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The DNA Damage Response in Cancer

Project Description

The MRC Toxicology Unit is a leading international research institute within the School of Biological Sciences in the University of Cambridge. The research environment provides state of the art research facilities, with excellent opportunities for collaborative interaction within a vibrant community at the University of Cambridge.


Cancer formation is the result of several alterations in the proteins that control the response to environmental stress, including DNA Damage Agents, as well as genes that control cell survival, cell proliferation or cell death. A crucial role here is exerted by p53, that, conversely, is mutated in over half of all human tumours. In the last decade two homologues of p53 have been identified: p63, involved in epithelial development, and p73, involved in toxicity, cancer and neurodegeneration. The project aims to understand the mechanisms of p53, mutated p53 and its family members regulation during normal conditions and upon insults and to define how these transcription factors influence gene expression, epigenetic landscape and the outcome and severity of cellular and organismal response to insults.

This project represents an ideal opportunity to learn a range of state-of-the-art techniques including, basic cell biology, molecular biology and bioinformatics tools to dissect the in vitro and in vivo mechanisms of cancer development.

There are a variety of training modules and courses which students are encouraged to attend. In addition, students follow the Toxicology Unit’s weekly external and internal seminar programs and are included in the postdoc/student forums which take place each month and offers excellent opportunities for collaboration and career development.

It is recommended that you contact the supervisor prior to making your formal application:

This studentship is for four years commencing October 2019 with an annual stipend of £15,000 (tax free).

Further information on the Melino lab can be found at:

Queries regarding the project and your suitability can be e-mailed in the first instance to

Funding Notes

Candidates must expect to obtain qualifications at the level of a first-class or 2.1 Honours Degree in a biological science or related discipline.

This advert will remain open until Friday, 28th June 2019 or until a suitable candidate is found. Please check the Toxicology Unit website for updates: View Website

Full funding is available to UK and EU applicants only. International candidates may apply but will need to fund the difference. The University offers a number of competitions for funding, please see: here View Website

For further information regarding eligibility please visit: View Website

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