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Fully-funded PhD studentships at The Institute of Cancer Therapeutics Doctoral Training Centre - Novel targeted cytotoxic chemotherapy for colorectal cancer

Full-time: available
Part-time: not available
Prospective PG students (inc. current UG): available
Current PG students: not available
Entry year: 2019/20
Undergraduate: not available
Postgraduate taught: not available
Postgraduate research: available
1 scholarship available

About the scholarship

This is one of three new fully-funded PhD studentships in the new Institute of Cancer Therapeutics Doctoral Training Centre (ICT-DTC) at the University of Bradford. Focused on the generation of new anticancer prodrugs, the ICT-DTC has been created following a major £2m investment by ICT spin-out company Incanthera Ltd.

We are now looking for applications from outstanding potential PhD candidates.

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Novel targeted cytotoxic chemotherapy for colorectal cancer.


Metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) is largely incurable by conventional approaches and requiring the development of better therapeutics. Clinical studies indicate that increased levels of an enzyme known as cytochrome P450 2W1 (CYP2W1) positively correlate with the degree of tumour malignancy, as well as with decreased 10-year survival in patients with CRC.

We have developed prodrugs of the duocarmycin family of natural products and shown in proof-of-concept studies that a lead prodrug (ICT2706) is selectively activated in CRC in vitro and in vivo. 


To develop a new non-toxic prodrug therapy for colorectal cancer.


Re-engineering of the duocarmycin scaffold through design and synthetic manipulations to discover novel prodrugs with clinical potential. Compounds with high affinity for CYP2W1 will be co-crystallised with the enzyme to provide mechanistic insight into the active site and function of the enzyme. Lead prodrug will be investigated in an appropriate in vivo CRC model.

Relevant papers

Eligibility criteria

Background required

Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacy or related subjects.

Main skills

Organic/medicinal chemistry; compound analysis; pharmacological assays; drug metabolism.

Eligible countries

Students from all countries, who meet the criteria, are eligible.

Payment amount & frequency

Studentships cover tuition fees, a tax free stipend (at standard MRC rates, £15,009 per annum 2019/20) for the duration programme and writing-up (3.5 years total) and a generous research budget. A travel fund is also provided for each student to guarantee participation in a national and international conference. Funding for specific training courses is also included in the DTC.

How to apply

Potential candidates should apply directly online through the online application portal.

We will continue to accept applications until all places are filled. We will initially consider all applications received by 30 April 2019 for shortlisting and interview.

Anticipated start date: October 2019.

Find out more

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Klaus Pors.  

For further information about the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics Doctoral Training Centre, please contact Dr Robert Falconer, or take a look at our website.

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