Modulation of Cathepsin proteases in cancer progression

A three and a half year, fully-funded studentship is offered in our laboratory of Molecular Oncology. This specific project looks at physiological factors behind the importance of cathepsin in driving tumour progression and thus allowing for the development of new therapeutic strategies.

Start date
1 October 2022
4 years
Application deadline
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Funding source
University of Surrey
Funding information

UKRI-aligned stipend (£15,609 pa for 2021-22), approved University of Surrey fees and a research budget. 


With the emerging importance of Cathepsin proteases during normal development, inflammation and disease, a number of Cathepsin proteases have also been recognized as being good therapeutic targets, particularly during cancer progression (Pubmed ID: 31212661, 31213124, 31381961). When taken with the diverse array of general strategies that are being explored to target oncogenic proteins, the genetic context in which these approaches are being taken is taking on greater importance, as we strive towards personalized medicine through studies that involve the genetic stratification of patients (33266503, 33233599).

The following project utilises a multi-disciplinary approach to addressing aspects of this, through defining (with greater clarity), how the genetics of certain cancers relate to the ability of cells to be predispose to death (by apoptosis) or tumor progression (through cellular differentiation). By building on studies published by our group, the project will also characterise novel anti-cancer therapeutics, which have high potential medicinal value, and which act through interfering with the underlying molecular signaling cascades (33925117, 33807987). While initially, work will progress through developing cell line models, the findings will be tested in primary cell or patient samples and which have very high publication potential.

Eligibility criteria

This studentship would be suited to a student who is interested in developing their skills in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Oncology and Pharmacology. The project offers a well-balanced approach to developing all of these areas for a student with a 2.1 BSc (minimum) or an MSc, in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, BMed etc or applied life science from the UK (or equivalent qualification from international institutions).

Applications from UK or international students are welcome. 

English Language requirements

An IELTS Academic of 6.5 or above with 6.0 in each individual category (or equivalent qualification from other agencies).

Full details on country-specific entry requirements can be found on the Biosciences and Medicine PhD page

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Biosciences and Medicine PhD page on the "Apply" tab. Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor on your application. 

Application deadline

Contact details

Enquiries about this studentship are encouraged.

Surinder M Soond BSc, PhD, FRSB
Paul A. Townsend

The project will be undertaken in the Immunology Labs at the Dorothy Hodgkin Building of the Faculty of Health and Medicine Sciences at the University of Surrey.

This project will be undertaken in the lab of Dr. Surinder Soond in Clinical Molecular Oncology and will benefit from the expertise of other labs within the Immunology Group.


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