Prostate cancer (PCa) is extremely common and has been detected in 30% of 40 year-old men, rising to 65% in 70 year olds. However, only a small proportion of these cancers will become clinically apparent and only ~20% of these will progress and kill the patient. Deciding which men to treat and which not is a major problem for patients and the NHS. Our research is designed to develop new clinical tests to aid in these decisions.
Due to the interconnected plumbing of the human urinary system, prostate biomarkers can be harvested from urine samples. We have just completed a 3-year Movember funded study run from UEA involving 12 collaborating teams in 7 different countries. This study looked at urine as a source of biomarkers for prostate cancer diagnosis and prognosis examining: Microvesicular-RNA expression, DNAmethylation, Proteins, and Mass Spectrometry, generating ~150,000 data points. Initial analysis has revealed PCa biomarkers that are over-expressed in aggressive disease. The PhD student will fully analyse this unique data to reveal the optimal combination of markers for diagnosis, prognosis, and response to therapy. The data readout will be developed into a clinically implementable test to aid patient therapy.
This is a bioinformatics/data analysis based PhD. During the PhD you will gain knowledge on how to deal with big data, statistical analyses, machine learning and model building. You will be part of the Cancer Genetics team at the Norwich Medical School, which is an interdisciplinary team comprising a mixture of bioinformaticians and lab-based scientists. We have a broad interest in translational cancer based molecular studies with a particular focus on prostate cancer. Research includes urine based biomarker studies, whole genome sequencing studies, subtype detection studies and bacteria in cancer studies.
Closing Date: 2nd June 2017
Starting Date: July 2017