PhD Studentship: Role of prostate stem cells and their niche in therapy resistance

PhD Studentship: Role of prostate stem cells and their niche in therapy resistance

Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute [CRUK MI]

Manchester, United Kingdom

Group: Prostate Oncobiology
Group Leader: Esther Baena
Project Title: Role of prostate stem cells and their niche in therapy resistance

This 4 year PhD studentship offered in Dr Esther Baena’s group based at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre [MCRC], South Manchester

Worldwide, Prostate Cancer (PCa) is the second most common cancer in men and the fifth leading cause of cancer related deaths worldwide. Clinically (PCa) is a very heterogeneous disease, but the underlying biology is only poorly understood. Although almost all patients respond to androgen deprivation, progression to metastatic castration resistant (CRPC) state is inevitable and fatal. To understand the molecular mechanisms of castration resistance is therefore important to improve treatment options for these patients.

Previous work from our group has identified a subset of PCa cells, which are inherently resistant to androgen deprivation and characterized by self-renewal capacity. Targeting of these cells may therefore constitute a new option to treat patients with prostate cancer. This PhD project will further characterize these cells and the cellular heterogeneity of prostate cancer, using single-cell transcriptomics and lineage-tracing experiments. The PhD candidate will benefit from our close collaborations with the Christie hospital, allowing to perform many of these studies on primary material from patients. In addition, our group employs mouse models of prostate cancer to translate findings from human tissues into an in-vivo scenario. This PhD project will also focus on the constitution of the prostate cancer niche, as it contributes to tumour evolution and growth. Single-cell technologies will be used to characterize niche cells in genetically defined PCa.


This position is funded by Cancer Research UK for the 4 year duration. The successful candidate will join the CRUK Manchester Institute & will be affiliated to the University of Manchester on the same studentship terms and conditions as all CRUK MI students.

The successful applicant will be awarded a non-taxable & national insurance free annual stipend of £19,000/annum plus payment of university tuition and bench fees.

Closing date: Monday 3 December 2018 – 17:00 hrs GMT.
Interview date: Monday 14 January 2019, Alderley Park, Cheshire.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.