Tenovus Fully-funded PhD Studentship: Biosciences


Swansea University invites applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship: The role of STEAP2 in prostate cancer invasion and metastasis.

About the Project:

The successful candidate will join a group of 21 members (PhD students, post-docs and technicians) based in the In Vitro Toxicology Group.

Early prostate cancer confined to the gland is not always life threatening and in many patients the tumours are dormant, not requiring immediate treatment such as major surgery or radiotherapy. However, the question of when to start therapy in prostate cancer patients and determining the best treatment plan can be problematic because diagnostic tools to accurately distinguish between aggressive (invasive) or dormant tumours are lacking. Recent studies have identified the gene Six Transmembrane Epithelial Antigen of the Prostate 2 (STEAP2) as over-expressed in prostate cancer, but its importance is poorly understood.


Our initial studies have shown STEAP2 over-expression is specifically associated with aggressive prostate cancer, so this proposed project is aimed at determining the role that STEAP2 plays in driving the development of this cancer. This will be achieved by depleting STEAP2 in cancerous prostate cells and enhancing its expression in normal prostate cells. A series of experiments to assess if and how characteristic invasive cancer properties are altered will be performed. Features under study will include proliferation, cell-cycle analysis, invasive properties, cell migratory capacity, apoptosis / necrosis, anchorage-independent colony formation, oxidative stress, inflammatory responses and a detailed investigation of STEAP2 down-stream mediators that facilitate phenotypic change supporting tumour invasion. Additionally, the predictive value of STEAP2 as a marker for aggressive prostate cancer will be assessed in tumour tissue samples from patients with known outcome, to establish its sensitivity in identifying those patients likely to progress to aggressive disease.

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Candidate Eligibility:

  • The studentship is only available to candidates from the UK.
  • Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a first or upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject area.
  • Subject backgrounds considered: Genetics, biochemistry, cancer biology, biomedical science, or a related discipline
  • Applications are sought from enthusiastic individuals with experience in tissue culture or molecular biology-based assays. Experience in gene / protein expression analysis (Western blotting, real-time PCR); or oxidative stress based-techniques would also be desirable.


Studentship Value:

The studentship provides funding (fees and maintenance) for 3 years consisting of:

    • Full UK/EU tuition fees.
    • A stipend of £13,590 per year.
    • Additional funds towards attendance at conferences and laboratory consumables.

Further Information:

Informal enquires are welcome and should be directed to Dr Shareen H. Doak at s.h.doak@swansea.ac.uk

Application Closing Date:10th May 2013.


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