Controlling cancer: a new perspective to uncover tumor growth patterns

Primary supervisor

Additional information

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Funding

  • Competition Funded Project (European/UK Students Only)
This research project is one of a number of projects at this institution. It is in competition for funding with one or more of these projects. Usually the project which receives the best applicant will be awarded the funding. The funding is available to citizens of a number of European countries (including the UK). In most cases this will include all EU nationals. However full funding may not be available to all applicants and you should read the full department and project details for further information.

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Project description

Although the combination of control theory, dynamical systems analysis and systems biology has the potential to reveal important patterns in cancer evolution, it is not widely used. One of the challenges is to find a common language within the parameters of these disciplines. There has been some success in identifying common features in different types of cancer at various stages of the disease. Most of these results are related to intracellular properties and genetic mutations that lead to the onset of replicating malignant cells.

This project will follow the control engineering intuition that designs with modularity have higher adaptability and better resist the changes in their components or environment. We believe that systems thinking can be successfully applied to enhance a better understanding of self-organising and adaptive biological 'systems' like tumors. The aim of this project is to study the extracellular collective relationships that lead to the formation of tumors when patients have developed cancer. One of our hypotheses is that by uncovering these relationships, we might be able to propose more efficient treatments and detect a cancer profile earlier. This research pushes the boundaries of control engineering, dynamical systems, network science and systems biology.

Person specification

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Essential

Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • This project requires mathematical engagement and ability substantially greater than for a typical Computer Science PhD. Give evidence for appropriate competence, as relevant to the project description.
  • You must be capable of performing at a very high level.
  • You must have a self-driven interest in uncovering and solving unknown problems and be able to work hard and creatively without constant supervision.

Desirable

Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • You will possess determination (which is often more important than qualifications) although you'll need a good amount of both.
  • You will have good time management.

General

Applicants will be required to address the following.

  • Discuss your final year Undergraduate project work - and if appropriate your MSc project work.
  • How well does your previous study prepare you for undertaking Postgraduate Research?
  • Comment on your transcript/predicted degree marks, outlining both strong and weak points.
  • Why do you believe you are suitable for doing Postgraduate Research?
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