PhD in Medicine: Targeting Ref1/STAT3 to treat Tuberous Sclerosis

Key facts

Application deadline 30 March 2018
Start date 1 April, 1 July, 1 October 2018
Duration 3 years
Level of study Postgraduate research
Award type PhD studentship
Number of studentships 1

This project will work on drugs that are in clinical development as a new therapy to treat tumours focusing on a genetic disease, called Tuberous Sclerosis, where patients are predisposed to acquiring tumours in the brain, kidney and skin.

The current clinical therapy to reduce tumour volume in Tuberous Sclerosis patients is rapamycin, an inhibitor of mTOR (called mammalian target of rapamycin). However, not all tumours respond to this drug and even when effective, the tumours regrow when the treatment is stopped.

There is a clear clinical need to find a better therapy for these patients, but importantly this research will also benefit other patients with cancer. After five years of testing the tumour vulnerabilities, we believe that we now have a better therapy.

We are able to robustly block tumour formation when we target two proteins within the tumour called Ref-1 and STAT3. We have a series of new drugs in clinical development that target Ref-1 and STAT3 (we are working with our industrial partner, ApeX Therapeutics). These new drugs will be tested by the student within our international TS research team.

By working closely with industry and our international collaborators our intention is to fast-track this research to the clinic. To move our recent discovery towards a treatment, we will examine how TS tumour cells respond to these new drug treatments and will compare them to existing treatments.

This study will not only improve our current knowledge of how these new drugs work to prevent tumour growth, but will also help guide future research to find an effective and better cure for patients with TS. As part of this work, the student will be trained in a range of techniques to use patient-derived tumour models in tissue culture to explore drug activity and mechanism of action.

Supervisors

Contact

Andrew Tee

Dr Andrew Tee

Senior Lecturer

Email:
teea@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 29206 87856

Funding details

Tuition fee support Full UK/EU tuition fees
Maintenance stipend Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum
Additional funding offered £31,000 is included to support consumables over the three years.

Eligibility criteria

Residency UK Research Council eligibility conditions apply
Academic criteria

Candidates are expected to have a life sciences degree, with a confirmed or predicted First or Upper Second classification. A Master’s degree or industrial experience is beneficial, but not essential.

Contact

Andrew Tee

Dr Andrew Tee

Senior Lecturer

Email:
teea@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 29206 87856

Consideration is automatic on applying for a Doctor of Philosophy in Medicine.

In the 'Research Proposal and Funding' section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided.

Please select 'No, I am not self-funding my research' when asked whether you are self-funding your research.

Please add 'PhD in Medicine: Targeting Ref1/STAT3 to treat Tuberous Sclerosis' when asked 'Please provide the name of the funding you are applying for'.

A CV and cover letter are required and can be sent separately.

We reserve the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.

Contact

Andrew Tee

Dr Andrew Tee

Senior Lecturer

Email:
teea@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 29206 87856
Scholarships available worth £3,000 each for UK/EU students starting a master’s degree in September 2018.

Eligible research programmes

Eligible research areas