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VC International Scholarship in Cancer & Genetics - immune cell profiling of lymphoid malignancies

Project Description

Lymphoid malignancies represent a major category of blood cell cancers that encompass both slow developing and fast growing diseases. Conventional treatment usually involves a combination of chemotherapy and monoclonal antibody. Unfortunately, relapse is common and patients can become refractory to further treatment. Recently, less toxic therapies involving targeting of tumour cell signaling pathways (Ibrutinib) or adoptive T cell therapy (CAR-T) have been successfully tested in clinical trials. Research for these has focused on response rates and incidence of adverse side effects. However the non-malignant immune cells (T cells) have received little attention. This project will undertake a comprehensive profiling of T cells in relationship to therapy of CLL and DLBCL. For CLL, T cells will be phenotypically (differentiation, exhaustion) and functionally assessed before and after treatment with Ibrutinib (BTK inhibitor). For DLBCL, a similar analysis will be performed on patients undergoing CAR-T cell therapy. A control group of age matched healthy donors will also be assessed. The overall aim is to understand how these new therapies impact upon an important component of the adaptive immune response. The project will identify key T cell signatures that associate with response to therapy and to provide a snapshot of immune health.

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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