Value of award
100% ofÂ UK/EUÂ tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of approximatelyÂ Â£14,057Â (full award) plusÂ Â£2,500Â from the industrial sponsor. A partial award covers fees at theÂ UK/EUÂ rate only.
Number of awards
Start date and duration
September 2016 for 4 years
This project aims to explore the therapeutic potential of an ATR inhibitor, developed at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, in ovarian cancer through exploitation of defects in the DNA damage response (DDR). ATR is key to the DDR by signalling DNA damage to cell cycle checkpoints and repair. Certain defects in the DDR confer sensitivity to ATR inhibition.
Many of these defects are common in ovarian cancer, the 5thÂ most frequent cause of cancer death in women. The project will involve cytotoxicity studies in a panel of ovarian cancer cell lines, knockdown of DDR genes, mechanistic studies to determine why some DDR defects confer sensitivity to ATR inhibition and translational studies using primary cultures of ovarian cancer from patients. Training in relevant biochemical and molecular techniques, the scientific method and intellectual rigor will be given. Parts of the project will be undertaken at Vertex, the industrial sponsorâ€™s laboratories.
Medical Research Council
Industrial CASE with Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Europe) Ltd
Name of supervisor(s)
Professor N Curtin and Dr Y Drew (Northern Institute for Cancer Research (NICR))
Dr J Pollard,Â Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Europe) Ltd
You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree in biology, biochemistry, biomedicine, or a related area. A further qualification such as an MSc or MRes is advantageous.
This award is available toÂ UK/EUÂ applicants. Depending on how you meet theÂ MRCâ€™s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award. Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).Â
If English is not your first language, you must have IELTS 7 with at least 6.5 in the written component, or equivalent.Â
How to apply
All applicants should complete theÂ Universityâ€™s postgraduate application systemÂ when applying for a studentship. You must apply through the Universityâ€™s online postgraduate application system. To do this please â€˜Create a new accountâ€™.
Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:
- insert theÂ programmeÂ 8300FÂ in the programme of study sectionÂ
- select â€˜PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences â€“ Cancer Research’Â as the programme of studyÂ
- insert the studentship codeÂ CR073Â in the studentship/partnership reference fieldÂ
- attach aÂ covering letter andÂ CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference codeÂ CR073Â and state how your interests and experience relate to the projectÂ
- attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications
For further details pleaseÂ emailÂ Nicola Curtin, Professor of Experimental Cancer Therapy, Newcastle University, Northern Institute for Cancer Research and Newcastle University Institute for Ageing.Â
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