The University of Newcastle, Australia

Brain Cancer and Cannabinoids

Closing Date: 01 November 2019

PhD Scholarship

Intensive studies of cannabinoids in brain cancer to enable rapid uptake into practice.

Brain MRI

Glioblastoma (GBM) is a rapidly progressive brain tumour. It is usually treated by surgery followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. GBM has a very poor two year survival rate of less than 20%, related to drug resistance both that is innate and which develops, in combination with the development of a micro-environment that protects the GBM cells from being killed. Our team have recently summarised the brain cancer biology that causes this treatment resistance and highlighted the important role in preventing or targeting resistance development during treatment by exploring combination therapies, new drugs or appropriate use of repurposed therapies, and considerations of the complicated immune environment of the brain cancer. Importantly, some of the derivatives of the Cannabis plant (cannabinoids) have recently shown to decrease cell growth and increases cell death of human GBM cells. The evidence for cannabinoids in brain cancer suggests exploring their benefit in humans is appropriate. This work needs to begin with appropriate selection of the type of cannabinoid, dose, and relationship to timing of chemotherapy and radiation for brain cancer. This study will aim to provide important information on cannabinoid dosing, timing with regards to chemotherapy, radiotherapy and route of administration efficacy and safety in GBM, and will examine if one of a suite of medical cannabinoid products can improve survival rates. The project is situated within the Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence (ACRE), a National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence, the first federally-funded centre for medicinal cannabis research and the University of Newcastle's Centre for Human Drug Research.

This project is lab-based and it is expected to be undertaken onsite in Newcastle, full-time.

PhD Scholarship details

Funding: $27,596 per annum (2019 rate) indexed annually. For a PhD candidate, the living allowance scholarship is for 3.5 years and the tuition fee scholarship is for four years.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Nikola Bowden; Dr Peter Galettis and Professor Jennifer Martin

Available to: Domestic and International students


Eligibility Criteria

In addition to the minimum eligibility criteria, we encourage students with a background in either pharmacy, science, biomedical sciences, biology or biochemistry to apply. The successful candidate cannot commence their study before 1 January 2020 and must commence before 31 August 2020

Application Procedure

Interested applicants should send an email expressing their interest along with scanned copies of their academic transcripts, CV, a brief statement of their research interests.

Please send the email expressing interest to by 5pm on 01 November 2019.

Applications Close 01 November 2019

Contact Elianne Renaud
Phone +61 2 40420908

PhD and Research MastersFind out more