PhD in Modelling Drug-resistance mutations and patient specific drug treatment for anti-cancer targets

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for this three-year EPSRC funded position. The PhD studentship will be based in the Department of Chemistry at UCL, supervised by Professor Peter Coveney from the Centre for Computational Science, and co-supervised by Prof Francesco Gervasio from the Department of Chemistry and the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology.

The emergence of drug resistance is a major problem in developing targeted therapies for cancer as we move toward the era of personalised medicine. The main goal of our research is to use state-of-the-art modelling and simulation to understand the effect of drug-resistance caused by mutations at the molecular level in protein kinases, a protein family involved in cancer onset and progression. The in-depth knowledge acquired by the student will be used to help developing better kinase inhibitors and patient specific anti-cancer treatments. The groups of Prof Coveney and Prof Gervasio specialize in the development and application of atomistic molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations to bio-molecular systems. Our work will be facilitated by access we have to supercomputers within UK, throughout Europe and USA, providing the student with experience of distributed, high performance computating.

This is a very exciting opportunity for a student with a strong chemistry, bio-physics, physics, engineering or computer science background to tackle the complexity arising in this fascinating area of biology and biomedicine. The minimum requirement is a first class or upper second class honours degree (MSci, MEng) or equivalent. Prior experience of experimental biology is not necessary.

Applications, including a full and up to date CV, together with the names and addresses (email and physical) of two academic referees should be sent as soon as possible to Prof P V Coveney, email to whom informal inquiries may also be made.

The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. on Wednesday December 10th. Only UK resident students are eligible to apply.