Apply now for the Cancer and Genome Integrity PhD Programme

MRC PPU Cancer and Genome Integrity PhD Programme 2018/2019 Stipend £20,000 per annum tax-free

Defects in DNA replication or DNA repair can lead to mutations and other genomic alterations that give rise to cancers, and consequently tumours tend to have a high degree of genome instability. Understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in DNA replication and repair, therefore, may pave the way for new treatments for cancer. Furthermore, many of the frontline chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer act by inducing DNA damage or perturbing DNA replication. Therefore, the efficacy of these therapies depends on our understanding of the mechanisms that cells use to sense and process DNA lesions and DNA replication defects.

The 4-year PhD programme has two main themes: DNA replication and DNA repair. Karim Labib’s lab studies the eukaryotic replisome that is assembled and disassembled during every cell cycle, to ensure that the chromosomes are duplicated just once. Karim’s group focuses on multiple ubiquitylation pathways that mediate replisome disassembly during S-phase and mitosis, preserving genome integrity in ways that are just starting to be unravelled. John Rouse’s lab focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying the signaling and repair of DNA damage, especially those that perturb DNA replication, with emphasis on the control of these mechanisms by phosphorylation and ubiquitylation. John’s lab is particularly keen to understand how derailment of DNA repair causes disease, and in developing anti-tumour strategies based on inhibition of DNA repair.

We are looking for bright and enthusiastic young people to join our Cancer and Genome Integrity PhD Programme 2019. Our aim is to train the research leaders of tomorrow, and we provide support and training at every stage of the PhD, in a world class research institute that benefits from core funding from the MRC. We offer the option of two 4-month rotations in the first year, or alternatively students can join one lab directly for four years. Current projects can be found by clicking here. The stipend for our MRC studentships is £20,000 per annum tax-free, and our students can attend at least one international conference during the course of their PhD. You can see what some of our former PhD students are up to now by reading some of our “Alumni interviews”.

We are currently accepting applications for our 2018/2019 programme. The deadline for this round of applications is December 21st 2018, with interviews to be held early February 2018. Please send a CV with contact details of three referees to, including a cover letter explaining your interest in our work.

MRC PPU 4-year PhD programme

Project Principal Investigator More Info
Genome stability pathways that regulate the mammalian replisome by ubiquitylation Karim Labib MORE