Funded PhD Studentship in University College Cork Ireland
Project Title for PhD Studentship: Design, characterisation and pre-clinical evaluation of novel non-toxic targeted therapeutics to treat unmet needs in metastatic prostate cancer (PC).
Background: We have patented a cyclodextrin-based nanoparticle (CDNP) drug delivery platform with proof of concept data for targeted in vivo delivery of a range of therapeutics including nucleic acids. The advantages of CDNP are low toxicity, high loading efficiency, stability in biological fluids, and the capacity to facilitate conjugation with a range of functional groups (PEG, targeting ligand, antibodies) resulting in a library of structurally distinct derivatives allowing co-formulation to produce bespoke delivery materials.
Prostate cancer stem cells (PCSC) underpin therapeutic resistance and disease recurrence marking these cells out as targets for novel therapeutics.
Hypothesis: Using CDNPs to target PCSC with combination therapies, including existing chemotherapeutics and novel genomic medicines including siRNA, will reduce side effects, enhance clinical efficacy compared to standard monotherapies and produce preclinical data for progression to Phase I clinical trial.
Aims: Innovative chemistry will be used to modify CDNP with suitable targeting ligand(s) for markers expressed by PCSC. To enhance specificity, we will design siRNA or CRISPR C2c2 strategies targeting pathways that are up-regulated in PCSC compared to normal tissue, or that increase PCSC susceptibility to chemotherapeutics when down- regulated. Combination therapies will be characterised physicochemically, prototypes will be screened in cell culture, optimised in an orthotopic mouse model and will comply with regulatory requirements.
Experience: The PhD position is funded for 4 years, including a monthly stipend and materials and travel budget. Applicants should hold a minimum of an honours bachelor’s degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in a relevant subject such as Pharmacy, Chemistry, Genetics, Bioengineering. Candidates should also have a strong interest in clinical translation of bio-therapeutics.
Start date: Sept/Oct 2018.
Funding: The studentship will cover fees up to €5,500 pa and a stipend of €18,500 pa
Location: School of Pharmacy University College Cork
Closing date: Friday13th July 2018
For further information please contact:
Prof Caitriona O’Driscoll, Prof and Chair of Pharmaceutics, UCC email@example.com