Postgraduate research opportunity
Epigenetic therapy using ultrasound-mediated microbubble drug delivery for cancer treatment
- UK/EU/International: Worldwide (International, UK and EU)
- Type of project: Self-funded PhD projects
- Deadline: None
Dr Elizabeth Valleley, Dr Louise Coletta
The project is an interdisciplinary, pre-clinical study that aims to investigate the response of human tumour cells to treatment with epigenetic inhibitors (such as DNA methyltransferase inhibitors), as a potential combination therapy for colorectal cancer (CRC). As epigenetic modifications contribute to tumour growth, drugs that modify the epigenome have great potential for cancer therapy. Epigenetic drugs have the capability to target cancer stem cells, restore sensitivity of tumour cells to chemotherapy or to prime tumours prior to secondary treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors.
Tumour cell lines will be tested for response to combination drug treatments using 2D/3D cell culture and other models. Microbubbles will be generated using the University of Leeds patented microfluidic system, and could be combined with liposomes containing encapsulated drugs. Novel cancer models or therapeutic microbubbles could be developed further for targeted drug delivery. Our long-term aim is for ultrasound-triggered microbubble delivery to deliver drugs more efficiently to tumours, to enhance therapeutic response and to minimize off-target side effects.
You will work closely with members of other groups at the University of Leeds including Prof. Evans’ group in the School of Physics and Astronomy. The project will involve training in a wide variety of techniques and research skills. These may include mammalian cell culture, drug testing using monolayer or spheroid/organoid cell culture, molecular biology and cell biology techniques to monitor epigenetic biomarkers of response, generation and testing of functional microbubbles in cancer models and drug delivery using ultrasound.
You will be trained as part of an established, interdisciplinary team of clinicians, academics and research scientists- the Leeds Microbubble Consortium- that includes PhD researchers from other Schools in the University.
This project is available immediately to both Home/EU rate applicants and International applicants who are have a sponsor or are able to self-fund their studies. You must be able to provide the appropriate level of fees based on their fee status plus laboratory consumables costs per year. This is in addition to the provision of personal living expenses.
You should hold a first degree equivalent to at least a UK upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject.
Candidate whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the specific demands of their study, the Faculty minimum requirements are:
• British Council IELTS - score of 6.5 overall, with no element less than 6.0
• TOEFL iBT - overall score of 92 with the listening and reading element no less than 21, writing element no less than 22 and the speaking element no less than 23.
Applicants with sufficient funding must still undergo formal interview prior to acceptance in order to demonstrate scientific aptitude and English language capability.
How to apply
Applications can be made at any time. To apply for this project applicants should complete a Faculty Scholarship Application form and send this alongside a full academic CV, degree transcripts (or marks so far if still studying) and degree certificates to the Faculty Graduate School firstname.lastname@example.org
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If you have already applied for other scholarships using the Faculty Scholarship Application form this academic session you do not need to complete this form again. Instead you should email firstname.lastname@example.org to inform us you would like to be considered for this scholarship project.
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