15 PhD Positions in a Nanovaccine Approach for the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

Application Deadline: 30 September 2020

PAVE (www.pave-cancer.eu) is a Marie Skłodowska Curie Innovative Training Network funded by the European Commission. We are an established team of 10 academic and 3 industrial partner organizations from 7 European countries specialized on nanovaccines, immunotherapy, personalized nanomedicine approaches, image guided surgery, molecular imaging.

A Nanovaccine Approach For The Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer By Multicomponent Immuno-Modulation: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women and still fatal in over 90% of patients. It is characterised by its extremely aggressive nature where it is also responsible for the highest mortality rate compared to other major cancers, resulting in excess of 250,000 deaths worldwide per annum. Current state-of-art therapies for advanced PDAC including chemo- and/or radiotherapy, despite extensive efforts, have met with only limited success.

Surgery is only applicable for those with early stages of the disease, or to relieve symptoms, if the cancer is blocking the bileduct or the bowel. There are two major reasons for the resistance of PDAC to conventional therapy. Firstly, PDAC has a very defining hallmark, where an abundance of stromal content is present in the tumour microenvironment (TME) to form a physical and biochemical barrier. Secondly, during progression of the disease, the body's immune system is hijacked to support the proliferation of the cancer. New approaches, such as immunotherapy, are therefore needed where it has already shown promise in overcoming many aspects of this resistance. Immunotherapy has the potential to treat minimal residual disease after pancreatic resection (surgery) as well as for metastatic and non-resectable PDAC. Our objective for this project is to bring together a multidisciplinary and intersectoral group to develop novel vaccine approaches, including use of multiple immunomodulating components.

We will provide a structured 3-years cutting-edge PhD training programme in and beyond the fields of cancer and its biological basis, immunotherapy, medical physics, optical physics, diagnostic tools (e.g. genetic, molecular diagnostic) and nanotechnology.

The earliest starting date will be 01 October, 2019. The latest will be 30 September 2020.

We are looking for highly motivated and talented PhD students holding a Master's degree or Bachelor's degree (UK) in scientific fields like biology or chemestry. Excellent command of spoken and written English, communication skills as well as team spirit are essential. We are offering a competitive, interdisciplinary environment with a track record of intense mutual collaboration. In addition to the individual training-through-research our programme includes further elements such as workshops, summer schools, internships and secondments to the partners’ laboratories.

Details here