Exploring treatment resistance in mantle cell lymphoma

Ibrutinib is a small molecule drug that binds permanently to a protein, the drug is used to treat B cell cancers like mantle cell lymphoma.

Director of Studies: Dr Claire Hutchinson

2nd Supervisor: Professor Simon Rule

3rd Supervisor: Dr Lynn McCallum

The University of Plymouth’s Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry and Human Sciences is seeking a highly motivated PhD candidate with outstanding abilities and enthusiasm for research. We are committed to research excellence with a recent £25 million investment in staff and facilities. Medical research in the Faculty was ranked first for outputs in REF2014. The PhD project will take place within an established research group that is linked to an active Clinical Trials Unit, which is nationally recognised for the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma, at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS trust. 

Mantle cell lymphoma is a rare lymphoproliferative disorder for which drugs such as Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitors are a highly effective treatment option. However resistance to these novel signal inhibitor drugs is seen highlighting the need for further understanding. 

This exciting project works alongside a successful industry partner to explore mechanisms of resistance in fully characterised cell line models and primary mantle cell lymphoma cells. Building on previous work studies using mass spectrometry combined with protein knock down will explore potential biomarkers and mechanisms of resistance, which on further research could improve disease monitoring or identify pathways for therapeutic intervention.

For further information regarding the project, please contact Dr Claire Hutchinson.


The studentship is supported for three years and includes full home/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend of an estimated £15,009 per annum (based on 19/20 stipend amounts). Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between the home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates (£12,285 for the 19/20 academic year). If you are selected you will be required to provide financial assurances. Please note that due the funding for this opportunity coming from an external company, the successful student will be required to assign the intellectual property rights to the University in order to accept this studentship.

The closing date for applications is 12 midnight on 27 October 2019. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received an offer of a place by 22 November 2019 should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.