Current cancer therapies are not efficient in targeting brain Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs), which can (re)-initiate and explain the frequent relapse of brain tumours. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer. This project is dedicated to the identification and characterisation of mechanisms underlying brain tumourigenesis. It will focus on exposing genes and molecular programmes controlling the fate of brains CSCs that may drive these into differentiation, preventing tumour growth. Drosophila will be used to examine candidate gene function in brain tumour development, providing a unique opportunity to unravel their role in live brains. Translation of findings will be performed using patient-derived glioblastoma stem cells and glioma samples.
The project will be based in the laboratory of Dr Barros, part of the Plymouth Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence and sponsored by Brain Tumour Research.
Applicants must have a first or good upper second-class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant masters degree or extended laboratory research experience. We are looking for a candidate with experience in genetics, molecular biology, immunohistochemistry, cell culture, biochemistry and/or confocal imaging. Experience in Drosophila or other in vivo model is advantageous. A high interest in neural stem cell and brain tumour biology is a must.
The studentship is supported for 3 years and covers tuition fees at Home (UK) rate only, plus a stipend of £17,668 per annum (2022/23 rate). The fourth of the four-year registration period is a self-funded ‘writing-up’ year. The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home fees with relevant qualifications. International applicants (non-UK nationals) must be able to pay the difference between the Home and the International tuition fee rates (approximately £12,670 per annum 2023/24 rate). International students must also have an English language IELTS score of 6.5 or above, with no less than 5.5 in any element.