Evaluating metal nanoparticle radiosensitisers with DNA repair inhibitors: a novel theranostic approach in primary glioblastoma



Funded PhD Opportunity

Evaluating metal nanoparticle radiosensitisers with DNA repair inhibitors: a novel theranostic approach in primary glioblastoma

Project Description

High atomic number (Z) metal nanoparticles have been explored as potential theranostic agents due to their ability to act as both as radiosenstizers and image contrasts agents. Over the past decade, our group has made a major contribution towards the fundamental understanding of biological and physical processes underpinning metal nanoparticle radiosensitization which suggests highly localised energy deposition occurs to generate more complex types of DNA damage which may be more difficult to repair. We hypothesize that this increase in biological damage complexity will lead to an increased dependency on certain DNA repair pathways, and would strongly support potential synergy between metal nanoparticles and selected DNA repair inhibitors. 

This project aims to expand the theory that combining metal nanoparticles with DNA repair inhibitors can provide a therapeutic advantage and enhance radiological imaging in preclinical models of GBM. This approach will provide insight into the underlying mechanisms of action of nanoparticle mediated radiosensitization in models of GBM and also provide direct proof-of-principle for the combination of DDR inhibitors with metal nanoparticles and radiotherapy in the treatment of primary GBM


Dr K Butterworth 
Prof K Prise

Entry Requirements

Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score. 

The minimum recommended score for the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science is: 
• IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years; 
• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17); 
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B; 
• A valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A; or 
• A first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking. 

For a list of English Language qualifications also accepted by the School and University please see the following link: 

The English Language Unit (ELU) offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained from the ELU http://www.qub.ac.uk/tefl/ 

Funding Notes


Eligibility for both fees (£4,327 for 2019/20) and maintenance (£15,009 for 2019/20) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK or EU resident. 

International applicants can apply, but if successful, will have to pay the difference between 'Home/EU' and 'International' fees (£20,300) themselves.

Closing Date

Monday 06 May 2019


Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology for further details about the Centre.

When applying, please choose 'MEDICINE' as your subject area/School.




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