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PhD Studentship – Role of autophagy in oncogenic RAS-induced invasive behaviour

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Y Wang
    Dr A Steele
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Autophagy, a process by which cells respond to starvation and other stresses by degrading damaged or unneeded parts to produce energy, is required to provide survival signals for tumour cells to achieve optimal growth, particularly those harbouring RAS mutations. Autophagy inhibition has thus been suggested as a viable strategy for targeting RAS-driven tumours. This project aims to understand the triggers and players within the autophagy machinery that are involved in oncogenic RAS-induced invasive behaviour, with a view to seeking biomarkers of aggressive disease and opportunities for clinical intervention. It will utilise molecular and cell biology approaches, along with advanced imaging techniques in combination with siRNA screens.

Funding Notes

The project is funded for 3 years and welcomes applicants from the UK and EU who have or expect to obtain at least an upper second class degree in Biological Sciences or allied subjects. Funding will cover fees and a stipend at current research council rates of £ 14,057 per annum.

Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK/EU applicants.


1. Wang Y, et al: Autophagic activity dictates the cellular response to oncogenic RAS. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2012, 109(33):13325-13330.
2. Wang Y, et al: Critical role for transcriptional repressor Snail2 in transformation by oncogenic RAS in colorectal carcinoma cells. Oncogene 2010, 29(33):4658-4670.
3. Wang Y, et al: ASPP2 controls epithelial plasticity and inhibits metastasis through beta-catenin-dependent regulation of ZEB1. Nat Cell Biol 2014, 16(11):1092-1104.

Applications for an MPhil/PhD in Biological Sciences should be submitted online at:

Please place Yihua Wang’s name in the field for proposed supervisor.

General enquiries should be made to Dr Yihua Wang at [email protected] Any queries on the application process should be made to [email protected]

After the deadline, all applications will be considered together and selected candidates will be invited for an interview.
The University of Southampton and the Centre for Biological Sciences both hold an Athena Swan Bronze Award, demonstrating their commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. Due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. University benefits include onsite childcare facilities, state-of-the-art on-campus sports, arts and culture facilities, a full programme of events and a range of staff discounts.

How good is research at University of Southampton in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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