Joint University of Cambridge/Astrazeneca PhD Studentship: Generation and testing of new Vaccinia virus-based oncolytic virotherapeutic agents

University of Cambridge
January 05, 2023
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Joint University of Cambridge/Astrazeneca PhD Studentship: Generation and

testing of new Vaccinia virus-based oncolytic virotherapeutic agents

An opportunity exists for a graduate student to undertake a PhD starting in October 2023 under the supervision of Dr Brian Ferguson and Dr Gunnel Hallden developing and testing novel oncolytic viruses based on vaccinia virus. This joint project will exploit the Ferguson lab's expertise in anti-viral innate immunity and experience in generation of recombinant poxviruses with the resources and backing of the oncolytic virotherapy team at Astra Zeneca lead by Dr Hallden. The project will aim to generate a range of novel oncolytic recombinant vaccinia viruses and test them in vitro, in organoids and in animal models of cancer. A range of techniques will be used to generate viruses, assess their efficacy in murine tumour models, and analyse the innate and cellular immune responses during treatment.

This ambitious project requires a candidate with an existing interest in cancer biology, immunology and virology. They should be patient, have a strong academic record and be curious to explore the field of oncolytic virus biology. Prior experience in cell culture methods and molecular biology will be advantageous. The student will be based in the Department of Pathology in Cambridge and will spend part of the time in Astra Zeneca in the tumour targeted delivery department (Cambridge).

The studentship is fully funded for 3.5 years and are open to UK citizens or overseas students who meet the UK residency requirements (home fees) or are able to augment the funds to cover the extra costs associated with international student fees. We actively encourage applications from prospective postgraduate students from underrepresented groups. Full details of the University's entrance requirements are specified on the following link: https:// www.

Application process - All applications should be made online via the University's Applicant Portal https: // www. and-self-service-account for a PhD in Pathology (BLPA22). Applicants should have or shortly expect to obtain a first or upper second-class degree from a UK university, or an equivalent standard from an overseas university.

A completed application must be submitted by the closing date below. An application is only complete when all supporting documents, including the 2 academic references, are submitted. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure their referees submit their references before the closing date.

The deadline for applications is 5th January 2023.

Please quote reference PK33746 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.


Department of Pathology, Central Cambridge






27 October 2022

Closing date

5 January 2023

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