|Funding for:||UK Students|
|Funding amount:||£18,622 - this scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend of £18,622.|
|Placed On:||21st November 2023|
|Closes:||12th February 2024|
Funding providers: UKRI and Swansea Bay University Health Board (SBUHB)
Subject areas: Mathematical modelling of cancer, biomathematics
Tumours are complex heterogeneous ecosystems, with a constantly evolving genetic composition. Exposure to a chemotherapy drug may eliminate sensitive subclones and select for resistant subclones, thus reshaping the composition of the tumour. Liquid biopsies, based on circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) shed from the primary tumour and metastatic sites, are a potential non-invasive means of tracking tumour heterogeneity and therapy response.
In this project, we aim to develop a clinically relevant, data-driven, novel multiscale mathematical framework to study ctDNA dynamics, centred around a stochastic discrete description of mutational profiles within a tumour evolving in space and time. The rigorous mathematical description will be shaped by the integration of mathematical, biological, and clinical expertise and will allow us to link the spatiotemporal evolution of the tumour response under treatment (unknown in a clinical scenario), with the resulting ctDNA dynamics in the bloodstream (easily monitored in patients).
This framework will enable monitoring of response and resistance, and early detection of relapse. Moreover, ctDNA dynamics could be used to guide treatment decisions during adaptive cancer therapy (ACT), with dosing and scheduling decisions informed by eco-evolutionary -guided principles. Namely, adjustments in drugs, dose and timing are made for each individual patient, in response to and in anticipation of tumour adaption.
Candidates must hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level or master’s degree with a minimum overall grade at ‘Merit’ (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University). If you are eligible to apply for the scholarship (i.e. a student who is eligible to pay the UK rate of tuition fees) but do not hold a UK degree, you can check our comparison entry requirements. Please note that you may need to provide evidence of your English Language proficiency.
Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only, as defined by UKCISA regulations.
This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend of £18,622.
Additional research expenses will also be available.
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