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Targeting BRAF mutant colorectal cancer using a combination of endoplasmic reticulum stress activators with inhibitors of the DNA repair pathways


Project Description

Colorectal cancer (CRC) remains the 2nd most common cause of cancer death. BRAF mutated (MT) CRC occurs in 10% of CRC and these CRC patients do not respond efficiently to standard chemotherapeutic therapies and have the lowest overall outcome. New ways of treating BRAFMT CRC are therefore needed. QUB has shown that BRAFMT CRC cells have “hijacked” a process, called the ‘endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway’ in order to survive. We propose to use a combined of drugs that can overload this process with the aim of stressing BRAFMT cancer cells to a point where they can no longer survive, dying in a process known as apoptosis, a form of cell suicide.

The aim of the proposal is to use a range of cellular and molecular biology techniques to test this hypothesis. The ultimate goal is to increase quality of life and survival of these patients. The research will take place at QUB (CCRCB, Belfast) that has a clear mission to improve patient care through the development of new therapeutic approaches with a secondment of 6-9 months at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant public health, psychology, economics, social sciences, mathematical, engineering, pharmacy, microbiology or computer science subject.

English Language

Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score.

The minimum recommended score for the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science is:
• IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years;
• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17);
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
• A valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A; or
• A first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking.

For a list of English Language qualifications also accepted by the School and University please see the following link:
http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/Applying/English-language-requirements/#English

The English Language Unit (ELU) offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained from the ELU http://www.qub.ac.uk/tefl/

Funding Notes

*FUNDING CONFIRMED – Department for the Economy (DfE)* supported by MERCK

Eligibility for both fees (£4327 for 2019/20) and maintenance (£17000 for 2019/20) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship.

Non UK residents who hold EU residency may also apply but if successful may receive fees only.

For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on the following link: View Website

References

Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Cancer Research & Cell Biology, website for further details about the Centre:

http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentreforCancerResearchCellBiology/

When applying, please choose 'MEDICINE' as your subject area/School.

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