Research course

Pre-Clinical Oncology

University of Nottingham · Faculty of Science
PhDMResMPhilMSc by research

Entry requirements

Candidates who wish to register for a PhD will be required to possess a first degree with at least 2:1 (or international equivalent) classification; candidates who wish to register for a DM will require a registrable medical qualification. Evidence of research activity, including BMedSci or BSc degrees, will be an advantage; candidates who wish to register for an MRes, MSc (by research) or MPhil degree will be required to possess a first degree with at least 2:2 (or international equivalent) classification.

Months of entry

February, April, July, October, December

Course content

Research in the Cancer Biology Unit (Pre-Clinical Oncology) is translational and involves strong collaborations with clinicians and industry.

Current research areas include:

  • use of reporter constructs for the imaging of key biological parameters within tumours, such as growth, apoptosis, angiogenesis and metastatic pathways and stem cell evolution; modelling the tumour microenvironment including the process of epithelial-mesenchymal transition
  • analysis of paracrine interactions in tumour progression including HGF/c-met, Hedgehog, and Fibroblast growth factors
  • delivery of siRNAs using non-viral and viral delivery systems for target validation
  • pre clinical validation/target identification of traditional Chinese medicines
  • contribution of ß-catenin controlled intestinal stem-cell associated homeodomain transcription factors to carcinogenesis and the involvement of the tumour suppressor gene, FBW7 a ubiquitin ligase, in intestinal malignant progression.

This research portfolio is undertaken by a team of 15 lecturers, research nurses, research fellows and post-doctoral research scientists with funding from Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council, National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), and industry.

The Cancer Biology unit (Pre-Clinical Oncology) has a 5 year research grant from Janssen Pharmaceutica NV to establish an Ex Vivo Cancer Pharmacology Centre of Excellence. This grant will allow us to continue our world leading work in the development of sophisticated cancer models to examine potential new drugs for anti-cancer activity.

Postgraduate students within the division carry out their research within the active team of scientists described above who provide training and laboratory supervision. In addition to regular meetings with their academic supervisors, they participate in laboratory meetings and journal clubs.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36-48 months
part time
72-96 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


part time
48 months
full time
24 months

MSc by research

part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiries
+44 (0)115 951 5559