Project title: IDENTIFICATION OF PATIENT-SPECIFIC CANCER DRIVER MUTATION
Research division: Cancer Studies
First supervisor: Dr Francesca Ciccarelli
Second supervisors: Professor Franca Fratenali
Sponsor: King’s College London
Eligibility: Home/EU candidates
Stipend: £15, 863
Application closing date: 24 April 2014
The acquisition of mutations that modify the sequence, and thus the function, of key genes is the driving force of most human cancers. The identification of these driver mutations is however challenging because the genome of cancer cells is highly unstable. This means that it progressively acquires several hundreds of mutations that have no or little impact on the disease development. One of the research lines of our group is to identify the few driver mutations among the several neutral mutations present in the cancer genome. Our approach focuses on mutated genes that have properties similar to those of known cancer drivers because these genes are, in principle, more likely to play a role in the disease. As useful references, see Rambaldi et al. Trends in Genetics, 2008; D’Antonio & Ciccarelli Plos Comp Biol, 2011; D’Antonio & Ciccarelli Genome Biol, 2013.
This PhD project will focus on finding cancer drivers that contribute to disease onset and development by studying the genomic sequences of cancer patients. The student will analyse publicly available data, as well as cancer resequencing data produced in our group. He/she will integrate them with gene expression, protein-protein interaction, orthology and paralogy information to be able to identify the most likely drivers of cancer in each patient. At the end of the PhD, he/she will be trained as a competent computational biologist.
Applicants with Master’s degree are preferred and programming competence is favorable.
How to apply: Please visit the project webpage for details on how to apply.