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To develop an allosteric inhibitor of HDAC6 inhibition in cancer


School of Pharmacy

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Dr F Furlong , Dr I Tikhonova Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The HDAC6 protein is upregulated in cancer and associated with increased proliferation and metastasis. Several HDAC6 inhibitors have been developed and are in clinical trials. However, recent published data including data generated in our lab indicates that the enzymatic inhibition of HDAC6 in solid tumours is ineffective. The HDAC6 protein is a large protein with important protein scaffold properties and our current research is focused on determining the functions of each of the modular units of this protein in cancer cells in order to disrupt the protein scaffolding properties of HDAC6 under various cellular conditions.
In this PhD, we will employ routine cell and molecular biology techniques to study the enzymatic independent functions of HDAC6 in cell proliferation and migration. You will gain experience in protein over-expression techniques, the study of protein-protein interactions, intracellular signalling and a variety of in vitro assays to measure key hallmarks of tumorigenesis and drug responses in cancer cells. This is an exciting collaboration between Drs Fiona Furlong and Irina Tikhonova who’s expertise in receptor pharmacology and molecular modelling aim to design a new class of HDAC inhibitor drugs.

Funding Notes

Applicants should have a 1st or 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Relevant subjects include Pharmacy, Pharmacology, Molecular Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biochemistry, Biological/Biomedical Sciences, or a closely related discipline. Students who have a 2.2 honours degree and a Master’s degree may also be considered, but the School reserves the right to shortlist for interview only those applicants who have demonstrated high academic attainment to date


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