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Novel strategies for molecular imaging of the radiobiological tumour

Funding:

Funded PhD

Duration:

3 years (full-time)

Application deadline:

Wednesday 23 January

About this project

Although the impact of the radiobiological tumour microenvironment on radiation response is well established in the field, specific molecular imaging strategies remain elusive. Here, we propose to develop novel targeted imaging strategies for imaging the hypoxic microenvironment and biological features altered in cancers, such as expression of receptors, their ligands, and transporters.

Radio-labelling strategies will be developed with 18F and 68Ga, including new redox sensitive approaches for hypoxia and receptor recognition. The compounds will be iteratively designed for optimal affinity/pO2 sensitivity and imaged preclinically to give information for adjustment of relevant parameters for targeted molecular imaging. Lead agents from in vitro studies will be translated preclinically using the pre-clinical irradiator and micro-PET/CT scanner to determine therapy response compared to the current state-of-the-art.

Clinical translation will be planned with GMP tracer synthesis investigated in the new Molecular Imaging Research Centre (to be completed July 2019) at Castle Hill Hospital and the potential for first-in-man clinical studies­.

The successful candidate will be expected to have a strong interest in medicinal molecular science, medical imaging and/or cancer biology and relevant experience. The candidate must also show a willingness to work in a multi-disciplinary environment with NHS researchers, and embrace the area of preclinical and clinical medical imaging.

The University's Postgraduate Training Scheme (PGTS) provides a range of generic and discipline-specific modules to support research students through their programme. 

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Funding

Full-time UK/EU and International PhD Scholarships will include tuition fees and maintenance (£14,777 in 2018/19) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a 1st class undergraduate degree in in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Medical Imaging, Cancer Biology, Biomedical Science, or a related discipline, or a Masters level research qualification in a relevant discipline. A 2:1 may be considered, if combined with relevant experience.

Interviews will be held between 7 and 27 February 2019.

Successful applicants will be informed of the award as soon as possible and by 15 March 2019 at the latest.

Studentships will start on 16 September 2019.