Exploiting genetic defects in ovarian clear cell carcinoma for therapeutic purposes

Start date

1 October 2022


3.5 years

Application deadline

Funding source

The Suzanne Whitaker Memorial Fund and the University of Surrey Doctoral College

Funding information

UKRI stipend (£16,062 per annum for 2022-23, with annual increments based on inflation) and fees covered. Funding also includes a research training and support grant of £3,000 for the duration of the studentship.


We are seeking a talented and enthusiastic PhD candidate to lead a project to identify and characterise novel therapeutic strategies for ovarian cancer.  Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all gynaecological cancers. Ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC) is a rare ovarian cancer subtype that is aggressive, associated with poor survival and chemoresistance. This research project will focus on investigating OCCC genetic characteristics associated with good/poor responses to drugs and drug combinations targeting key cancer cell survival signalling pathways. Our laboratory seeks to understand how cancer molecular features affecting a multitude of DNA transactions, including replication, transcription, and DNA repair can be exploited for therapeutic purposes.

In this PhD, you will employ cell and molecular biology techniques to study drug-induced intracellular signalling and responses in cancer cell models. You will gain experience in RNAi, CRISPR-Cas9 knock-out and protein over-expression techniques, and a variety of in vitro assays to measure DNA damage and repair, ER stress and other key cancer hallmarks in cancer cell lines. Novel results will be tested in in vivo models and/or clinically relevant samples.  

The project will be conducted at the University of Surrey, under the supervision of Dr. Lisiane Meira and Dr. Agnieszka Michael, within the Oncology group. The student will work in the Oncology laboratories to execute the project, with access to core facilities at the University of Surrey. The Oncology research group is a vibrant and collegial group with technical and bioinformatics expertise and infrastructure to provide training and support.  Core facilities for flow cytometry and imaging with dedicated technical support are also available.

Related links

Cancer treatment news article

Additional notes

The University of Surrey provides a vibrant, interdisciplinary research environment, with access to state-of-the-art facilities. We see our postgraduate researchers as an integral part of our research community, collaborating and innovating together with academics at all levels. We want the most talented researchers from diverse backgrounds to join us, bringing new ideas and perspectives. We will help you make the most of your potential, removing barriers where we can and supporting you with dedicated career guidance. We offer generous funding packages, sector-leading researcher development training and mentoring, and dedicated employability support.

Whatever your aspirations, Surrey is where research careers are launched and nurtured.

Eligibility criteria

Open to UK students starting in October 2022. A later start in January 2023 is also possible.

Minimum of 2:1 in relevant first degree (e.g. Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Science). Master’s degree (e.g. Bioscience/biomedicine, bioinformatics, biochemistry). Desirable qualities include; excellent verbal and written communication skills, cell culture and molecular biology experience, teamwork experience, awareness of the values of equality, diversity and inclusion. Commitment to independent study and enthusiasm for cancer research are essential.

English language requirements

IELTS Academic 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with at least 6.0 in each individual category, or equivalent.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Biosciences and Medicine PhD programme page. Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor on your application. Once you have completed and submitted your application, please send an email to the primary supervisor (l.meira@surrey.ac.uk) confirming you have applied.

Biosciences and Medicine PhD

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Application deadline

Contact details

Lisiane Meira
29 PGM 02
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 686449
E-mail: l.meira@surrey.ac.uk

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