Oncology

 
  

Fact file

Qualification
MRes/MSc (by research)/MPhil/PhD/DM
Duration
MRes/MSc (by research) 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time; MPhil 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time; PhD/DM 3-4 years full-time, 6-8 years part-time
Entry requirements
Candidates who wish to register for a PhD will be required to possess a first degree with at least 2:1 (or international equivalent) classification; candidates who wish to register for a DM will require a registrable medical qualification. Evidence of research activity, including BMedSci or BSc degrees, will be an advantage; candidates who wish to register for an MRes, MSc (by research) or MPhil degree will be required to possess a first degree with at least 2:2 (or international equivalent) classification
IELTS
6.5 (no lower than 6.0 in any element) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
October, December, February, April, July 
Campus
Medical School
School/department
Other requirements

Research overview

Oncology aims to develop new treatments for cancer by undertaking research at the interface between laboratory and clinic. The division is focusing on this and brings together scientists and clinicians with a broad range of expertise, including cell and molecular biology, immunology and clinical cancer medicine.

The basic oncology research encompasses the tumour-immune interface, the way cancer spreads and the mechanisms by which tumours overcome damage induced by anti-cancer treatments. Novel ways to enhance the anti-cancer immune response have been discovered, mechanisms of how cancers can manipulate the immune system identified and strategies to overcome this immune blockade have been developed.

The Monoclonal Antibody (Mabs) Group have developed a unique strategy to generate Mabs targeting tumour glycolipids and have validated this approach by producing two colorectal cancer Mabs, licensed to Arana Ltd/Kyowa Hakko for clinical development. Glycolipids are ideal targets for drug discovery as they are aberrantly overexpressed by tumours and are functional co-accessory molecules essential for most physiological processes.

Currently the group is producing Mabs targeting ovarian, gastric and pancreatic tumour glycolipids. The Translational Radiation Biology Research team has identified means to improve diagnosis of vascular invasion in cancer and is investigating the genes that regulate metastatic spread. They recently identified proteins that are responsible for regulating responses to conventional therapies and how these may be targeted in future treatment strategies. The DNA Repair team is developing novel agents which increase the sensitivity of cancer to chemotherapy and is working towards bringing these into the clinic.

Academic oncology researchers are working in partnership with the Clinical Cancer Centre to deliver palliative care research and a world class clinical trials service. Phase I, II and III trials are carried out in partnership with other academic institutions and the pharmaceutical industry, in local, national and international clinical trials. The group has an international profile in several cancer types including melanoma, renal, breast, gynaecological and upper gasto-intestinal tract cancers. Importantly the close collaboration between laboratory and clinic encourages fertile exchange of both ideas and clinical material to facilitate more effective cancer research.

More information about the Division of Oncology.

 

Facilities

Analytical Chromatography

Biological sample preparation for chromatography including liquid and solid phase extraction, centrifugation, rotary evaporation and speedvac concentration are available. The analytical laboratory houses high pressure liquid chromatography equipment with autosampling linked to UV, diode array and refractive index detectors as well as a Bruker ion trap mass spectrometer with electrospray and chemical ionisation.

Contact Nigel Halliday

Antibody Production

Specialist expertise in monoclonal antibody production to a range of antigens including glycoproteins and lipids, chimerisation, humanisation, Fc-optimisation, purification (and quality control). This includes tailored antibody development to unique antigens, idiotype generation and antibody cloning, chimerisation and humanisation.

Contact Lindy Durrant

Irradiation Facility

A Gulmay Medical Cabinet provides an opportunity to conduct radiation biology experiments in vitro and in vivo. The enclosed system incorporates a 225kV broad focal X-ray housed in a fully equipped tissue culture laboratory. Atmospheric control allows O2 concentrations of down to 0.2% to be maintained for hypoxic studies.

Contact Stewart Martin

Clinical Trials

The Oncology Research Group in partnership with the NHS Department of Clinical Oncology and the Mid Trent National Cancer Network has a state of the art Cancer Clinical trials team. The group is a 30 person strong multidisciplinary team of research nurses and radiographers, data managers and ethics and finance managers and carries out both simple and complex clinical trials according the highest standards of Good Clinical Practice.

Contact Poulam Patel

Fermentation

A combination of single and twin BIOSTAT B 1L and 2L fermentors are available for pilot and ‘omics bacterial’ growth experiments.

All growth parameters are computer controlled via SCADA Software (MFCS/DA, B. Braun Biotech International) enabling data acquisition, process visualisation and control as well as evaluation and data export.

Contact Miguel Cámara and Nigel Minton

Flow Cytometry

Fluorescence activated cell sorters (BeckmanCoulter Altra and MoFlo XDP) and an analysis only cytometer (Beckman Coulter FC500) are available.

Contact Adrian Robins

Genomics facility (CBS Building)

Dedicated to microarray and real time qRT-PCR analysis. Instrumentation available includes an Agilent DNA Hybridisation Station, an Axon 4000B microarray and access to GeneSpring GX analysis software. For qRT-PCR, an Applied Biosystems AB7500 permits relative quantification, absolute quantification, allelic discrimination, plus/minus assays and basic melt curve analysis. In addition, a Roche Lightcycler 480, offers high resolution melt analysis.

Contact Victoria Wright

Post-genomics facility (QMC campus)

This facility offers fluorescent probe generation and large scale microarraying of DNA, protein (Including Reverse-phase protein arrays) and other biomolecules (Genomic solutions Microgrid II 600 robot with both steel and silicon split pin configurations). Quality control support is available (Nanodrop Spectrophotometer and Agilent Bioanalyser), along with customisable slide surface chemistries and automated sample hybridisation capabilities (Tecan HS4800 24 place station). Analysis of both fluorescently and colorimetricaly labelled microarrays is available with a four laser automated slide scanner (Genepix 4200AL) and high resolution white light scanner.

Contact Paddy Tighe

Light and Fluorescence Microscopy

These include a Zeiss LSM 700 laser scanning confocal with an Axio Observer inverted microscope, a Nikon Eclipse TE200 and a fluorescent/phase contrast Nikon Labphot-2 microscope fitted with digital cameras.

Contact Steve Atkinson

Pathology

Includes: tissue and cell banking, basic tissue preparation (processing, section cutting and staining), immunocytochemistry, laser micro-dissection, tissue microarrays, digital pathology.

Contact Andy Green

Protein purification and X-ray crystallography

Protein purification using an automated AKTA system employing a range of solid phases, Protein samples are used to set up 96 well plate crystallisation screens using a Hydra II robotic system. The crystals obtained are subjected to X-rays generated by a Rigaku RAXIS IV++ X-ray area detector to produce diffraction data.

Contact Chris Penfold

Animal Imaging Facility

Specialist expertise in pre-clinical imaging of model organisms, using a state of the art facility run under the reduction, replacement and refinement ethos. The facility contains a Mediso Nano-pet/ct, Mediso Nano SPECT/CT and an optical Ivis Spectrum. Also available within this facility is a dedicated Radio-chemist for radio-nuclide labelling of novel compounds.

Contact mr-spot@nottingham.ac.uk

The Greenfield Medical Library

The University library service provides access to more than a million books and journals.

The Greenfield Medical Library houses a broadly based collection of biomedical, nursing and healthcare related books and periodicals and holds current subscriptions to 780 journals, reports and series titles. In addition to the print versions housed in the library, the majority of journals can be accessed electronically.

 

Research support

 

A number of University support services exist to assist you during your time at Nottingham and beyond. The Postgraduate Students' Association (PGSA) is a particularly important source of support  

 

Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area. Use our search to find a supervisor whose expertise matches your own research interests.
 

Funding

Home/EU students

At least 20 PhD students are recruited annually, 10-12 of which are fully funded by MRC, BBSRC, EU and industry. These are usually advertised in January/February at: The University of Nottingham Human Resources site and on www.findaphD.com

The school often has scholarships available. These will be advertised on the Jobs in Research website and at the University of Nottingham's vacancies website.

The University Graduate School operates two schemes of its own to help support current postgraduate research. The Graduate School Travel Prize and Universitas21 funding.

The Graduate School also holds a list of other sources of funding and studentship opportunities are also available. 

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of research scholarships for outstanding international and EU students.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your research course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.

 
 

Careers

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2014, 95% of postgraduates in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £27,498 with the highest being £75,000.*

*Known destinations of full-time home and EU postgraduates, 2013/14.

Career prospects and employability

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service. Individual guidance appointments, career management training programme, access to resources and invitations to events including skills workshops and recruitment fairs are just some of the ways in which they can help you develop your full potential, whether you choose to continue within an academic setting or are looking at options outside of academia.

 
 
 
Oncology
 

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Disclaimer
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

Professor Lindy Durrant
Division of Oncology
School of Medicine
A Floor West Block
Queen's Medical Centre
University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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