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PhD Studentship in Paediatric Brain Tumour Research - The Medulloblastoma (Phospho-)Proteome: Biological Discovery and Translational Innovation

Newcastle University

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Salary: £18,622 - please see advert
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 20th February 2024
Closes: 9th March 2024
Job Ref: TC093

Award Summary

100% of home tuition fees paid and annual living expenses at £18,622 (23/24 rate). Significant additional funding to cover research costs. Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the home fees and international fees.

Overview

Are you interested in using contemporary ‘omics approaches to uncover new disease-relevant biology in medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumour in children?

You will join our Childhood Brain Tumour Research Group, an internationally-recognised multi-disciplinary translational research team at the cutting edge of childhood brain tumour research. You will contribute to our biomarker discovery programme which focuses on developing better therapies and diagnostics, and tailoring therapy specifically to each medulloblastoma patient (risk-stratification).

Whilst genomic discovery has revolutionised medulloblastoma risk-stratification, >80% of medulloblastomas still lack a clinically-actionable biomarker or drug target and ~30% remain incurable. First pilot proteomic/phospho-proteomic analyses in retrospective medulloblastoma cohorts (n~40, performed by our collaborators at Institut Curie, Paris) have identified exploitable pathways in otherwise genomically quiet tumours which do not harbour targetable mutations. We therefore hypothesise that interrogation of the medulloblastoma proteome has significant potential to improve our understanding of disease pathogenesis and identify novel biology for translational exploitation.

The studentship will characterise the medulloblastoma proteome and phospho-proteome for the first time in a large international clinical trial cohort (n~300), underpinned by a comprehensive contemporary training in molecular biology, proteomics and bioinformatics across two world-leading medulloblastoma research groups (NUCancer, Institut Curie). Findings will be used to discover novel biology/biomarkers at the proteomic level, develop improved diagnostics and risk-stratification models and identify novel therapeutic targets/prioritisation strategies.

You will benefit from being part of the NU Centre for Cancer, the focus of research excellence in translational cancer research at Newcastle with an annual research income of ~£10m and >400 personnel, including over 60 post-graduate research students.

Number of awards: One

Start date: September 2024

Award duration: 3 years

Sponsor: Children’s Cancer North

Supervisors

Dr Debbie Hicks, Translational and Clinical Research Institute. Newcastle University Centre for Cancer

Dr Ed Schwalbe, Northumbria University

Prof Steve Clifford, Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Newcastle University Centre for Cancer

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates must have a BSc in an appropriate biological sciences discipline at first or 2:1 level, or a Masters degree in a relevant subject (e.g. cancer research)

How to apply

  • Apply through the University’s Application Portal: applyto.newcastle.ac.uk
  • In ‘Course choice’ tab, put ‘Postgraduate Research’ In 'Type of Study',
  • ‘Full Time’ In ‘Mode of Study’,
  • 2024’ In ‘Year of Entry’
  • code ‘8440F’ in ‘Course Title’ blank in ‘Research Area’ Press ‘Search’, select ‘PhD Translational and Clinical Research (FT)’, and save selection. 

Either upload a document or write into ‘Personal Statement’. Put code ‘TC093’ in ‘Studentship/Partnership Reference’. When prompted for research proposal, select ‘Write Proposal’. Type in the title of the research project from this advert. A research proposal is not required. You can also upload a covering letter and CV, please state how your interests and experience relate to the project.

Degree transcripts/certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualification if completed must be uploaded.

Contact Details

Dr Debbie Hicks (debbie.hicks@ncl.ac.uk)

Dr Ed Schwalbe (ed.schwalbe@northumbria.ac.uk )

Prof Steve Clifford (steve.clifford@ncl.ac.uk)

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