Self-funded PhD opportunities

The role of TAM receptors in brain tumour cell signalling and behaviour

  • Application end date: Applications accepted all year round
  • Funding Availability: Self-funded PhD students only
  • Department: School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
  • PhD Supervisor: Dr. Sassan Hafizi and Prof. Geoff Pilkington

Gliomas are a type of adult brain tumour notorious for their rapid development, high tissue infiltration and overall dismal prognosis. The current therapeutic options available are woefully insufficient; thus, there is an urgent need to understand further the mechanisms by which these tumours develop. Through this, identification of novel factors that drive gliomagenesis could therefore lead to more effective therapies. The receptor tyrosine kinase subfamily constituting Tyro3, Axl and Mer (TAM) have been implicated as oncogenic drivers for some human gliomas. However, much remains to be determined as regards the molecular mechanisms of Tam receptor action in gliomas. The aims of this PhD project are to probe the molecular signalling actions of TAM receptors in human brain tumour cells through a variety of experimental assays and approaches, utilising both in vitro and in vivo models.

The project lies within the biological sciences with a molecular component, e.g. biochemistry, pharmacology, biomedical sciences. Specifically, the student shall be trained in a range of biochemical and cell biological techniques, including cell culture, molecular expression analyses, immunohistochemical techniques, confocal microscopy, molecular binding analyses and enzyme activity and protein degradation assays. They will join a vibrant research environment within the university’s Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science (IBBS), where notable achievements have been made in neuroscience, oncology and structural biology fields. Furthermore, the student will also be part of an international collaborative research effort involving the supervisor’s group and overseas project partners.

In addition you will have access to a skills development program run by the university’s Graduate School. The experimental and analytical skills developed during this project will prepare the student well for a future career in academia or industry.

Research Group Web Site:

Funding Status: Self funded - University fees (currently, £13,100 for International Students and £4,052 for Home and EU students) + (plus additional bench fees of £6,000 per annum).

Search terms: Growth factors; signal transduction, cell signalling, cell biology, cancer, brain tumours.

Click here to apply.