KESS II Funded PhD Studentship: The development and application of a MeDIP (methylated DNA immunoprecipitation) assay for epigenetic profiling of primary ascites-derived cells to determine a link between metabolism and drug-resistance in ovarian cancer
Swansea University is a UK top 30 institution for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014), and has been named Welsh University of the Year 2017 by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.
Wales has the highest incidence of ovarian cancer of all UK countries and the highest rate of deaths (Cancer Research UK, 2013). Although ovarian cancer patients initially respond well to treatment, most will develop disease recurrence within 18 months, with a 5-year survival rate of only 27% - a worse outcome than breast cancer. More than one-third of these patients present with malignant ascites (an accumulation of cells and fluid, causing swelling of the abdomen). Development of ascites plays a fundamental role in resistance to chemotherapy and disease recurrence. This is due, in part, to the ‘metabolic flexibility’ of the cancer cells. Therefore, the aim of this studentship is to investigate aberrant epigenetic profiles of key metabolic genes, concentrating primarily on DNA methylation and altered histone modifications, in ascites-derived tumour cells using Chromatrap’s solid-state immunoprecipitation (IP) platform from Porvair. In addition to using Chromatrap’s technology the objectives of the studentship will also be met using a variety of analytical approaches including, but not limited to, advanced cell culture (primary ascites-derived cells), fluorescent (confocal) microscopy, metabolic and biochemical assays (ELISA, qPCR, Western Blot and fluorescent-based plate-reader assays), as well as flow cytometry. This project is a collaboration between Swansea University Medical School (Dr James Cronin and Dr Lewis Francis) and Porvair (Dr Amy Beynon).
Scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners including SME’s and micro companies, as well as public and third sector organisations. The scholarship provides 3 years of funding with a 6 month period to complete the thesis. The achievement of a postgraduate skills development award, PSDA, is compulsory for each KESS II scholar and is based on a 60 credit award.
Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree, preferably in Genetics, Biochemistry or a related subject. They should also be eligible for UK/EU Fees.
The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend. The bursary will be limited to a maximum of £14,340 p.a. dependent upon the applicant's financial circumstances.
There will also be additional funds available for research expenses.
Please visit our website for more information.