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Starving cancer cells to death

PGR-P-75

Key facts

Type of research degree
PhD
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Funding
Non-funded
Additional supervisors
Dr Salvatore Papa, Professor Reuben Tooze
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

All the cells in our bodies are programmed to die. As they get older, our cells accumulate toxic molecules that make them sick. In response, they eventually break down and die, clearing the way for new, healthy cells to grow. This &ldquo;programmed cell death&rdquo; is a natural and essential part of our wellbeing. Every day, billions of cells die like this in order for the whole organism to continue functioning as it is supposed to.

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

<p>But as with any program, errors can occur and injured cells that are supposed to die continue to grow and divide. These damaged cells can eventually become malignant and generate tumors. In order to avoid their programmed cell death in this way, cancer cells reorganize their metabolism so they can cheat death and proliferate indefinitely. The unanswered fundamental question is what regulates these changes in metabolism?</p> <p>In a recent seminal publication in Nature Communications we have started to address this question and we are now aiming to translate our basic findings into a pre-clinical application for cancer treatment. Our work is aimed&nbsp;to design and generate new drugs that can block changes in metabolism of cancer cells and work out how to use them safely in patients.</p> <h3>References:</h3> <ul> <li>Verzella D et al., 2018 <em>Cancer Res</em> <strong>78</strong>: 1275-1292</li> <li>Iansante V et al., 2015 <em>Nat Commun</em> <strong>6</strong>: 7882.</li> <li>Barbarulo A et al., 2013 <em>Oncogene</em> <strong>32</strong>: 4231-4242.</li> </ul>

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

<p>Applications can be made at any time. To apply for this project applicants should complete a<a href="https://medicinehealth.leeds.ac.uk/downloads/download/129/faculty_graduate_school_-_application_form"> Faculty Application Form</a> and send this alongside a full academic CV, degree transcripts (or marks so far if still studying) and degree certificates to the Faculty Graduate School <a href="mailto:fmhpgradmissions@leeds.ac.uk">fmhpgradmissions@leeds.ac.uk</a></p> <p>We also require 2 academic references to support your application. Please ask your referees to send these <a href="https://medicinehealth.leeds.ac.uk/downloads/download/130/faculty_graduate_school_-_scholarship_reference_form">references</a> on your behalf, directly to <a href="mailto:fmhpgradmissions@leeds.ac.uk">fmhpgradmissions@leeds.ac.uk</a></p> <p>If you have already applied for other projects using the Faculty Application Form this academic session you do not need to complete this form again. Instead you should email <a href="mailto:fmhpgradmissions@leeds.ac.uk">fmhpgradmissions@leeds.ac.uk</a>&nbsp;to inform us you would like to be considered for this project.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<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. A Masters degree in a relevant subject may also be required in some areas of the Faculty. 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 Faculty of Medicine and Health minimum requirements in IELTS and TOEFL tests for PhD, MSc, MPhil, MD are: &acirc;&euro;&cent; British Council IELTS - score of 6.5 overall, with no element less than 6.0 &acirc;&euro;&cent; TOEFL iBT - overall score of 92 with the listening and reading element no less than 21, writing element no less than 22 and the speaking element no less than 23.

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

<p>For further information please contact the Graduate School Office<br /> e: <a href="mailto:fmhpgradmissions@leeds.ac.uk">fmhpgradmissions@leeds.ac.uk</a> t: +44 (0)113 343 8221.</p>