PhD (via MPhil) Studentship in the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

University of Central Lancashire

Applications are invited for a full time PhD (via MPhil) studentship in the Neuro-oncology research group within the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. The studentship is tenable for up to 3 years full-time [subject to satisfactory progress] and will cover the cost of tuition fees at UK/EU rates. International applicants may apply but will be required to pay the difference in tuition fees. The successful applicant will be required to comply with the terms of funding. The successful applicant will commence 1 October 2017.

Project Title

Aptamer based drug targeting across the blood brain barrier for brain cancer treatment

Project Description

The full-time PhD studentship, is partially funded by the Charity ‘Inbetween Ears’ to study in vitro methods for modelling drug targeting to glioblastoma. Glioblastoma are the most common, invasive and lethal malignant primary brain tumours in adults. The mean patient survival when radiotherapy and chemotherapy are combined is 15 months after initial diagnosis. New approaches are needed to understand the molecular mechanisms of tumourigenesis and diffusive infiltration of cells to surrounding brain tissue and hence identification of druggable targets. This challenging project will involve the development of aptamer based drug targeting systems using our established in vitro model of the blood brain barrier (BBB) and glioblastoma growth.

Our group is specifically interested in i) characterising the 3D-primary cell culture model as a metabolically competent system to explore cytotoxicity of small-molecule chemotherapeutic agents; ii) improving predictions of in vivo BBB permeability and cytotoxicity of chemotherapeutic agents to bridge the gap between pre-clinical studies and man; iii) identifying new therapeutic targets associated with brain tumour invasion and iv) design of aptamer drug targeting delivery systems.

The School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences within the University of Central Lancashire is closely linked to the Brain Tumour North-West Group (; a focus for collaborative research encompassing universities and NHS trusts in the region working together to advance the diagnosis and treatment of brain cancer.

Applicants should have a strong interest in biochemistry and molecular biology, and should have (or expect to hold) a UK upper second or first class honours Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) in a relevant discipline. International students are welcome to apply, however they will have to pay the difference between EU/home and International Student Fees.

International applicants require an English Language level of UKVI IELTs 6.5 (no sub-score below 6.0) or equivalent qualification.

Informal academic related enquiries are welcome and should be made to Dr Jane Alder (

Further information

For the application form and full details go to:

Completed application forms should be returned to the Research Student Registry email quoting the studentship reference number.

Proposed Interview Date: Monday 4th September 2017

Current UCLAN research students will not be eligible to apply for the research studentship

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Northern England