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PhD Studentship in Biotechnology - Newcastle University

PhD Studentship - Exploration of extracellular RNA (exRNA) from hepatocellular carcinoma patients serum for biomarker discovery

Deadline:     Wednesday, June 08, 2022

About the Project


Obesity, diabetes, and alcohol-related liver illnesses are all contributing to an increase in primary liver cancer deaths in the United Kingdom. Patients usually present at a late stage in their illness. There haven't been many therapies for them until recently. That has changed, with a variety of medicines now accessible, although only a small percentage of patients react, and others experience negative effects. Do you want to make a difference by determining which treatments are best for specific patients? The goal of this PhD thesis is to find predictive biomarkers that will aid in therapy selection.

We created a'state-of-the-art' biobank including tissue and blood samples for patients with liver cancer thanks to financing from the CRUK programme and Accelerator prizes. We lead the 'Hunter' national network, which collaborates with Spain and Italy. The student will join the network and work on improving revolutionary cutting-edge biomedical 'liquid biopsy' tools for detecting changes in patients' blood linked to malignancies and therapy response.

The project, which will be supervised by Dr Ruchi Shukla, will provide an opportunity to develop skills in a variety of biomedical techniques ranging from clinical samples processing to molecular biology, as well as project management skills - including data interpretation, analysis – including bioinformatics – and problem solving, in line with Newcastle University Cancer Centre's focus on drug target and biomarker discovery. Professor Reeves will supervise the student while they get HTA compliance training and obtain a Clinical Research Passport. The student will be able to interact with clinical data collection and interpretation as well as clinical endpoints as a result of this. To improve scientific communication abilities, the student will be encouraged to participate in frequent group meetings and attend conferences.  Also visits the official site for more detail

Number Of Awards

One (1)

Start Date


Award Duration

3 years.


Newcastle University Faculty Medical Sciences


Professor Helen Reeves, Dr Ruchi Shukla and Dr David Jamieson.

Position Eligibility 

You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree or international equivalent, in a subject relating to biomedical sciences, including biochemistry and physiology. Further qualification such as an MRes is advantageous.

This award is available to UK and international applicants. Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK fees and international fees.

Successful EU applicants will be considered for the Vice-Chancellor’s EU Research Scholarship.

English Language requirements: IELTS 6.5 overall, with 5.5 or more in each sub-skill.


You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. 


To do this please ‘Create a new account’ 

Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:

• insert the programme code 8440F* in the programme of study section

• select ‘PhD Translational and Clinical Research (FT) as the programme of study

• insert the studentship code TC046 in the studentship/partnership reference field

• attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code TC046 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project

• attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.

Contact Details


Funding Notes

100% of home tuition fees paid and annual living expenses paid at the UKRI rate (2022/2023)

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