PhD studentship: Developing novel treatments for rare childhood brain tumours

University of Cambridge
November 14, 2022
Offerd Salary:£19,000
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
Working type:N/A
Job Ref.:N/A
PhD studentship: Developing novel treatments for rare childhood brain


PhD studentship : Developing novel treatments for rare childhood brain tumours

Department/location : Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute

Deadline for application : 14 November 2022

This is a unique opportunity for PhD study in the world-leading Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (CRUK CI), to start a research career in an environment committed to training outstanding cancer research scientists of the future. The Institute has excellent state-of-the-art facilities and research ranges from basic biology and computational biology through to translational cancer research and clinical application.

Postgraduate students play a pivotal role in the continuing success of our research programmes. If you are interested in contributing to our success, please find further information at: https: // www. studentships/postgraduate-study

Professor Richard Gilbertson is Head of the research group focusing on cellular and molecular origins of cancer, with a particular interest in children's brain tumours. For further information, please go to https: // www.

Professor Gilbertson wishes to appoint a student to work on the project entitled: Developing novel treatments for rare childhood brain tumours.

Project details

Despite decades of research, the treatment of brain tumours has remained largely unchanged. These cancers are treated with an aggressive combination of neurosurgery, radiation and chemotherapy that fails to cure but damages the surrounding normal brain, leaving survivors with devastating side effects. One potential reason why we have failed to identify new brain therapies is because the system used to select drugs for clinical trial do not predict therapeutic activity in patients. Research within the Gilbertson laboratory uses novel genetically engineered mouse models and patient derived orthotopic xenografts of brain tumours to develop and test curative treatments for children with these rare tumours.

This project aims to develop and characterise models of both Choroid Plexus Carcinoma and Supratentorial Ependymoma, this will include monitoring tumour growth using imaging as well as single-cell RNA sequencing approaches to characterise tumour heterogeneity and understand radiation resistance. This project will be carried out through collaborations with the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) as part of the newly named Children Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence. The studentship will involve testing new chemical entities and natural products from high throughput drugs screens in a pre- clinical setting. The project is designed so that we are able to test the efficacy, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of candidate therapies in the context of 'standard of care' sequential, neurosurgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Preferred skills/knowledge

The ideal candidate would have a relevant undergraduate degree, a keen interest in neurobiology and translational research, and would be highly motivated to drive an independent research project. A research Master's degree, as well as good familiarity with in vivo models and pre-clinical pharmacology studies would be highly desirable. The successful candidate is expected to work closely with other team members, have excellent record keeping habits, organisational and time-management skills, and an inquisitive mind.


This studentship is funded by Cancer Research UK and includes full funding for University and College fees and in addition, a stipend currently of £19,000 per annum, initially for 3 years, with funding for a further year possible as required.


No nationality restrictions apply to Cancer Research UK funded studentships. Applications are invited from recent graduates or final year undergraduates who hold or expect to gain a first/upper second-class degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject from any recognised university worldwide. Applicants with relevant research experience, gained through Master's study or while working in a laboratory, are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to apply

Please apply using the University Applicant Portal. For further information about the course and to access the applicant portal, go to: https: // www. Please select to commence study in Michaelmas term 2023 (October 2023).

To complete your online application, you need to provide the following:

Reference Request: The names and contact details of two academic referees who have agreed to act on your behalf.

Course Specific Question: Your statement of interest (limit of 2,500 characters) should explain why you wish to be considered for the studentship and which qualities and experience you will bring to the role. Please also state how you learned of the studentship.

Supporting Document: Please upload your CV (PDF file), which should include a list of the examinations taken at undergraduate level and if possible, your examination results.

Deadline The closing date for applications is 14 November 2022 with interviews expected to take place in the week beginning 16 January 2023.

Please quote reference SW33444 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.


Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, Cambridge






3 October 2022

Closing date

14 November 2022

From this employer

Recent blogs

Recent news