Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Peter Mac)

PhD in cancer and developmental biology

Caroline Owen

Melbourne, Australia

PhD positions are available to study molecular mechanisms controlling formation and function of vasculature in the embryo, in relation to the biology of cancer. The PhD positions will be undertaken in the Hogan Laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the University of Melbourne, Australia.

The Hogan laboratory uses zebrafish and mouse model systems to characterise developmental mechanisms of lymphangiogenesis (the formation of new lymphatic vessels) and the development and function of perivascular lineages at the blood brain barrier.  Lymphatic vessels play roles in the drainage of tissue fluid, trafficking of immune cells and the metastatic spread of cancer. The blood brain barrier (BBB) separates the brain parenchyma from circulating blood and macromolecules, representing a significant challenge for delivery of cancer therapeutics, and acting as a barrier in metastasis. PhD candidates will use molecular genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, biochemical approaches and live imaging of cellular behaviours in zebrafish, mice and human cells. The specific projects will explore the cellular and molecular mechanistic roles of candidate pathways involved in the development of lymphatic vessels and pericytes. The candidates will have the opportunity to also assess pathway function in tumour vasculature and pathological settings to relate fundamental findings in development to roles of key regulators in cancer and disease. 

For further details see the Hogan laboratory website or contact Prof Ben Hogan.

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Peter Mac) in Melbourne is Australia’s only public hospital solely dedicated to cancer, and home to the largest cancer research group in Australia. Cancer is a complex set of diseases, and modern cancer research institutes such as Peter Mac conduct research covering a diversity of topics that range from laboratory-based studies into the fundamental mechanisms of cell growth, translational studies that seek more accurate cancer diagnosis, clinical trials with novel treatments, and research aimed to improve supportive care. 

All students engaged in postgraduate studies at Peter Mac are enrolled in The University of Melbourne’s Comprehensive Cancer PhD (CCPhD) program, regardless of which university they are enrolled through. The program is managed by the Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology (The University of Melbourne), based at Peter Mac. The Comprehensive Cancer PhD program builds on established conventional training for cancer research students providing a coordinated program of skills, research and career training in addition to usual PhD activities. The program is designed to complement existing PhD activities and provides opportunities to develop professional skills that will help candidates to fulfil their career ambitions. 


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PhD in cancer and developmental biology