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2 PhD Studentships, The O'Driscoll Group, Trinity College Dublin, Republic of Ireland

PhD position

Post Status:

Both are 4-year PhD studentships, commencing September 2019.

Research Group / Department / School:

O’Driscoll Group School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences and Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute,
Trinity College Dublin,
The University of Dublin


School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences & Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute,
Trinity College Dublin,
The University of Dublin College Green,
Dublin 2, Ireland

Reports to:

Professor Lorraine O'Driscoll.

Terms & Conditions:

The positions will each be funded at €16,000 stipend per annum plus EU academic fees and funding for conference travel.

NOTE: Applicants must have been resident in an EU member state for 3 out of the last 5 years to be eligible for EU fees.

Post Summary:

Our research group (the O’Driscoll group) at Trinity College Dublin has extensive experience in research of exosomes and other extracellular vesicles (collectively termed EVs). EVs are emerging as important players in cell-to-cell communication under physiological and pathological circumstances. Some studies have suggested significantly more EVs in cancer patients’ blood compared to healthy controls; other have not. We hypothesis that this conflict in observation may be due to EVs’ heterogenous nature. Furthermore, for patients about to start neo-adjuvant treatment, we observed that small EVs (sEV) concentrations are great for non-responder>partial responder>complete responders>controls. Here we will more comprehensively investigate sEVs’ relevance. In vitro and in vivo studies across several solid tumour types implicate EVs released from cancer cells as causally involved in invasion, angiogenesis, metastasis and drug-resistance. Previous attempts to block EV release, and so these consequences, have been hampered by the approaches used also affecting EV release from normal cells that may be important for physiological events. However, we have now established that the microenvironment of the tumour substantially contributes to EV release. EVIC will thus investigate this, in efforts to prevent metastasis and drug-resistance. But not all EVs are bad! We have also successfully isolated EVs from normal mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with potential as drug/miRNA delivery vehicles. This will be further explored.

Standard duties and Responsibilities of the Post:

Undertake research studies towards a PhD.
With research projects based on the above summary, one PhD studentship will focus on triple-negative breast cancer, the other on HER2-overexpressing breast cancer. Both PhD students will work, on a day-to-day basis, with the Post-Doctoral Fellow appointed to this project and with the Principal Investigator, Prof. Lorraine O’Driscoll.

Funding Information:

The funding for this project entitled “Extracellular Vesicles in Cancer (EVIC)” was awarded to Prof O’Driscoll as an Irish Research Council Advanced Laurate (IRCAL).

Person Specification:

Enthusiastic, with good communication skills and an interest in and aptitude for laboratory-based research.


First Class or 2.1 Honours (or equivalent) Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent in a bio-related subject such as pharmacology, bio-engineering, biotechnology, biochemistry, immunology, molecular biology, biotechnology or pharmacy.

Knowledge & Experience:

  • A strong understanding of biology is required
  • Knowledge of cancer research would be ideal
  • Prior experience of basic cell culture and molecule biology techniques would be ideal, but not essential

Skills & Competencies:

  • Good oral and written communication skills in English
  • Good organisational and planning skills
  • Stimulated by challenging scientific and technical problems and have a highly motivated, persistent and result-driven attitude
  • Ability to work well both independently and in a team environment, with a sense of responsibility

Further Information for Candidates:

URL Link to School:
URL Link to Research Group:

Application Procedure:

Applicants should submit a full Curriculum Vitae to include the names and contact details of 2 referees (including email addresses) by 12 Noon (Irish Standard Time) on the closing date, to: 
Prof. Lorraine O’Driscoll

Ensure to use EVIC PhD student and your name in the email “Subject” box.

Application deadline: 23 Aug 2019

« Back to latest jobs and study opportunities

Application deadline: 23 Aug 2019

« Back to latest jobs and study opportunities

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