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Exploring DNA damage response of prostate cancer and impact of hormone therapy of castration resistant prostate cancer

University of Surrey

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Guildford
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,000 tax-free yearly stipend , fully-funded post and covers the tuition fee for EU/UK students
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 6th November 2018
Closes: 11th January 2019

Studentship description

In association with the University of Surrey Doctoral College Dr. Mohammad Asim’s Prostate Cancer Research laboratory is offering a PhD studentship to start from October 2019. This is 3-year, fully-funded post and covers the tuition fee for EU/UK students, offering a tax-free yearly stipend of £15,000.

Prostate cancer (PrCa) is a leading cause of cancer related male mortality in the United Kingdom with over 10,000 deaths each year. The growth and progression of PrCa is regulated by androgens, which manifest their action by activating the androgen receptor (AR), a ligand activated transcription factor that in turn regulates the growth of PrCa. Since AR signaling is upregulated in PrCa, it is an attractive drug target in the treatment of the advanced PrCa.

Hence, widely used androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the mainstay treatment for PrCa, which is achieved by the use of anti-androgenic drugs such as Bicalutamide and Enzalutamide. ADT is initially effective but relapse is common leading to castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) for which there are no curative treatments.

The key question is why does ADT fail and how does the resistance to ADT emerge? We have recently shown in a study published in Nature Communications that AR regulates DNA damage response (DDR) in CRPC but the molecular determinants that mount the DDR remain unknown. In collaboration with the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford, this project will discover novel determinants of DDR which will eventually pave the way for the development of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of CRPC.

Overall, the findings of this study will pave the way to effectively treat CRPC in order to alleviate the disease burden.

Lab website:

The research will be done in collaboration with the University of Oxford, where Dr Asim holds honorary scientist posts. The research will involve testing on human cancer tissue specimen available through a collaboration with Prof. Pandha (Royal Surrey County Hospital).

Entry Requirements

You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree or international equivalent. If English is not your first language, you must have IELTS 7 with at least 6.5 in all the components.


This studentship is provided by the University of Surrey Doctoral College.

This is a competition funded PhD project (European/UK Students only).

How to apply

Please email to discuss the project and advice on completing the studentship form before applying through the University’s Doctoral College.

Closing date for applications: Friday 11th January 2019

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