SLMS Academic Careers Office
- Clinical Academic Training
- Biomedical Academic Training
- Grand Challenges
- 1. Bayesian Modelling of Disease Progression In juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM)
- 2. Mind-body interactions influencing the outcome of treatment for epilepsy
- 3. Treating retinal inflammation: bridging the divide between common problems in the eye and the brain
- 4. Development of a Novel In Vivo Animal Model for Schizophrenia Drug Testing
- 5. Immune mechanisms in Developmental Programming of Non-Alchoholic Fatty Liver Disease
- 8. Using social media big data to understand the genetic and environmental aetiology of mental health and disorder in emerging adulthood
- 9. Quantifying the potential impact of mobile health (M-Health) technologies on TB control in the EU
- 10. Molecular Control of Pain Processing
- 11. Understanding the mechanisms of insulin secretion in patients with HADH mutations
- 12. Origins of cortico-subthalamic “hyperdirect” pathway in the motor cortex: electrophysiology and imaging
- 13. The mechanical control of tissue regeneration.
- 14. Investigating community severance in Southend and its effects on health and access to healthcare
- 15. Ageing of the liver and protection from injury: from flies to mice to humans
- 16. Intelligent nanomaterials against antibiotic resistant bacteria
- 17. Retroviral restriction factors that control species-specific gene regulation and stem cell fate
- 18. Improving women’s choice and uptake of effective contraceptive methods through development of interactive digital interventions
- 19. From embryonic cell to neuron: understanding the complexity of developmental decisions
- 20. Identification of mitochondrial biomarkers and therapeutic targets in pancreatic cancer
- 21. Analysis of the performance of novel cardiac valve prosthesis: from standard experimental tests to patient-specific computational analyses
- 23. Television subtitling for deaf and hearing-impaired viewers: a route to improve English language skills for UK migrants with normal hearing
- 24. Large-scale phylogenomic mapping of domain architecture changes to elucidate gene function evolution
- 25. Calcium channel trafficking, nociceptive neurotransmission and mechanism of action of gabapentinoid drugs in mouse models of neuropathic pain
- 26. Real-time and nanometre-scale visualisation of membrane perforation in pathogen attack and immune response
- 22. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic cancer progression
- 27. Forming a sensory map: the role of auditory and visual cues in the hippocampal representation of space
- 28. Functional effects of regulatory T cells on macrophage inflammatory responses to Streptococcus pneumoniae
- 29. Human amniotic fluid-derived induced pluripotent stem cells for the treatment of osteogenesis imperfecta.
- 31. Understanding the immunopathogenesis of juvenile-onset SLE: could targeting lipid biosynthesis control disease progression and reduce cardiovascular risk?
- 30. Shared Control Wheelchair Interfaces
- 32. Understanding the neurobiological effects of clinical photochemical internalisation in order to minimise nerve damage during treatment of cancer
- 33. Shedding light on the ethnic attainment gap: The influence of intercultural relations on students’ learning and performance
- 34. Patient-focused development of a versatile, wearable neurostimulation device to control urinary incontinence.
- 35. The development and evaluation of positive psychology outcome measures for people with dementia
- 36. Rehabilitation strategies to improve balance and prevent falls in people with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
- 37. Monogenic human pain disorders: gene identification and characterization using mouse models
- What Students Say
- Current Student Projects
- Project Call 2014
- Sensory Systems and Therapies
- Sensory Systems and Therapies / IBME DPT
- Phd Programmes
- Graduate Funding
- ACO Features
Supervisor Pair: Dr James Phillips and Dr Afia B Ali
Potential Student’s Home Department: Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering, UCL Eastman Dental Institute
Photochemical internalisation (PCI) is a novel drug delivery technology being tested in patients with advanced head and neck cancer. Inadequate drug delivery to tumours can be a major limiting factor in treatment efficacy and PCI can improve the delivery of drugs to key target sites and enable the use of lower drug doses with reduced systemic toxicity. There is a clinical need to understand the effects of PCI on nervous system structures and to minimise any damage. Nerve damage is a major side-effect of cancer and cancer treatments, which has serious implications for treatment planning, patient safety and maintenance of function.
This project aims to (1) characterise in detail the effects of PCI on nerve function and (2) identify PCI treatments that spare nerve damage. A comprehensive combination of in vitro and in vivo models will be used to investigate the neurobiological effects of PCI. This will include the use of advanced 3D cell culture techniques which we have developed (Georgiou et al., Biomaterials 34,7335-7343, 2013; Wright et al., Photochem Photobiol 88, 1539–1545, 2012; Wright et al., Br J Cancer 101, 658–665, 2009) in which the sensitivity of specific neural cells to PCI will be established and sub-lethal effects of PCI on neurons will be assessed electrophysiologically within engineered neural tissues.
This multidisciplinary project involves collaboration between UCL scientists and clinicians from Medical Sciences and Life Sciences with complementary expertise in engineered nervous system models (Dr Phillips), electrophysiology (Dr Ali), PCI (Prof MacRobert & Dr Woodhams) and Oral & Maxillofacial surgery (Mr Hopper).
The project will involve learning a range of advanced in vitro and in vivo techniques and working within an exciting interdisciplinary team at the interface between neuroscience and cancer research. The outcomes of the research have the potential to make a significant impact in the treatment of patients with cancer, improving the wellbeing of patients and addressing a key health challenge. Added value with impact beyond this project is the novel combination of electrophysiology and engineered neural tissue models, providing a powerful new platform technology for testing other minimally invasive cancer therapies and for use more widely in neuroscience research.