PhD Studentship: The role of TGFß regulated non-coding RNAs in pancreatic adenocarcinoma

University of Sussex - Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences

A Ph.D. studentship (42 months) is available from September 2018 under the supervision of Dr Leandro Castellano, Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences.

Deadline: 21 January 2018

The advent of genome-wide, high-throughput sequencing has transformed our understanding of the complexity of cancer transcriptomes. Brought to prominence have been the non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), operationally classified into two distinct major classes: those >200nt, as long ncRNAs (lncRNAs). It is becoming evident that ncRNAs can exert powerful effects on health and disease, including cancer and metastasis.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a lethal, highly metastatic disease, which remains difficult to detect at an early stage due to a lack of symptoms. Current treatments have a limited response such that five-year survival rates are below 5%.

TGFß plays a big role in PDAC progression, but although mRNAs regulated by TGFß have been defined, there is still lack of knowledge about the TGFß-regulated ncRNAs in PDAC and their role in PDAC progression.

Our goal is to use next generation RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) technologies to evaluate the ncRNAs regulated by TGFß in PDAC and to understand their mechanism of action. We will focus on the most important TGFß-regulated ncRNAs and test their action evaluating cellular localisation, interacting proteins and ncRNA-controlled chromosomal looping. We will also test their effect on cancer related phenotypes by using CRISPR/CAS9 technologies to stop their transcription and RNAi to reduce their stability.

Please submit a formal application using our online application system at, including a CV, degree transcripts and certificates, statement of interest and names of two academic referees.

On the application system use Programme of Study – PhD Biochemistry.  

Please make sure you include the project title and Supervisor’s name with your statement of interest on the application form.

This School funded position, which covers fees and a stipend at standard RCUK rates, is open to Home / EU applicants. Ideal candidates will have a strong background in molecular biology and biochemistry with additional experience of laboratory techniques, including cell culture, quantitative real-time PCR, western blotting, cloning of nucleic acids. Experience in CRISPR-based technologies are desirable, but not essential. Eligible applicants will have recently received an MSc and/or a First or high 2:1 BSc in a relevant subject. Candidates for whom English is not their first language will require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with not less than 6.0 in any section.

Contact Anna Izykowska for application enquiries (

Contact Leandro Castellano ( for enquiries about the project

Share this PhD
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role:



South East England