The University of Newcastle, Australia

The Role of Protein Phosphatase 2A in Development and Cancer

Closing Date: 22 June 2018

PhD Scholarship

One PhD Scholarship is available through the Faculty of Health and Medicine at the University of Newcastle for a research program in the role of protein phosphatase 2A in development and cancer.

Cell Cycle

Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a serine/threonine phosphatase that regulates multiple cell signalling pathways involved in cell cycle, DNA replication, apoptosis, adhesion and migration. PP2A functions as a tumour suppressor and is inactivated in multiple cancers, including acute myeloid leukaemia, breast and lung cancers. PP2A inhibition also plays an important role in inflammatory diseases such asthma, COPD and arthritis. As such, drugs that enhance PP2A activity are showing great promise as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory therapies. PP2A is composed of a catalytic, a structural and a regulatory subunit, for which there are multiple isoforms, however the functional role of individual regulatory isoforms are not well understood. To address this gap in knowledge, we have developed novel cellular and mouse models whereby the key regulatory subunit, PP2A-B55α, is knocked out. We have also developed a range of novel PP2A activating drugs. Using these models, together with a range of innovative functional proteomics and genomics techniques, this discovery PhD project will establish the role of this master signalling regulator in normal physiology and in the development of cancer. The knowledge gained through this project will enhance our understanding of this complex and essential enzyme in normal physiology, and could uncover mechanisms important in both health and disease. It may also lead to new therapies targeting PP2A.

PhD Scholarship details

$27,082 per annum (2018 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. Scholarships also include up to $1,500 relocation allowance, if applicable.

Supervisor: Dr Nikki Verrills

Available to: Domestic students


Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must meet the minimum eligibility criteria for admission into the Higher Degree by Research at the University of Newcastle, including the English Proficiency Policy requirements.

Application Procedure

Interested applicants should send an email expressing their interest, including scanned copies of their academic transcripts, CV, a brief statement of their research interests and a proposal that specifically links them to the research project, to by 22 June 2018 at 5pm.

Applications Close 22 June 2018

Contact Dr Nikki Verrills
Phone +61 2 4921 5619

PhD and Research MastersFind out more