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Investigation of hypoxia and glucose metabolism in a poor prognostic subgroup of oesophageal adenocarcinoma

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Kennedy
    Dr Turkington
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding
    Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding

Project Description


Glucose Transporter 1 (GLUT1) is a member of the facilitative glucose transporter family and has an important role in tumour metabolism when upregulated in response to hypoxic stress. We hypothesized that the presence of a high degree of intra-tumoural hypoxia, as assessed by GLUT1 staining, would provide prognostic information for patients undergoing surgical resection for oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC). We demonstrated that GLUT1 staining identifies a poor prognosis sub-group of OAC patients and is a novel prognostic marker following potentially curative surgical resection. However, the pathways and gene governing the lack of response to therapy, high rate of relapse and poor survival are poorly understood.

In this project we will use a microarray-based gene-expression dataset derived from 135 FFPE pre-treatment endoscopic biopsies to identify pathways associated with GLUT1 positivity through bioinformatic analysis and functional enrichment. Candidate genes will be selected and the knockdown of these genes assessed for their ability to enhance apoptosis either alone or in combination with chemotherapy. Through this project we aim to identify the pathways and genes associated with the poor prognostic, GLUT1 positive, subgroup in OAC and so identify modulators of response to chemotherapy in this patient group.


Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant biomedical or life sciences subject.

English Language

Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score.

The minimum recommended score for the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science is:
• IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years;
• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17);
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
• A valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A; or
• A first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking.

For a list of English Language qualifications also accepted by the School and University please see the following link:

The English Language Unit (ELU) offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained from the ELU http://www.qub.ac.uk/tefl/

Funding Notes


DEL Research Studentships

Eligibility for both fees and maintenance (£14,057 for 2015/16, 2016/17 TBC) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship.

Non UK residents who hold EU residency may also apply but if successful may receive fees only.

For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on the following link: http://www.delni.gov.uk/index/further-and-higher-education/higher-education/studentfinance/he-student-info-postgrad-finance.htm


Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, website for further details about the Centre:


When applying, please choose 'MEDICINE' as your subject area/School.

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