Epigenetic mechanisms in CD5+ malignant B lymphocytes

female student examines slides on a microscope whilst a male student takes notes

CEM Funded Opportunity

Epigenetic mechanisms in CD5+ malignant B lymphocytes

Project Description

B-cell receptor (BCR) signalling is a complex molecular network critical for normal B-cell development and function. Among the numerous proteins of BCR pathway, Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) has gained significant attention over the last decade. The emergence of BTK inhibition as a therapeutic strategy for a wide range of B-cell related diseases has led to an increase interest on in-depth understanding of BTK-related intracellular mechanisms in B-cells. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) are CD5+ lymphoproliferative disorders in which BTK inhibitors have been approved for their treatment.

The proposed study will explore BTK-related epigenetic mechanisms by a combination of wet-lab and dry-lab approaches. High-throughput experiments will be employed in order to identify/validate novel BTK-linked epigenetic signatures and gene regulatory networks and characterize key regulatory elements.The project offers an exciting opportunity to acquire and apply a diverse range of modern experimental techniques (genetic/genomics, molecular/cell biology, immunology), state-of-the art high-throughput technology (ChIP-Seq, RNA-Seq) and bioinformatic tools in order to elucidate epigenetic mechanisms of CD5+ lymphoproliferative disorders and to pave the way for new combinatorial treatments. The student will also benefit from training in the new state-of-art Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine. This project is particularly exciting and self-rewarding as it may lead to novel therapeutic avenues in leukaemia and lymphoma.  


*FUNDING CONFIRMED – Department for the Economy (DfE)*

Eligibility for both fees (£4260 for 2018/19, 2019/20 TBC) and maintenance (£14,777 for 2018/19, 2019/20 TBC) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship.

Non UK residents who hold EU residency may also apply but if successful may receive fees only.

For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on the following link: View Website

Entry Requirements 

Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant biomedical or life sciences subject.

English Language

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/


Dr E Kostareli

Prof K Mills

Closing Date

Closing date for application is: Sunday January 20, 2019

How to Apply

Please refer to 'Entry Requirements' for specific admissions criteria.

Apply online via the Queen's on-line application portal .  Guidance is available on the University’s Prospective Student pages.

When applying for a project, please choose ‘MEDICINE’ as your subject area/School.

Please ensure you adhere to the closing dates.

If you have any further queries please contact:  pgoffice.smdb@qub.ac.uk  or +44 (0) 28 9097 2619/2042.


Queen's University Belfast is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.

Queen's University Belfast is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC101788
VAT registration number: GB 254 7995 11