Gene Expression in Cancer PhD Studentship in Institute of Genetic Medicine - Identification of the Important Ppathways Controlled by the RNA Splicing Regulator tra2β in Lung Cancer

Newcastle University

Value of award: 100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,777 (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Number of awards: 1

Start date and duration: September 2018 for 3 years.

Application closing date: 1 May 2018.


Are you interested in how cancer cells control their gene expression, or more generally in RNA biology? This project will investigate RNA splicing control in lung cancer cells and how this can be used therapeutically, and will take place in the well funded Institute of Genetic Medicine in Newcastle University.

Lung cancer is a serious health problem worldwide, accounting for more than 50% of cancer deaths from low and middle income countries. Around 87% of lung cancers diagnosed in the UK every year are non small cell carcinoma (NSCLC) with an overall survival rate of less than 15%, making further research into this disease important.  This PhD studentship will test the hypothesis that the nuclear RNA binding protein Tra2β plays a key role in the disease pathology of squamous cell lung carcinoma. Identification of target genes in lung will enable us to inhibit their function using antisense oligonucleotide technologies. Training will be provided in molecular and cellular biology and bioinformatics. We will map RNA-protein binding sites, use siRNA and next generation sequencing, and use assays to monitor cell behaviour. We will also analyse protein expression patterns in patient material. The successful student will be encouraged to present data at national and international meetings.

Sponsor: Pathological Society

Name of supervisor(s): Professor David J ElliottInstitute for Genetic Medicine

Eligibility Criteria: You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree in biomedicine, physiology, microbiology or a related area. A further qualification such as an MSc or MRes is advantageous.

This award is available to UK/EU and international applicants. UK/EU students are fully funded but the international applicants will have to pay the difference in fees compared to UK/EU.

To study this course you need to meet the following English Language requirements:

IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills).

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’.

Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:

  • insert the programme code 8300Fin the programme of study section 
  • select ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences (full time) – Cancer Research' as the programme of study
  • insert the studentship code CR085 in the studentship/partnership reference field 
  • attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code CR085 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project 
  • attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.
  • Please additionally email a copy of your CV and covering letter directly to David Elliott. 


For further details, please contact:

Professor David Elliott
Institute for Genetic Medicine
Newcastle University
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 241 8694

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Northern England