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Cancer Research

The University has selected cancer as one of its strategic research initiatives, highlighting the paramount and timely importance of cancer research.  Recent progress has resulted in optimism among researchers who believe that at last many scientific findings can lead to real benefits for patients.

Graduate students play a pivotal role in the continuing success of research in Cambridge and gaining a studentship in Cambridge is an excellent opportunity to start a research career in an environment committed to training outstanding cancer research scientists of the future.

We seek highly motivated and talented students to enter our PhD programme and to join a stimulating research project starting in October 2014.  In addition to excellent research facilities, collaborative initiatives and the resources in their host Departments and Institutes, students will have access to a wide range of talks, courses and other activities organised across the University.

For further information about the available projects, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, please consult the appropriate website.

The following projects are available:

Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute PhD Studentships

  • Shankar Balasubramanian:  The chemical biology of the cancer genome and epigenome
  • Carlos Caldas:  Unraveling breast cancer clonal evolution dynamics at single cell resolution
  • Duncan Jodrell:  Targetting the stromal/cancer cell interaction in pancreatic cancer
  • Nitzan Rosenfeld:  Computational methods for molecular diagnostics of cancer


CRUK & EPSRC Cancer Imaging Centre in Cambridge & Manchester

Four PhD Studentships and 4 Clinical Research Training Fellowships are available in Cambridge.

PhD Studentships:

  • Finian Leeper & Kevin Brindle:  Cell death detection using a targeted imaging agent
  • Franklin Aigbirhio &  Dmitry Soloviev:  PET imaging of oxidative damage
  • Carlos Caldas &  Florian Markowetz:  Correlating image heterogeneity with tumour genomics
  • Sarah Bohndiek & Kevin Brindle:  MR imaging of tumour oxygenation and photoacoustic imaging of tumour oxygenation and cell death


Clinical Research Training Fellowships:

  • Rebecca Fitzgerald &  Kevin Brindle:  Detection of dysplasia using fluorescence endoscopy
  • Fiona Gilbert:  Imaging of tumour microstructure
  • Kevin Brindle:  Imaging tumour metabolism with hyperpolarised
  • 13C-labelled cell substrates
  • Fiona Gilbert:  MR imaging of tumour oxygenation


Medical Research Council Cancer Unit PhD Studentships

  • Christian Frezza:  The role of altered metabolism in tumorigenesis
  • Phil Jones:  Stem Cells and Cancer
  • Jacqui Shields:  Stroma function in the tumour microenvironment
  • Sakari Vanharanta:  Molecular basis of cancer metastasis


Cambridge Cancer Centre PhD Studentships

  • Mike Chapman & Paul Lehner:   Proteomic and genetic analysis of immune evasion in myeloma cells and identification of novel tumour markers
  • Bertie Göttgens & George Vassiliou:  Characterisation of leukaemogenic regulatory networks in acute myeloid leukaemia
  • Meritxell Huch & Ben Simons:  Adult liver regeneration and its implications in liver cancer
  • Laura Itzhaki, Chris Dobson & Erwin de Genst:  Isolation of nanobodies to stabilise and restore the function of melanoma-associated mutant p16INK4a
  • Kathryn Lilley, Julio Saez-Rodriguez & Christian Frezza:  Characterisation of the effects of loss of fumarate hydratase on signal transduction and regulation in renal cancer using a systems biology approach.
  • Mark van Breugel:  Identification of centriolar/centrosomal protein complexes and their structural and functional characterisation
  • Colin Watts & Simon Tavaré:  Interrogating clonal repopulation dynamics in glioblastoma