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Ultrasensitive prostate cancer screening based on miRNA sensing from whole blood

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Current tests for the diagnosis, prognosis and stratification of prostate cancer suffer from two main drawbacks, being either invasive (requiring tissue biopsies) or inaccurate and therefore unreliable. Recent studies have highlighted the potential of microRNA (miRNA) as a minimally-invasive diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for various cancer types, including prostate. The main challenges with current miRNA sensing strategies relate to the naturally low abundance of these biomarkers in bodily fluids and high sequence homology between fragments. Besides, most technologies available to date cannot detect such biomarkers directly from whole blood and require heavy sample processing, which in the absence of standardised protocols can be a major source of error. While miRNAs have been reported as promising diagnostic biomarkers for prostate cancer, the lack of technologies enabling their direct and accurate detection from blood has prevented their broader use in new screening tests. As part of this project, we propose to improve diagnostic specificity beyond the PSA test by performing multiplexed detection of up to 5 miRNA biomarkers. This innovative technology has the potential to enable new blood tests for prostate cancer and future point-of-care devices, decreasing diagnostic uncertainty and improving quality of life.

Supervisory Team

Prof Joshua Edel (
Dr Sylvain Ladame (
Dr Alex Ivanov ( )
Prof Charlotte Bevan (

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