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Targeting the MAPK scaffold protein KSR1 for the treatment of prostate cancer


   Faculty of Life Sciences

  Dr Jurgen Muller, Prof Rob Falconer  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of male cancer deaths. It arises when individual cells escape their normal growth control mechanisms and proliferate in an uncontrolled fashion.

A key regulator of cellular proliferation is the ERK1/2 MAPK signalling pathway, which is significantly upregulated in advanced prostate cancer and has been shown to be involved in the transition to androgen-independent, advanced prostate cancer. MAPK signalling is regulated by scaffold proteins that assemble the signalling cascade into a macromolecular complex and provide spatial and temporal control over the signalling properties of MAPK pathways.

Our research has shown that the MAPK scaffold protein KSR1 is regulated by prostate metabolism, leading to the hypothesis that KSR1 is a suitable target for prostate cancer. This study is designed to address the molecular mechanisms that underlie the repression of ERK1/2 MAPK signalling in normal prostate cells and its deregulation in prostate cancer and to develop novel KSR1 inhibitors to treat prostate cancer.

Aims of the project:

  1. Determination of the mechanisms by which prostate metabolism regulates KSR1 and ERK1/2 MAPK signalling.
  2. Development of novel KSR1 inhibitors.
  3. Characterization of the KSR1 inhibitors in prostate cancer cells.

This project uses a number of innovative technologies, including biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, modern imaging systems, medicinal chemistry, as well as biological model systems. The research will take place at the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics at the University of Bradford; a highly active research environment with an excellent track record in PhD training and completion. You will be further supported by an active, ongoing education program.


Funding Notes

This is a self-funded PhD project; applicants will be expected to pay their own fees or have a suitable source of third-party funding. A bench fee of £10,000 per year also applies to this project. UK students may be able to apply for a Doctoral Loan from Student Finance for financial support.
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