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PhD Studentship: Investigating Mechanisms of Intercellular Interaction in the Lung Cancer Tumour Microenvironment

University of Southampton - Faculty of Medicine

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: The PhD studentship fees, stipend (~£19k per Annum) and project consumables are fully funded by The Pathological Society of Great Britain & Ireland for 3 years at standard MRC rates with fees at UK residency rate only
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 6th February 2024
Closes: 15th March 2024
 

Project Title:  Investigating mechanisms of intercellular interaction in the lung cancer tumour microenvironment.

Faculty of Medicine

Main Supervisor:   Dr Chris Hanley

Other members of the supervisory team:  Dr Tim Fenton

Duration of the award:  3 years full time

Start date:
  23/09/2024

Project description:

This project will investigate the interplay between genetic status and the tumour microenvironment in lung cancer: examining how common oncogenic and tumour suppressor mutations disrupt homeostatic responses to signalling cues from stromal cells. This will identify novel strategies for targeting the tumour microenvironment to improve treatment efficacy.  

A funded PhD studentship in cancer biology, leading to a PhD degree from the University of Southampton, is available in the Hanley lab. The project will develop new approaches for cancer therapy, focusing on lung cancer -the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. This work will investigate the role of tumour-stroma (including cancer associated fibroblasts and immune cells) interactions in regulating disease progression and response to various therapies, including oncogene-targeted therapies and immunotherapy (e.g. CJ Hanley et al., Nature Communications 2023; K Ford et al., Cancer Research 2020). Active research themes in the lab include characterising cellular phenotypes in human tumours using single cell RNA-sequencing; functional analysis of tumour-stroma interactions using 3D organoid models; and identifying novel therapeutic strategies for treating aggressive lung adenocarcinomas. We enjoy close links with University Hospital Southampton and have a strong translational focus with a track record for developing new therapies that have achieved clinical impact (eg. NCT05323656), therefore providing the opportunity to make a significant contribution to cancer treatment. The candidate will enjoy a vibrant multidisciplinary environment, take advantage of our ongoing collaborations with multiple industry collaborators and be provided with significant opportunities for excellent career development. Including access to training across a broad range of techniques such as cell culture, molecular biology, cell-based functional assays, single-cell and spatial transcriptomics, and the use of in vivo models

The successful candidate is likely to have the following qualifications:

  • A 1stor 2:1 degree in a relevant discipline and/or second degree with a related Masters.

Funding information:

Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK applicants. The PhD studentship fees, stipend (~£19k per Annum) and project consumables are fully funded by The Pathological Society of Great Britain & Ireland for 3 years at standard MRC rates with fees at UK residency rate only

Administrative contact and how to apply:

Please complete the University's online application form, which you can find at

https://student-selfservice.soton.ac.uk/BNNRPROD/bzsksrch.P_Login?pos=7205&majr=7205&term=202425

You should enter Dr Chris Hanley as your proposed supervisor include project reference number: 202425/990. To support your application provide an academic CV (including contact details of two referees), official academic transcripts and a personal statement (outlining your suitability for the studentship, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date).

Informal enquiries relating to the project or candidate suitability should be directed to Dr Chris Hanley (c.j.hanley@soton.ac.uk).

Closing date:  15th March 2024

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