Postgraduate research opportunity
Starving cancer cells to death
- UK/EU/International: Worldwide (International, UK and EU)
- Type of project: Self-funded PhD projects
- Deadline: None
Dr Salvatore Papa, Professor Reuben Tooze, Dr Concette Bubici
All the cells in our bodies are programmed to die. As they get older, our cells accumulate toxic molecules that make them sick. In response, they eventually break down and die, clearing the way for new, healthy cells to grow. This “programmed cell death” is a natural and essential part of our wellbeing. Every day, billions of cells die like this in order for the whole organism to continue functioning as it is supposed to.
But as with any program, errors can occur and injured cells that are supposed to die continue to grow and divide. These damaged cells can eventually become malignant and generate tumors. In order to avoid their programmed cell death in this way, cancer cells reorganize their metabolism so they can cheat death and proliferate indefinitely. The unanswered fundamental question is what regulates these changes in metabolism?
In a recent seminal publication in Nature Communications we have started to address this question and we are now aiming to translate our basic findings into a pre-clinical application for cancer treatment. Our work is aimed to design and generate new drugs that can block changes in metabolism of cancer cells and work out how to use them safely in patients.
- Verzella D et al., 2018 Cancer Res 78: 1275-1292
- Iansante V et al., 2015 Nat Commun 6: 7882.
- Barbarulo A et al., 2013 Oncogene 32: 4231-4242.
This project is available immediately to both Home/EU rate applicants and International applicants who are able to self-fund their studies. Students 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.
Candidates 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. Potential applicants are welcome to contact Dr Salvatore Papa with informal enquiries about this research project.
To formally 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.
We also require 2 academic references to support your application. Please ask your referees to send these references on your behalf, directly by email.
If you have already applied for other scholarships using the Faculty Scholarship Application form you do not need to complete this form again. Instead you should email to inform us you would like to be considered for this scholarship project.