Joint PhD scholarship with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

A new partnership between the University of Melbourne and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France, is providing PhD students with the opportunity to undertake a joint project, spending time at both leading international research organisations.

A/Prof Fred Hollande and team in the lab

One of six offered projects – 'Characterising the role of netrin-1 and its dependence receptors in drug tolerance and treatment-induced plasticity of metastatic human CRC' – is now available with Associate Professor Frederic Hollande of our Tumour Heterogeneity in Metastatic Cancer lab, based at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common and lethal tumour types worldwide. The ultimate cause of patient fatality is metastases forming in vital organs, such as the liver, as these tumours often relapse after treatment has ceased. A patient with metastatic CRC only has 12 per cent chance of surviving, and each year metastatic progression leads to a fatal outcome for over 690,000 patients globally. Research to date has not provided an effective solution to post-treatment relapse for these patients.

The project aims to shift the roadblock of treatment resistance by identifying which metastatic tumour cells drive post-treatment regrowth and by characterising the mechanisms underlying this ability. Taking advantage of the combined expertise of the Australian and French partners, the group will characterise the emerging role of the netrin-1/UNC5B axis as a driver of drug tolerance and cancer cell plasticity.

The successful student will spend at least a year at each of the University of Melbourne and CNRS over the course of their candidature, and be eligible to graduate with a jointly awarded PhD recognised with a testamur from each University. Those interested are invited to submit their application ASAP – successful candidates for these positions are expected to accept their scholarship by December 11, 2019.