PET/CT radiotracers for molecular imaging of autocrine-paracrine serotonin effect in cancer.

Країна: Англія;

Дедлайн: 17.07.2015



Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) has an established role in the regulation of several psychiatric and neurological disorders, but specific receptor subtypes have been associated with solid tumour carcinogenesis. During carcinogenesis 5-HT can act as growth factor stimulating cancer cell proliferation. In prostate or breast cancer, 5-HT promotes cell proliferation and metastasis through specific receptors; however, can also inhibit tumour growth, mainly via its vasoconstrictive effect on tumour vessels.
Overall data suggests that the role of 5-HT on tumour growth is mediated by an “autocrine-paracrine” effect and is concentration-dependent: high doses of 5-HT exert a direct mitogenic effect on tumour cells whereas low doses reduce tumour growth by decreasing blood supply to the tumour. Another important effect of 5-HT is in promoting angiogenesis by functioning as a potent angiokine (more than VEGF). Platelet aggregation and blood coagulation are common events in tumour environment. In the thrombotic environment of a tumour, platelet aggregation leads to release of 5-HT, which may influence angiogenesis, and thus, tumour growth.
Given the central role of 5-HT in cancer development, angiogenesis and metastasization, this PhD studentship aims to establish a non-invasive in vivo imaging method to better understand the "autocrine-paracrine" 5-HT effect in cancer, particularly breast or prostate cancers. In this project, two highly selective 5-HT radioligands to target the 5-HT activity will be developed.
The successful candidate will participate to the radiochemistry development of both tracers, to the pre-clinical imaging study and to the preparation for the future step: the clinical imaging study.
The project will be carried out in collaboration with the John Mallard PET Centre, the Aberdeen Biomedical Imaging Centre (ABIC) at University of Aberdeen and the Institute of Medical Science (IMS).
This PhD is best suited for student with a strong interest in Molecular Imaging, PET tracers development with a good background in cancer biology.

Application Process:
Please apply for admission to the ’Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Sciences’ to ensure that your application is passed to the correct college for processing.

Please provide a copy of the degree certificate and transcript for each previous degree undertaken, a copy of your English language proficiency certificate (if relevant), and contact details of two referees who can comment on your previous academic performance (at least one should be from your current degree programme). References will be requested if you are selected for interview. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Funding Notes:

Full funding is available to UK/EU candidates only. Overseas candidates can apply for this studentship but will have to find additional funding to cover the difference between overseas and home fees (approximately £11,000 per annum).

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum of a 2.1 Honours degree in a relevant subject. Applicants with a minimum of a 2.2 Honours degree may be considered provided they have a Distinction at Masters level.