chemo-immunotherapy to achieve cure. Whilst disease at presentation is usually very chemo-sensitive, for the minority of patients in whom the lymphoma returns, a dramatic shift is seen with very few people responding to treatment.
As one part of our programme of work identifying drivers of therapy resistance in Burkitt lymphoma, we have developed murine patient-derived xenografts - mouse models. These are being used to study clonal evolution of Burkitt lymphoma, response to chemotherapy and drivers of therapy resistance.
The successful applicant will generate PDX models of Burkitt lymphoma, analysing matched patient and PDX samples using bulk and single cell genomics approaches. Cross-disciplinary training will be delivered in animal research, sample preparation and bioinformatic analysis, supported by Newcastle University Comparative Biology Centre, Genomics Core Facility and Single Cell Units. The student will identify drivers of therapy resistance in vitro and in vivo, using suitable functional analyses to validate therapeutic candidates.

North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund (

Name of supervisor(s):
Dr S Bomken, Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Newcastle University (
Dr CM Bacon, Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Newcastle University (
Professor M Hanifa, Biosciences Institute, Newcastle University (
Eligibility Criteria
You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent in an appropriate subject including biochemistry, molecular biology or biomedical sciences. Further research experience or a master’s degree would be advantageous.
For international students, you will need to demonstrate an IELTS 6.5 score of overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills).

How to apply:
You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this select ‘How to Apply’ (, choose ‘Apply now’ and create an account.

All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk must be completed. You will need to:

• click on programme of study
• insert 8440F in the programme code section and click search
• select programme name ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences – Cancer Research’
• insert TC004 in the studentship/partnership reference field
• attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code TC004 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
• attach degree transcripts* and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualification.
*You will not be able to submit your application until you have submitted your degree transcript/s.

Funding Notes

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £15,285 (full award).
Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.
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