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Role of S100A6 in acute myeloid leukaemia

   Cardiff School of Medicine

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  Prof Alex Tonks, Dr Steven Knapper, Prof R Darley  No more applications being accepted  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project


Over 3000 cases of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) are diagnosed in the U.K annually and for the majority of patients, chemotherapy fails and long-term survival of patients is poor; the outlook for patients over 60 is particularly poor (15% survival). Since current treatment strategies have reached their limit, hope for improvement in patient outcomes now lies in the development of targeted agents that can be used together with chemotherapy. We recently reported that several S100A proteins are dysregulated in AML (Alanazi et al, 2020) including S100A6 which is frequently overexpressed in AML. We now propose to examine the importance of this protein in AML development.


I.           To determine the effect of over-expression or knock-down of S100A6 on haematopoeitic cell growth, survival and differentiation of leukaemia cell lines and a human primary cell model;

II           To identify the critical target genes dysregulated by S100A6 by using gene expression profiling (RNAseq) of myeloid leukaemia cell lines lacking S100A6 expression using genetic knockdown (compared with equivalent control cultures);

II.          To test the effect of putative critical S100A6 target gene on haematopoietic cell survival and proliferation by modulating their expression in leukaemia cell lines and a human primary cell model;

Training environment

The Division of Cancer and Genetics (DCG) is one of four research Divisions in the School of Medicine, based at the Heath Park Campus, Cardiff. It has around 150 staff and 40 PGR students, housed in four research buildings with well-equipped laboratories. Researchers within the Division also have access to Bioinformatic support through the Wales Gene Park, and the potential to collaborate with colleagues in the NHS All Wales Medical Genetics Service. As well as being a major contributor to School events, the Division has it's own weekly seminar program where students, post-docs, clinical research fellows and lab heads present their research. There is also an annual DCG PGR research day, which features student talks and a social event led by students. All PhD students in the School of Medicine undergo a week training course in research methods as part of their induction week and will have access to several courses on research skills through the Doctoral Academy. The School of Medicine currently has a 95% completion rate for PhD submissions.

The student will be based in Cardiff’s Blood Cancer Research UK Centre of Excellence within the Section of Haematology, DCG. The main research interest of the Department is haematological oncology, which has consistently submitted an outstanding International Profile for the REF assessments. The proposed supervisory team have a strong track record of research collaboration centred on understanding how molecular abnormalities associated with leukaemia contribute to disease pathogenesis. The proposed supervisors have been trained in supervision and have an excellent record of completion as well as progression of students to academic research.

For more project details email [Email Address Removed]

Entry Requirements  

Applicants should possess a minimum of an upper second class Honours degree, master's degree, or equivalent in a relevant subject. 

Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS). 

How to Apply  

This studentship has a start date of October 2023. In order to be considered you must submit a formal application via Cardiff University’s online application service.

There is a box at the top right of the page labelled ‘Apply’, please ensure you select the correct ‘Qualification’ (Doctor of Philosophy), the correct ‘Mode of Study’ (Full Time) and the correct ‘Start Date’ (October 2023). This will take you to the application portal. 

In order to be considered candidates must submit the following information: 

 • Supporting statement 

• CV 

• Qualification certificates 

• References x 2 

• Proof of English language (if applicable) 

International applicants are welcomed if the difference in fees can be covered. 

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