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To investigate the pharmacological responses of senolytics in cancer

School of Pharmacy

About the Project

Chemotherapy causes cancer cells to become senescent and increased resistance to standard-of-care cancer therapies. Senescent cells stop dividing but remain metabolically active. Moreover, senescent cancer cells secrete mediators that increase inflammation and modulate tumour microenvironment cells. Chemotherapy also causes senescence in normal cells of patients receiving these therapies. This affects the immune responses in these patients and creates metastatic niches that can promote cancer progression. The senolytics are a new class of drugs that kill/remove senescent cells but their application in the treatment of cancer is unknown. This PhD will evaluate the pharmacology of treating cancer senescent cells with senolytics while also elucidating the underlying tumour characteristics associated with a good/poor response to these drugs.

In this PhD, we will employ routine cell and molecular biology techniques to study the drug responses in cancer cell models. You will gain experience in RNAi and protein over-expression techniques, the study of intracellular signalling and a variety of in vitro assays to measure key hallmarks of tumorigenesis and drug responses in cancer cells and tumour microenvironment immune cells. Novel results will be tested in in vivo models and/or clinically relevant samples.

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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