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VC International Scholarship in Cancer & Genetics - Developing targeted drugs to treat acute myeloid leukaemia

Project Description

AML is estimated to affect over 1 million individuals annually worldwide. Standard treatment based on chemotherapy fails for the majority of patients. Chemotherapy for this disease works by promoting oxidation in leukaemia cells. We have shown that AML cells defend themselves against this oxidation by producing very high levels of an enzyme called catalase which acts as an anti-oxidant. If we reduce the amount of this enzyme, AML cells become more susceptible to chemotherapy. Catalase is not essential to health so by inhibiting this enzyme we should be able to make treatments more effective and less toxic. To make this work for patients an important objective will be to identify a compound that will inhibit this enzyme. This aim will be carried out together with Professor Brancale (Pharmacy) who will identify candidate compounds that we can then test on patient material with the aim of sensitizing these cells to existing chemotherapy agents. The overall aim is to improve patient outcomes by reducing the amount of chemotherapy needed to effect a cure for this disease.

Funding Notes

Our VC’s International Scholarships for Research Excellence offers applicants the opportunity to join our internationally recognised research team, with expert research leaders for 3 years full time. The number of projects being advertised exceeds the number of Scholarships available, therefore funding is competitive and not guaranteed.

• A full waiver of overseas PhD tuition fees
• An annual stipend matching UKRI level (£15,285 for 2020/21)
• Research consumables, training
• Students may earn additional income supporting teaching



To be eligible for funding, applicants must be nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) from the world’s Least Developed and Other Low-Income Countries based on the DAC list of ODA Recipients 2020.


Applicants should possess a minimum of an upper second class Honours degree, master's degree, or equivalent in a relevant subject.
Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS)


This studentship has a start date of October 2020. In order to be considered you must submit a formal application via Cardiff University’s online application service. (To access the system click 'Apply Online' at the bottom of this advert)
There is a box at the top right of the page labelled ‘Apply’, please ensure you select the correct ‘Qualification’ (Doctor of Philosophy), the correct ‘Mode of Study’ (Full Time) and the correct ‘Start Date’ (October 2020). This will take you to the application portal.

In order to be considered candidates must submit the following information:
• CV
• Supporting Statement
• Qualification certificates
• Proof of English language (if applicable)
• In the research proposal section, please insert the title of the project you are applying to.
• when asked “Are you self-funding your research?”, select “No, I am not self-funding my research”
• when asked “Please provide the name of the funding you are applying for”, insert “V-C’s International Scholarship for Research Excellence”.

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