An exciting PhD studentship (42 months), at the intersection between Myeloma Research, Structural Biology and Drug Discovery, is available from September 2017 under the joint supervision of Dr Erika Mancini, School of Life Sciences, Sussex University and Dr Tim Chevassut at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School.
Multiple myeloma is an aggressive and incurable cancer of plasma cells, with rising incidence nationally. Despite recent advance in therapy, treatment for myeloma is aimed at disease control, relieving the complications and symptoms and not at curing the disease. The lymphoid transcription factor IRF4 has emerged as the master regulator of an aberrant and malignancy-specific gene expression programme in multiple myeloma. The aim of the project will be to delineate the network of protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions of IRF4 in myeloma plasma cells using myeloma cell lines and bone marrow samples donated by newly diagnosed myeloma patients. We will then target key players and solve crystal structure of relevant transcription factor complexes to identify potential drug targets in Multiple Myeloma.
The PhD will be jointly supervised by two established academics in the field of blood-related cancers. Dr Mancini, within the School of Life Sciences, has worked extensively on the molecular and structural biology of haematopoiesis and haematological malignancy. Dr Chevassut, is a research-active haematologist at Brighton and Sussex Medical School who runs a translational research programme. The student will also benefit from the vibrant research environment of the School of Life Sciences and take advantage of the skills and expertise present in the Gene Expression Research Group. Importantly the groups collaborate with the Sussex Drug Discovery Centre at Sussex University, allowing access to structure-based drug design platforms to exploit potential translational opportunities identified in this project.
Please submit a formal application using their online application system, including a CV, statement of interest and names of two academic referees. Please make sure you include the project title and Supervisor’s name with your statement of interest on the application form. On the application system use Programme of Study – PhD BIOCHEMISTRY
This School funded position, which covers fees and a stipend at standard RCUK rates, is open to Home / EU applicants. Ideal candidates will have a strong background in molecular biology and biochemistry and a clear understanding of and interest in the processes of gene expression and transcription regulation. Additional experience of molecular haematology or crystallography will be a distinct advantage. Eligible candidates will have recently received an MSc and/or a First or high 2:1 BSc in a relevant subject. Informal inquiries should be made to Dr Erika Mancini, Erika.Mancini@sussex.ac.uk
Deadline: 19th March 2017Interviews will take place by Skype or in person on the 24th of March and an offer will need to have been accepted by the 31th of March