• University of Glasgow Featured PhD Programmes
  • University of Manchester Featured PhD Programmes
  • Lancaster University Featured PhD Programmes
  • University of Greenwich Featured PhD Programmes
  • University of Birmingham Featured PhD Programmes
  • Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine Featured PhD Programmes
  • University of Tasmania Featured PhD Programmes
  • University of Warwick Featured PhD Programmes
University of Birmingham Featured PhD Programmes
Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes
University of Liverpool Featured PhD Programmes
University of Glasgow Featured PhD Programmes
FindA University Ltd Featured PhD Programmes

Finding novel ways to treat cancers caused by viruses

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Viruses are associated with up to 15% of cancers worldwide, representing approximately 1.2 million cancer cases worldwide annually. We are primarily interested in studying the molecular biology of 2 of the 7 viruses that have been identified as human tumour viruses, Human Papillomavirus and Merkel cell polyomavirus.

The Macdonald laboratory utilises a range of cutting-edge approaches to globally identify how viral proteins affect the cellular environment. This is helping to identify essential virus-host cell interactions which we can target by novel antiviral strategies to inhibit virus replication and transformation. 

You will be involved in a highly novel project which utilises a multidisiplinary approach and cutting-edge methodology including quantitative proteomics, imaging, cell biology and structural-based rational drug design approaches to produce target compounds which may form the basis of future antiviral reagents.

The PhD will provide a wide range of molecular biology, cell culture and virological techniques.

More information on the Whitehouse lab can be found at : http://www.fbs.leeds.ac.uk/staff/Macdonald_A/

Informal enquiries please contact

Funding Notes

Self-funded students: International or domestic self-funded or scholarship/fellowship PhD students are always welcome to apply. International students must have a good command of both written and spoken English. Most importantly, bench fees will be required if you are self-funded. Applications can be made throughout the year.


Selected Macdonald group publications
37. Whitehouse & Macdonald (2015). Stathmin drives virus-induced metastasis. Oncotarget. In press.
36. Richards, Wasson, Watherston, Doble, Blair, Wittmann & Macdonald (2015). Human papillomavirus (HPV) E7 protein antagonises a novel imiquimod-induced inflammatory pathway in primary keratinocytes. Scientific Reports. 13;5: 12922.
35. Muller, Wasson, Bhatia, Boxall, Millan, Goh, Haas, Stonehouse & Macdonald (2015). YIP1 family member 4 (YIPF4) is a novel cellular binding partner of the papillomavirus E5 proteins. Scientific Reports. 3;5:12523.
34. Igloi, Kazlauskas, Saksela, Macdonald, Mankouri and Harris (2015). The hepatitis C virus NS5A protein blocks EGFR degradation via a proline motif dependent interaction. Journal of General Virology pii: vir.0.000145. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.000145.
33. Barnard, Long, Martin, Miles, Edwards, Tomlinson, Macdonald & Wilson*. (2015). Selective and Potent Proteomimetic Inhibitors of Intracellular Protein-Protein Interactions. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2;54(10):2960-5.
32. Knight, Stakaityte, Abdul-Sada, Blair, Stevens, Macdonald, Blackbourn & Whitehouse. (2015). Merkel cell polyomavirus small T antigen mediates microtubule destabilisation to promote cell motility and migration. Journal of Virology. 89:35-47.
31. Muller, Prescott, Wasson & Macdonald (2015). Human papillomavirus E5 oncoprotein: function and potential target for antiviral therapeutics. Future Virology 10 (1): 27-40.
30. Stakaityte, Wood, Knight, Abdul-Sada, Azdahar, Nwogu, Macdonald & Whitehouse (2014). Merkel cell polyomavirus: insights into the most recently discovered human tumour virus. Cancers 01/2014 6(3):1267-1297.
29. Wittmann, Doble, Wasson, Richards, Haider, Bachmann, Pfeilschifter, Werfel, Muhl & Macdonald (2014). Regulation of interleukin-18 binding protein, a critical anti-inflammatory cytokine in health and infectious disease. British Journal of Dermatology. 170:E19-20.
28. Richards, Doble, Wasson, Blair, Wittmann & Macdonald (2014). Human Papillomavirus E7 Oncoprotein Increases Production of the Anti-Inflammatory Interleukin-18 Binding Protein in Keratinocytes. Journal of Virology 88(8):4173-9.
27. Griffiths, Abdul-Sada, Knight, Jackson, Richards, Prescott, Peach, Blair, Macdonald* & Whitehouse* (2013). Merkel cell polyomavirus small T antigen targets the NEMO adaptor protein to disrupt inflammatory signalling. Journal of Virology 87(24):13853-67

How good is research at University of Leeds in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 60.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

Cookie Policy    X