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PhD studentship in Childhood Brain Tumour Research: Unlocking the translational potential of the MYC-dependent proteome in medulloblastoma using advanced cell-based 3D-modelling systems.

   Translational and Clinical Research Institute

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  Dr Louisa Taylor, Dr Rebecca Hill, Prof Steven Clifford  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project


Are you interested in developing advanced cell-based modelling systems for one of the most fatal brain tumours in childhood?

Medulloblastoma is the commonest malignant brain tumour of childhood. Amplification of the MYC proto-oncogene is characteristic of Group 3 medulloblastoma (MBGroup3). MYC-amplified MBGroup3 (MBGroup3-MYC) tumours are refractory to treatment and carry a devastating prognosis. Despite this, treatment for MBGroup3-MYC has not changed for decades. Reasons include, MYC is not directly targetable, MYC-associated biology is not well understood, and in vitro 2D pre-clinical models lack complexity and disease-relevance.

You will develop novel in vitro 3D-models of MBGroup3-MYC using isogenic MYC-regulable and patient-derived, cell-lines. You will develop scaffold-free and scaffolded 3D-models, combined with an integrative characterisation of their transcriptomes and (phospho-)proteomes. Bioinformatic approaches will cross-compare all MBGroup3-MYC 3D-models and assess their disease relevance in comparison with equivalent data from a large human tumour cohort. This integrated, cell-based 3D-modelling and characterisation of MBGroup3-MYC will be used to identify therapeutic targets for pre-clinical investigation and clinical translation. 

This studentship is embedded within the Paediatric Brain Tumour Group, Newcastle University Centre for Cancer, which has an international reputation for translational research in medulloblastoma. Furthermore, there will be opportunities to interact with multiple local and collaborating experts, providing a holistic overview of cutting-edge medulloblastoma research.

Number Of Awards


Start Date

September 2023

Award Duration

Four years


Children’s Cancer North and The Newcastle Hospitals Charity


Dr Taylor, Translational and Clinical Research Institute    

Dr Hill, Translational and Clinical Research Institute          

Professor Clifford, Translational and Clinical Research Institute             

Eligibility Criteria

You must have/expect to achieve at least a 2:1 honours degree or international equivalent in an appropriate subject including biomedical sciences, biochemistry or pharmacology.

The studentship covers fees at the home rate. All applicants will be considered but will be required to make up any deficit in fees.

Applicants whose first language is not English require an IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each subsection.

Knowledge/experience in molecular biology and tissue culture is desirable. Applicants must be willing to learn bioinformatics. An interest in brain tumour molecular biology is essential.  

How To Apply

Complete the University’s Apply to Newcastle Portal

  • Search for the ‘Course Title’ using the programme code: 8440F
  • Programme of study: 'PhD Translational and Clinical Research (FT)'

Provide the following information in the ‘Further Questions’ section:

  • ‘Personal Statement’ - upload a document/write a statement directly into the form.
  • Studentship code TC052 in the ‘Studentship/Partnership Reference’ field.
  • When prompted for how you are providing your research proposal select ‘Write Proposal’. Use the title of the project from this advert. You don’t need to upload anything.
  • Covering letter and CV. Use reference code TC052 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project. 
  • Degree transcripts/certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualification if completed. 

Contact Details

Dr Taylor, Translational and Clinical Research Institute ([Email Address Removed])

Dr Hill, Translational and Clinical Research Institute ([Email Address Removed])

Funding Notes

100% of home tuition fees and an annual stipend (£17,668). International candidates must fund the difference between home and international fees.
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