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Targeting SGK3 in endocrine resistant cancers.

   Department of Medicine

Dublin Ireland Biochemistry Cell Biology Molecular Biology

About the Project

We are seeking to recruit an enthusiastic and highly motivated PhD candidate interested in cancer biology to join the Department of Surgery, based at the RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dublin. The Endocrine Oncology Research Group is a team focused on understanding how tumours utilise bioavailable steroids and the implications this may have on the development of resistance to endocrine therapy in cancer. How cancer cells adapt to an altered steroid state is unclear and we aim to address this using a combination of proteo-genomic analysis in the translational setting.

The successful candidate will deliver research focused on targeting of SGK3 in endocrine resistant cancers. We and others have identified SGK3 (Serum/Glucocorticoid Regulated Kinase Family Member 3) as a poor prognostic indicator in aromatase inhibitor resistant breast cancer. Importantly these alterations are associated with changes in the steroid microenvironment arising from therapy which is supported by our recent findings (Breast Cancer Res PMID: 26341737, Mol Cancer Ther PMID: 31289138, Clin Can Res PMID: 34016642).  

The main aim of this project is to gain a better understanding of how the androgen driven increase in SGK3 helps endocrine resistant cancers evade treatment. Using a novel SGK3-PROTAC1 degrader (developed by Prof Alessi, University of Dundee PMID: 31461270), and commercially available SGK3 inhibitors, we will explore the impact of SGK3 on cell growth and viability, metabolism and resistance to environmental stress. The second aim will be to develop clinical screening solutions to identify patient tumours vulnerable to SGK3 loss. 

Tenure: 4 years


  • Upper Second Class (2.1) honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.
  • Non-native English speakers are expected to have at least 6.5 in IELTS (academic) or equivalent.
  • Knowledge of current molecular and cell biology assays such as aseptic cell culture, proliferation assay, microscopy and protein biochemistry. 

How do I apply:

 To apply, please access the following link and complete the application form in full:

-Unfortunately, we are unable to provide individual feedback to applicants.

-Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview.

-At this stage only successful candidates will be contacted to submit, CV, transcripts and other relevant documentation.

- Only their referees will also be contacted at this stage for a reference.

Applications must include:

(i) a completed application form

(ii) English language requirements – see


All applications must be made online by 04 October 2021 (17:00 GMT). Interviews are expected to be conducted on November 3rd 2021.

It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure the application form is completed in full on time. Late and/or incomplete applications will not normally be assessed.

Further information on the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland can be found here:

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