Stromal and immune effects of endocrine therapy on breast cancer

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Seventy percent of breast cancers are classified as estrogen-receptor (ER) positive and will receive some form of long-term endocrine therapy. However, resistance to endocrine therapy occurs in a third of breast cancer patients. We lead an Australian clinical trial of 200 women who receive 2 weeks of endocrine therapy prior to surgery, providing a unique resource to study the effects of endocrine therapy on paired ER positive tumours. The aim of this PhD project is to assess the therapeutic effect of endocrine therapies on the stroma and its immune milieu using single cell genomics.

Applicants must have obtained an undergraduate degree in biological sciences, medical sciences, or equivalent, with a high academic performance (Hons 1 or equivalent). The candidate will perform hands on laboratory experiments, including in vitro experiments and work on animal models of disease. They are expected to learn bioinformatic analyses, the management and statistical analysis of datasets, and critical review of the existing literature. The HDR candidate must have excellent communication and time management skills, an understanding of basic statistics, advanced computer skills including word processing, Excel and presentation software, and have a high level of written English.

The Garvan Institute integrates many disciplines and includes state-of-the-art facilities for cellular genomics, microscopy, tissue culture, flow cytometry, all of which will be accessed as part of this project. The HDR candidate must be willing to train in the use of these facilities to support their project and be willing to work as part of a multidisciplinary team.

Supervisory team

Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Adelaide University
Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories