Cardiff University President's Research Scholarship: Drug Discovery: Improved nucleoside analogue drugs as topical treatment for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) associated neoplasia (PhD Studentship)
Reference Number: R453
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
Key Studentship Information
This is a Cardiff University President's Research Scholarship, part of a new £4M investment to coincide with the inauguration of Professor Sir Martin Evans (Nobel Prize for Medicine 2007) as Cardiff’s new President. All of the University Schools and Research Centres offering opportunities under the programme have demonstrated the real potential of the Scholarships to contribute to research excellence through significant, challenging and original PhD research projects and excellent PhD supervision and support. Other attractive features of the Scholarships include the presence of multiple President’s Scholars in each of the research areas and the guaranteed exposure of President’s Scholars to innovative technologies, theories, methodological approaches, and debates. More information on the President's Research Scholarships scheme is available here: www.cardiff.ac.uk/presidents
Project Title: Improved nucleoside analogue drugs as topical treatment for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) associated neoplasia
The project description is indicative at this stage and may be subject to change. Please contact Dr Ned Powell, email@example.com, for further information.
The incidence of HPV associated neoplasia (pre-cancer) is increasing. HPV associated Vulval Intraepithelial Neoplasia (VIN) is a painful and distressing condition, and is a precursor of vulval cancer. The main treatment for VIN is currently surgery, but a topical treatment (applied to the affected skin) would have obvious advantages. This project will use a novel model system based on primary culture of VIN to assess the potential of nucleoside analogue drugs. This challenging project will develop expertise in cutting edge technologies, including drug design and evaluation, primary culture of clinical material, and biomarker discovery and validation. It could also have significant impact on treatment of VIN. Evaluation of these compounds in a primary culture system is novel and provides a unique opportunity to examine these drugs in a physiologically relevant, but experimentally tractable system. This project’s immediate aim is to improve treatment of VIN and prevent malignant progression, but it is likely that the results will be relevant to treatment of other HPV associated malignancies.
The specific aims of this project are:
1. To determine the efficacy and mode of action of the nucleoside analogue Cidofovir in treatment of HPV associated disease.
2. To identify structural variants of Cidofovir with increased activity against HPV associated neoplasia.
3. To investigate the effects of the demethylating agent Decitabine on HPV gene expression and disease.
4. To identify biomarkers which predict response to these two classes of therapy.
This project ties in with a current clinical trial (RT3VIN) evaluating use of Cidofovir in treatment of VIN.
This project will be based primarily within the HPV Research Group, which is a highly active and rapidly expanding unit composed of both basic scientists and clinicians. It will involve close collaboration with the laboratory of Prof. Chris McGuigan, which has world leading expertise in design of nucleoside analogue drugs.
Both groups share the aim of Cardiff University School of Medicine, to pursue the highest standards of research, education and training, to enhance the health of the people of Wales and the wider world. The School of Medicine is one of the largest in the UK, with over 2100 undergraduate and postgraduate students currently enrolled. The HPV Group is part of the Cancer Studies IRG which gained the highest possible rating (5*) in the Research Assessment Exercise in 2001.
Supervisor: Dr Ned Powell, with Dr Amanda Tristram and Prof. Chris McGuigan
Proposed Start Date: 1st October 2012
This is a Cardiff University President's Research Scholarship. The award includes full UK/EU tuition fees plus a doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£13,590 p.a. for 2010/11, updated each year).
Number of Awards Available: 1
Academic Criteria: Applicants must have a First Class Honours degree or a 2.1 plus a postgraduate Masters degree (or their equivalents) in a relevant subject
Residency: Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals, and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. To be eligible for the full award, EU Nationals must have been in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the course for which they are seeking funding, including for the purposes of full-time education. EU Nationals who do not meet the above residency requirement are eligible for a fees-only award, provided that they have been ordinarily resident in the EU for at least 3 years prior to the start of their proposed programme of study.
How to Apply
Interested candidates should submit a CV and Covering Letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
For more information contact Dr Ned Powell:
Telephone: 029 2087 4742