Postgraduate research opportunities

Development of a novel drug formulation for the treatment of lung cancer

There are 1.3 million new cases of lung cancer per year world-wide and it has one of the lowest survival rates. In this project we will reformulate an existing cancer drug into a drug delivery system to target the drug to the cancer cells.

Number of places



14 February 2020


2 November 2020


36 Months


2:1 Honours degree or overseas equivalent

Eligibility for RCUK studentships

  • Research Council (RC) fees and stipend can only be awarded to UK and EU students and not to EEA or International students.
  • EU students are only eligible for RC stipend if they have been resident in the UK for 3 years, including for study purposes, immediately prior to starting their PhD.
  • If an EU student cannot fulfil this condition then they are eligible for a fees only studentship.
  • International students cannot be funded from RC funds unless they are ‘settled’ in the UK. ‘Settled’ means being ordinarily resident in the UK without any immigration restrictions on the length of stay in the UK. To be ‘settled’ a student must either have the Right to Abode or Indefinite leave to remain in the UK or have the right of permanent residence in the UK under EC law. If the student’s passport describes them as a British citizen they have the Right of Abode.
  • Students with full Refugee status are eligible for fees and stipend.

Project Details

There are 1.3 million new cases of lung cancer per year world-wide and it has one of the lowest survival rates, with 50% of Scottish lung cancer patients dead within 4 years.   It has been estimated that direct- and indirect- treatment costs for individual patients can be in excess of $500,000.


One way to improve the therapeutic outcome is to reformulate existing drugs into a drug delivery system which could directly target the lung tumours and/or modify the in vivo pharmacokinetic profile so that the drug resides at the tumour site at therapeutic concentrations for longer to ameliorate or resolve disease.  The type of drug delivery system can depend on the route of administration and in this project both the pulmonary and oral routes will be investigated.  This project will involve production on novel drug formulations and the assessment of their characteristics e.g. drug entrapment, pharmacokinetic profile and in vitro and in vivo efficacy against different cancer cell lines.

Funding Details

Applicant will need to self-fund, find sponsorship for tuition and bench fees for duration of studies


Primary Supervisor: Dr K. C Carter




Secondary Supervisor: Professor A. Mullen


Contact us

Primary Supervisor: Dr K. C Carter