About this project
Applications are invited for an exciting 3-year fully funded PhD studentship to commence in September 2023.
This PhD project aims identify the next generation of theragnostic targets in cancer. The clinical value of theragnostics for the diagnosis and treatment of disease has been evidenced by prominent phase 3 clinical trials; however, despite the enormous potential for treating a wide range of cancers, theragnostic strategies have been developed towards relatively few phenotypes of cancer. In this project, machine learning algorithms will be applied to analyse publicly available datasets for a wide range of cancer types. This bioinformatic approach will identify novel unexplored biomolecular targets for imaging and therapy, which will then be studied using a series of 2D/3D in vitro cancer models to study the impact of expression/activity of the novel targets on tumour physiological conditions. This project will inform the development of novel targeted molecules with commercial partners, which will be radiolabelled and evaluated in vitro/in vivo at the University of Hull.
The successful candidate will be based on the University of Hull campus and join our thriving and diverse research community in the Positron Emission Tomography Research Centre (PETRC) and our newly formed Hull University Theragnostics (HUT) cluster. The candidate will have opportunities to work at our new Molecular Imaging Research Centre (MIRC) at Castle Hill Hospital as required. The development of radiopharmaceuticals is a multidisciplinary endeavour, and the successful candidate will work at the intersection of biomedical research, bioinformatics, radiopharmaceutical development, and machine learning.
For informal inquiries, please contact Dr Isabel Pires.
Join us at a free webinar at 6 pm on Tuesday 6 December for more information about the funded projects available through this cluster. You will be able to hear from PhD supervisors and ask questions about the programme.
About the research cluster
Theragnostics is a rapidly developing area of nuclear medicine which combines diagnosis and therapy into a single unified strategy for the treatment of disease. We are already implementing approved theragnostics into the clinic at Castle Hill Hospital, for the benefit of cancer patients in the surrounding area. Complementary to this is our ambition to expand our own research capacity around novel theragnostic radiopharmaceuticals and their application to disease. In 2022, we established the Hull University Theragnostics (HUT) PhD cluster. The cluster unites two successful research groups in molecular imaging and wound research, to collaborate and explore new ground in theragnostic radiopharmaceutical development with applications in cancer and wounds.
The University of Hull has identified molecular imaging and theragnostics as a strategic priority area for investment and expansion. In partnership with the Daisy Appeal charity and Hull University Teaching Hospitals, we have invested >£15m in world-leading medical imaging infrastructure and technology to form the Hull Molecular Imaging Centres (HuMIC). Our state-of-the-art facilities provide a critical development pipeline for bench-to-bedside translational science, allowing discoveries made in our laboratory to progress into clinical trials. Very few universities have capabilities in translational nuclear medicine; therefore, the University of Hull offers a truly unique training opportunity for PhD students, with real opportunities to influence patient care. We strive to improve healthcare on a local, national, and global scale through innovative science. Successful candidates will join our active and vibrant research groups located in laboratories at the University of Hull, and the Daisy Research Laboratories at Castle Hill Hospital. Candidates will embed into our £28 million state-of-the-art Health Campus at the University of Hull, joining the Centre for Biomedicine, Hull York Medical School (HYMS). This unique partnership brings together the expertise of both the Universities of Hull and York and offers a thriving environment in which to conduct world-leading research. The Medical School delivers outstanding academic and clinical research with over 85% classed as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2021).
The HUT PhD cluster is led by a diverse team of nationally and internationally renowned scientists with a strong track record in providing excellent PhD supervision. Successful candidates have opportunities to expand their knowledge in the subject area and beyond through engagement with departmental seminars, HuMIC seminars, and the HUT journal club.
How to apply
You will need to supply a personal statement when applying for this scholarship position. Find out more about writing a personal statement. Please also ensure you include the following information:
- What motivates you to pursue PhD study
- Why you are interested in this project
- How your skill set matches the requirements for your choice of project and/or any additional training you will need
- The wider significance of research in this area and potential future research directions for the project.
Apply for this scholarship Full time | Part time
Additional guidance on how to apply.
Closing date for applications
10 February 2023
1 October 2023