Postgraduate Research Opportunity

Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Multiple Myeloma

Details

Title: Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Multiple Myeloma

Funding: Full time Home tuition fees and a stipend of £16,062 p.a. (UKRI rate for 2022-23.) This studentship has been funded by the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust.

Application deadline: 15th August 2022.

Start date: October 2022

Duration: 3 years (full time)

Location: Colchester Campus

Based in: School of Life Sciences

Background

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a cancer of the bone marrow. Due to significant improvements in treatment, the disease can be controlled for several years before the majority of cases relapse.

Bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are regarded as important drivers of multiple myeloma (MM) pathobiology. However, so far it remains undefined how MSCs cause changes in bone marrow immune cell populations and thereby contribute to disease progression.

To characterise MSCs in MM, you will study MSCs from patients with different disease stages.

The project

Throughout this project your responsibilities and tasks will include, but are not limited to:

  • Plan and perform experiments, analyse data and contribute to the writing process of scientific papers.
  • Keep up to date with the scientific literature
  • Presentations at conferences, seminars, workshops, etc.
  • Liaise with clinical partners at the NHS.

Through this project you will be trained in the following:

  • Culture techniques of mesenchymal stromal cells
  • Flow cytometry
  • Cell imaging
  • General molecular and cellular techniques
  • Scientific writing
  • Training though the University of Essex’ unique professional development scheme.

Funding

This is a 3 -year studentship fully funded by the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust.

The studentship comes with a yearly tax-free stipend at current UKRI rates (rate for 2022-23 will be £16,062) plus Home tuition fees, and £2,500 training bursary via Proficio funding, which may be used to cover the cost of advanced skills training including conference attendance and travel.

To be eligible for this award you must be a Home student (i.e. UK national meeting residency requirements).

Criteria

Essential

  • A candidate with a high 2.1 or 1st class degree in Biomedical Sciences or a related subject.
  • Masters degree in Cancer Biology or a related subject (e.g. Molecular Medicine, Immunology or Haematology).
  • Strong communication skills that are compatible with doctoral-level requirements, i.e., writing academic papers and giving presentations in English.
  • Ability to follow protocols and work independently.
  • Good organisational skills, ability to document and analyse experiments.
  • Ability to work in a team.

Desirable 

  • Placement year during undergraduate studies.
  • Laboratory hands-on experience in tissue culture techniques and experience with primary cells would be advantageous.
  • Proficiency in several of the following methods: mammalian cell culture, protein and DNA gel electrophoresis, western blot, PCR, cloning, site-directed mutagenesis, and/or immunohistochemistry.

How to apply

Please apply by sending a CV (including contact details of two academic referees) and a cover letter explaining your motivation and suitability for the PhD to Emma Revill (ecrix@essex.ac.uk).

If you have any questions please contact the leader supervisor, Dr Andrea Mohr (amohr@essex.ac.uk).