MRC MRes/PhD Studentship: Development of Novel Prostate Cancer Therapies
- MRC and Astex Therapuetics
- Reference Code: CR062
Name of the supervisors
Dr L Gaughan, Professor M Noble and Professor CN Robson
Northern Institute for Cancer Research (NICR)
Duration of the award
4 years (MRes Medical and Molecular Biosciences followed by a three-year PhD)
Prostate cancer (PC) is the leading cause of cancer-associated deaths in men in the Western world and accounts for approximately 10,000 deaths in the UK alone each year. Treatment with agents that block AR signalling is initially effective, but resistance ensues by altered receptor signalling and the cancer recurs in an untreatable form termed castrate-resistant PC (CRPC). It is imperative therefore to develop more effective therapies for CRPC. Importantly, the AR is functional in a high proportion of CRPC and thus remains a primary therapeutic target in this disease state.
Aim of study: We hypothesise that development of new PC therapies targeting sites within the AR indispensible for receptor activity by teams at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research (NICR), Newcastle University and Astex Therapeutics will provide patient benefit by completely inactivating the AR signalling cascade and reducing tumour growth despite androgen-insensitivity.
The proposed research, which will be performed by the student at the NICR and Astex Therapeutics, will use cell line models to perform molecular genetic and chemical biology studies to validate one or more of these sites in androgen signalling for small molecule intervention in the therapy of CRPC. Structure-based drug design approaches will be utilised to facilitate the development of probe molecules to these sites that will be tested in several in vitro models of CRPC. Ultimately, the overriding objective of the studentship is to develop novel AR-targeting molecules that will form the basis of new therapies for PC.
Value of the Award and Eligibility
Depending on how you meet the MRC's eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award. A full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £13,590 (2011/12). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.
The studentship is available to students who have been awarded or expect to achieve a first class or upper second class honours degree or a masters degree in a relevant discipline (biochemistry, molecular biology, biomedical sciences, pharmacology etc).
How to Apply
You must complete the University's postgraduate application form . Select "Master of Research/Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) - Cancer Research" as the programme of study. Only mandatory fields need to be completed (no personal statement required) but you must attach a copy of your CV and a covering letter, quoting the title of the studentship and reference number CR062.
Closing date for applications
Prompt application is advised as this post is only available until a suitable candidate is appointed.
For further details, please contact Dr L Gaughan ( firstname.lastname@example.org , 0191 246 4360) or Professor M Noble ( email@example.com , 0191 246 4466)