BTNW welcomes enquiries from self-funded or sponsored students wishing to undertake neuro-oncology research towards a PhD which can be registered with one of our academic partners. Programs can be flexible within the research area and part-time if required. Working within the BTNW Consortium will offer the opportunity of experience in several UK academic centres and exposure to a wide range of contemporary research techniques under expert guidance.
Students wishing to join us under the Erasmus scheme are also welcome to enquire about the availability of research projects which may suit their requirements.
Specific project enquires to the given email address. General enquiries through the "Contact form".
This list provides examples of possible project titles but is not exhaustive or exclusive.
Project 1: Development of new metabolic therapies for glioblastoma in adults
Metabolic processes are universally disregulated in glioblastoma and using high-throughput array screening, we have identified genetic aberrations in a number of metabolic enzymes involved in energy production which can be used as druggable targets. Working with our experienced team of cell and molecular biologists, this PhD project will to investigate the efficacy of novel metabolic therapies to selectively kill glioblastoma tumour cells and to understand the molecular mechanisms of their action. These include repurposed drugs and agents in early phase clinical trials for other cancers as well as novel experimental agents which we are specifically designing against target genes, all of which will be assess in patient-derived preclinical tumour models.
Project 2: Molecular mechanisms implicated in resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy in glioblastoma tumors
Glioblastoma growth is dependent on angiogenesis and although current anti-VEGF therapies lead to an initial reduction in tumour size and vascularisation, this progression-free period is transient and is inevitably followed by resistance to continued anti-angiogenic therapy. There is evidence that increased expression of bFGF by glioblastoma cells reactivates endothelial cell angiogenesis during anti-VEGF evasion. This PhD project will investigate strategies to overcome tumour revascularization by simultaneous blockage of several anti-angiogenic factors and investigate the molecular mechanisms implicated enhanced cellular invasiveness shown by glioblastoma during anti-VEGF treatment.
Project 3: Why do tumours metastasise to the brain?
Some tumours metastasise to the brain more often than others (e.g. breast, melanoma and lung). This indicates that there must be specific molecular changes that occur in a primary tumour that provide it with the capacity to metastasis specifically to the brain. Our group is identifying these molecular changes and investigating the mechanisms by which they operate. This PhD studentship will to contribute to this work with studies involving genetic and epigenetics analysis of tumour genomes, culturing of tumour cells and modelling of tumour growth and metastasis.