Neural Proliferation and Tumourigenesis
Central nervous system (CNS) tumours are the primary cause of cancer death in children and adults under 40. Therapies currently employed to treat them can have severe consequences on cognitive development and function. New therapeutic interventions require further understanding of the heterogeneous variety of brain tumours, namely of the cells of origin of various tumour types, the fate changes involved, how they invade nearby tissue and how they evade chemotherapeutic agents. Indeed, in model organisms, brain tumours can originate from altered behaviours of neural stem cells, transit amplifying progenitors, glia and even neurons.
Our research focuses on determining molecular and cellular events through which neural tumours are initiated, become invasive, or quiescent, and projects are available in each of these topics. We are an enthusiastic young team, passionate about contributing to this field. The candidate will benefit from training in a friendly, collaborative and dynamic environment with state-of-the-art facilities and newly-developed genetic tools. We employ the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster and mammalian neural stem cell cultures as models and benefit from a variety of expert collaborations.
Students will be based at the MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, which runs a PhD Program including workshops and journal clubs that other PhD students can benefit from. Project-specific training is provided within the group or through collaborations and courses when appropriate. The Centre provides a vibrant and international environment, with multiple opportunities for exchange, and for presenting research in formal and informal settings, and at international conferences. Furthermore, KCL offers many opportunities for transferable skills, including experience in training Masters students.
We invite self-funded or candidates eligible for Studentships to apply.
Informal enquiries can be made directly to Rita Sousa-Nunes by email:
Sousa-Nunes R, Somers WG (2013) “Mechanisms of asymmetric progenitor divisions in the Drosophila central nervous system”, Adv Exp Med Biol 786:79-102.
Sousa-Nunes R, Yee LL, Gould AP (2011) “Fat cells reactivate quiescent neuroblasts via TOR and glial Insulin relays in Drosophila” Nature 471(7339):508-12.
Sousa-Nunes R, Cheng LY, Gould AP (2010) “Regulating neural proliferation in the Drosophila CNS” Curr Opin Neurobiol 20(1):50-7.