FHMS Studentships and Scholarships
Details of current studentships and scholarships are listed below:
3-Year PhD studentship entitled ‘A systems approach to optimising breast cancer treatment’
Application Deadline: March 14th, 2014
Funding Body: Breast Cancer Campaign
Background: Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among women worldwide, with nearly 1.5 million diagnoses in 2010 worldwide. Despite the development of a range of therapeutics, for use both in isolation and as combinations, the mortality rate for breast cancer has remained stubbornly high. One reason for this is that the molecular underpinning of breast cancer is highly heterogeneous; meaning our understanding of the drivers towards optimal therapy or acquired resistance is limited. It is imperative to understand the metabolic networks that drive tumour progression, allowing prediction of optimal therapy based upon the theory of metabolic vulnerability.
Aims: Through our established expertise in whole genome scale metabolic networks (GSMNs) and in vitro drug screening, we will test the hypothesis that breast cancer subtypes have distinct, global metabolic flux distributions that can be optimally targeted through synergistic therapy.
Techniques and Methodology: The Metabric breast-tumour database contains transcriptomic and genomic data on approximately 2,000 breast cancer patients, plus their clinical histories. Using this very powerful resource, 2,000 specific GSMNs will be created to model the metabolic landscape of breast cancer. Signalling pathways will then be added to this model using our novel QSSPN approach, producing ‘living’ dynamic models of breast cancer. Novel biomarkers and metabolic vulnerabilites will then be identified from these computer models, which can be targeted through pharmacological intervention alone or in combination with traditional therapeutics. These computationally-defined targets will then be validated in vitro through a combination of siRNA/pharmacological-based target inactivation and high throughput BioLog screens.
Research Environment: The student will be located within the School of Bioscience and Medicine at the University of Surrey. The student will be under the primary supervision of Dr Nick Plant (Systems Biology), with co-supervision from Dr Mazhar Ajaz (Oncology) and Prof Andrzej Kierzek (Systems Biology). The student will be part of a larger integrated research team using systems approaches to understand the molecular underpinnings (and possible treatments) for a number of disease states, including cancers and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
For further information please contact n.plant@Surrey.ac.uk
Eligibility: Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in Biomedical Sciences or relevant subject. Please note that, due to restrictions by the BBSRC, this studentship is for UK applicants. EU applicants may be eligible but must satisfy the BBSRC residence criteria, which is available on the BBSRC website.
Funding Details: Studentship will cover Home/EU Fees and pay the Research Council minimum stipend adjusted for 2014-15 (rate for 2013-2014 is £13,726) for up to 3 years. The studentship will begin no later than October 2014
To apply: Fill in the online form on the University of Surrey Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Graduate school website.
A research proposal is not needed. Please attach a CV and covering letter.
How to Apply
Postgraduate Life at Surrey
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