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At the heart of the CRUK Imperial Centre's convergence research strategy is a unique initiative to train the next generation of Convergence Scientists. We having funding to support a number of PhD studentships each year.

Our commitment to convergence science training

  • Promote multidisciplinary research (our trainees will bridge research teams across the different faculties to accelerate the development of new methodologies and technologies to address the unmet needs in cancer).
  • Breakdown language barriers (equipping our trainees to speak the language of thedifferent disciplines and lay communities including patients)
  • Draw from best practice (our trainees will benefit from accessing the skills development programme offered by various Centres for Doctoral Training [CDT]. Notably, we are collaborating with the Institute of Chemical Biology CDT, to enable our trainees to developbusiness and technological skills through use of the Advanced Hackspace)

To discuss our PhD schemes and eligibility please contact the Centre's Training Manager, Garrick Wilson

The Centre is also keen to explore opportunities for the co-funding of PhD students with other Centres and Institutes. To discuss potention joint-studentships contact our Director of Operations, Chloe Stockford

 

2020 Funding Call Now Open

 This year we have partnered with the Institute of Chemical Biology (ICB), the Modern Statistics and Statistical Machine Learning (StaML)  Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) and the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in AI for Healthcare. 

These partnerships will enable us to diversify our supervisor pool and we hope will enable the co-funding of additional studentships, provided the project fits our remit of cancer, as well as the specific remit of one of our partner CDTs. Although we have partnered with these two centres, we remain committed to working with researchers from all scientific disciplines and will seek to establish further co-funding opportunities. As such welcome applications in convergence science from all scientific disciplines.

Download the PhD Guidance document 2020

Dowload the PhD Application form 2020

 

CRUK Imperial Centre Students

2019 Cohort

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Student: Ioannis Gkouzionis

Supervisors: Prof Daniel Elson and Dr Christopher Peters

Project: Hyperspectral Circumferential Resection Margin Assessment for Gastrointestinal Cancer Surgery

I was born and raised in the city of Thessaloniki, Greece and i am now a Ph.D. Researcher at the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery and the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London. My work focuses on Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Medical Imaging for image-guided interventions and cancer diagnosis and treatment. My aim is to solve multidisciplinary problems especially those related to the application of Machine and Deep Learning methods on Biomedical Hyperspectral Imaging


Michael GreutStudent: Michael Gruet

Supervisors: Prof Hector Keun, Prof Ed Tate and Dr Adrian Benito Mauricio

Project: Exploring PARP biology and therapy response via metabolic flux analysis and a novel chemical proteomics workflow

Poly-ADP-ribose polymerases (PARPs) are NAD-dependent enzymes that catalyse the formation of ADP-ribose modifications on proteins, regulating processes such as the DNA damage response. Across the 17 PARPs currently identified we lack a detailed understanding of the subset of the proteome preferentially modified by each enzyme, partly due to the analytical challenge of defining the global PARylome. To address this problem we are developing a novel quantitative chemical proteomics workflow, involving the metabolic incorporation of clickable NAD+ precursors combined with TMT isobaric tagging. Using this approach we aim to characterise the functional link between which targets are ADP-ribosylated and how this influences PARP inhibitor response in Ovarian Cancer.


Ainkaran SanthirasekaramStudent: Ainkaran Santhirasekaram

Supervisors: Professor Andrea Rockall, Mr Mathias Winkler, Dr Ben Glocker and Professor Charlotte Bevan

Project: Multi Domain Input Machine Learning in prostate cancer: Harnessing the convergence of advanced image analysis and AI in significant disease detection and prognostic risk stratification

I am a Clinical Radiologist undertaking a Clinical Reearch Fellowship on the CRUK Convergence Science PhD program. I have a background and interest in medical imaging physics and computing which drew me to this interesting convergence science PhD. My PhD will focus on using deep learning to identify and segment significant prostate cancer on Multi-Parametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging. I will also develop a risk stratification tool using deep learning which will identify those most at risk of relapse. 

2018 Cohort

Picture of studentStudent: Emma Couves 

Supervisors: Dr Doryen Bubeck and Prof Ed Tate 

Project: Novel adjuvants for antibody-based cancer therapeutics: design, biological characterisation and influence on membrane-protein structure 

 After completing my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry here at Imperial College, I embarked on a Cancer Research UK funded PhD programme. My goal is use Electron Cryo-Microscopy to understand how CD59 regulates the Membrane Attack Complex (MAC).


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Student: Denise Anna Thiel

Supervisors: Dr Diego Oyarzún, Prof Hector Keun and Prof Mauricio Barahona

Project: Tracking the metabolic footprints of cancer using context dependent network analysis

Abnormal metabolism is a hallmark of cancer cells, yet the complex interlinking inherent to metabolic networks makes it difficult to establish how the miss-regulation of specific pathways translates into the system wide perturbations that shape malignant phenotypes. My Cancer Research funded PhD is to focus on the development and application of advanced mathematical tools from network analysis and high dimensional data analysis in conjunction with data generation to achieve improved system wide metabolic profiling of cancer cells. I anticipate the outcome will provide cutting-edge methods for data integration and network analysis in cancer biology


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Student: Thomas Pataillot-Meakin

Supervisors: Prof Charlotte Bevan, Prof Joshua Edel, Dr Sylvain Ladame

Project: Automated sampling of cell-free DNA from blood using engineered hydrogel-filled nanopores: Improving diagnostic/prognostic tests for prostate cancer

I previously worked developing immunotherapies for Neuroblastoma at UCL before working on optimising and integrating viral whole genome next generation sequencing into clinical practice in a partnership between UCL and Health Sciences Laboratories. I studied my Masters in Cancer at UCL and Undergrad in Natural Sciences at Bath. The goal of my PhD is to improve diagnostic tests for prostate cancer.


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Student: Seema Dadhania (Clinical Fellow)

Supervisors: Dr Matthew Williams and Prof Francesca Toni

Project: Studying electronic activity wearable monitors for high-grade gliomas (HGG) patients undergoing chemo-radiotherapy

I am a Clinical Oncologist specialising in the treatment of cancer patients with radiotherapy and chemotherapy. I am currently undertaking a Cancer Research UK funded PhD in the Computational and Academic Oncology Lab at Imperial College, on the use of wearable physical activity monitors in brain tumour patients. My goal is to study physical activity as a digital biomarker of disease recurrence. My research focuses on utilising remote health monitoring as a patient reported outcome measure (PROM) to improve the quality of life of cancer patients and assessing the benefit of computational argumentation for integrating multi-modal clinical data to support clinical decision making.


2017 Cohort

Picture of studentStudent: Rhea Harewood

Supervisor: Dr Amanda Cross

Project: Optimisation of colorectal cancer screening and prevention: risk factors for proximal colon cancer and screening of a high-risk population

I am a Cancer Research UK funded PhD student in the Cancer Screening and Prevention Research Group. My goal is to identify clinical, diet and lifestyle risk factors for proximal colon cancer as well as proximal polyps. In addition, the research will focus on optimising screening to improve the surveillance of patients at a high risk for colorectal cancer. Prior to starting my PhD, I worked as a Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. My research involved investigating international differences and time trends in cancer survival as a well as describing the ethnic and socio-economic inequalities in cancer survival in North America. I hold an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of the West Indies


Picture of studentStudent: Learn Zhang

Supervisors: Prof Ed Tate, Prof Eric Aboagye and Prof Charlotte Bevan

Project: Unlocking the KLK activome in drug-resistant cancer: imaging, biomarkers and target validation using novel activity probes.

My undergraduate degree was in medicinal chemistry at Trinity College Dublin with an Erasmus placement at ETH Zurich. I then moved to Imperial for the MRes in Drug Discovery and Development. Before starting my PhD, my background was mostly in organic synthesis. I most enjoy making things in chemistry and then testing them in biology. Thus, my PhD is in chemical biology and aims to design probes to validate biomarkers in various cancers! Outside of the lab, I will most likely be found in Hyde Park on my longboard, doing dance and flip tricks.


Picture of studentStudent: Sam Mason (clinical fellow)

Supervisors: Mr James Kinross, Professor Ara Darzi and Professor Zoltan Takats

Project: Real time precision phenotyping of significant polyps and early colorectal cancers using rapid evaporative ionisation mass spectrometry (REIMS).

I am a Clinical Research Fellow and Registrar in General Surgery with an interest in the prevention, early detection and treatment of colorectal cancer. The focus of my Cancer Research UK funded PhD is to biologically profile colorectal lesions using ambient mass spectrometry applied to tissue diagnostics, definition of lesion risk and interrogation of metabolic pathways. I graduated from medicine at Imperial College London in 2012 having been awarded the Faculty of Medicine Prize and has since trained at both Imperial College and the ICENI Centre, Colchester. I am a member of the Royal College of Surgeons and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I have many research interests, with previous work on improving postoperative surgical outcomes and being awarded the John of Arderne Medal for Coloproctology from the Royal Society of Medicine.


2016 Cohort

Picture of studentStudent: Andrea Goya Grocin

Supervisor: Prof Ed Tate

Project: Understanding the dysregulation of Protein Lipidation in Cancer

I am currently undertaking a Cancer Research UK funded PhD studentship and my goal is to understand how cancer cells depend on protein lipidation in order to find new targets. Protein lipidation is an essential protein modification that involves the covalent attachment of fatty acids to proteins, regulating their localisation, stability and interaction partners and thus, modulating their function. To study this I use a range of chemical tools that allow us to track this lipid modifications in living cells and I combine this with mass spectrometry-based proteomics, a powerful tool to get a snapshot the whole protein content of a cell in different conditions. By applying complex data analysis, we can then try to understand how different cancer cells react to different stimuli (including drugs that are being developed in the lab).


Picture of studentStudent: Stelios Chrysostomou

Supervisors: Prof Michael Seckl, Dr Olivier Pardo and Dr Filippo Prischi

Project: RSK4 targeting: a new therapeutic strategy against both drug resistance and metastasis in lung cancer

Lung cancer is the principal cause of cancer deaths worldwide with a 5-year survival rate <5 %. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for 85% of cases of which adenocarcinoma prevails. Patients almost invariably develop metastatic and drug resistance disease and this is responsible for our failure to provide a cure. Hence, a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying these biological processes is urgently needed to improve clinical outcome. My Cancer Research UK funded PhD is to investigate the Ras/MAPK pathway downstream effectors, specifically the 90 kDa ribosomal S6 kinases (RSKs), which are implicated in diverse cellular processes, including cell survival, proliferation, migration and invasion; thus, representing promising novel therapeutic targets in cancer.