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LIMR Oncology: Evaluating Photodynamic Therapy in colorectal cancer using patient-derived organoids


Key facts

Type of research degree
4 year PhD
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (outside UK)
Additional supervisors
Dr Ibrahim Knot, Professor David Jayne
School of Medicine
Research groups/institutes
Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide. Surgery is first line treatment and often in adjunct with chemotherapy. However, up to 20% of patients develop recurrent disease after treatment.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is an emerging anti-cancer treatment method, which can substantially improve the outcomes of treatment in CRC. PDT involves the administration of a photosensitising agent to cancers, followed by the irradiation of light to the cancer growth. This results in the activation of the photosensitising agent, eliciting cell death through the generation of reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress. This project will involve the investigation of PDT in CRC through the use of different in vitro models of CRC. Recently, it has been identified that 2D cell cultures are not adequate and efficient in providing reliable and clinically representative outcomes of treatment. This is due to the limited capacity and application of 2D cell cultures and their lack of representation of clinical cancers. 3D spheroidal cell cultures and more recently, patient-derived organoids have been identified as vastly more improved and better models of CRC to pre-clinically evaluate treatments.</p> <p>&nbsp;In this project, PDT will be evaluated in simple 2D monolayer and more advanced 3D spheroidal cell monocultures and co-cultures of CRC. In our laboratory, we culture patient-derived organoids, directly from CRC patients in Leeds and will be used in this PhD project to study PDT treatments. The candidate will liaise with the colorectal surgery team at St James Hospital to collect and process CRC tissue specimens from theatre into organoids. Organoids will be subjected to PDT and other cancer treatments and interrogated on a molecular level to identify novel markers of chemoresistance.</p> <h5>Techniques associated with this project:</h5> <p>Cell line and tissue culturing, patient-derived organoid culturing, cell viability assays, fluorescent microscopy, immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, western blotting, RT-PCR, single cell analyses, statistical analyses</p> <p>This project is part of the <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">International PhD Academy: Medical Research</a></p> <p><strong>In line with the bespoke nature of our International PhD Academy a modified PhD project can be proposed dependent on students interests and background.</strong></p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Please note these are not standalone projects and applicants must apply to the PhD academy directly.</p> <p>Applications can be made at any time. You should complete an <a href="">online application form</a> and attach the following documentation to support your application.&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>a full academic CV</li> <li>degree certificate and transcripts of marks (or marks so far if still studying)</li> <li>Evidence that you meet the programme&rsquo;s minimum English language requirements (if applicable, see requirement below)</li> <li>Evidence of funding to support your studies</li> </ul> <p>To help us identify that you are applying for this project please ensure you provide the following information on your application form;</p> <ul> <li>Select PhD in Medicine, Health &amp; Human Disease as your planned programme of study</li> <li>Give the full project title and name the supervisors listed in this advert</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

A degree in biological sciences, dentistry, medicine, midwifery, nursing, psychology or a good honours degree in a subject relevant to the research topic. For entry requirements for all other research degrees we offer, please contact us.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the specific demands of their study. The minimum requirements for this programme in IELTS and TOEFL tests are: &bull; British Council IELTS - score of 7.0 overall, with no element less than 6.5 &bull; TOEFL iBT - overall score of 100 with the listening and reading element no less than 22, writing element no less than 23 and the speaking element no less than 24.

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>Informal enquires about regarding the bespoke taught first year of the PhD programme and research projects can be made by contacting <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>Enquiries regarding the application process should be directed to the Faculty of Medicine and Health Graduate School e: <a href=""></a></p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>