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Fully paid PhDs will look for prostate cancer treatments


rof Sherif El-Khamisey in the lab

The University of Bradford has announced the first of three fully-funded PhD opportunities specialising in the treatment of prostate cancer.

The PhDs have been made possible thanks to a £211,632 donation by Yorkshire West Riding Freemasons, with the university contributing £45,000 towards costs. 

The money will pay for three new PhD positions - they will be known as ‘Masonic Charitable Foundation Bradford Clinical Scholars’ - over the next five years. The first of those has now been advertised by the university’s renowned Institute of Cancer Therapeutics.

The fully funded PhD studentship programme includes tuition fees, living cost stipend, a conference budget, training courses, and the possibility of an honorary clinical contract with Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,. 

Professor Sherif El-Khamisy, director of the ICT, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Yorkshire West Riding Freemasons. We are poised to make inroads into treating advanced and aggressive forms of prostate cancer, which currently have very poor outcomes and few treatment options.

“We are looking for people with a clinical background to come and study and do research into prostate cancer at the ICT whilst still being able to retain the flexibility to also work in a clinical setting should they choose to do so. This is a high quality opportunity for the right person.”

rof Sherif El-Khamisey

Above: Professor Sherif El-Khamisy

Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer – one in six UK males will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and more than 11,000 people die from the condition each year.

The grant from Yorkshire West Riding Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by freemasons, their families, and friends, from across England and Wales.

James H Newman OBE, the Provincial Grand Master of the Freemasons of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Yorkshire West Riding Freemasons have recognised the importance of the prostate cancer research being conducted in the heart of our Province at the University of Bradford.

“We are only too well aware that prostate cancer is more likely to affect men of a certain age and, as a good number of our members fall under this category, finding ways of treating those with advanced forms of this deadly disease is to be welcomed.

“As a West Riding Freemason and a past Chairman of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, I am extremely proud that funds raised by our members are being put to such valuable use.”

Professor of chemical biology Klaus Pors said: "We are delighted to have received the funding from the Yorkshire West Riding Freemasons to progress research focused on new drugs to treat prostate cancer. We know that prostate tumours comprise hypoxic fractions that play host to cells with tumour-initiating properties that are frequently linked to patient relapse, and we want to find solutions that can ultimately benefit patients suffering from this disease. Accordingly, our project seeks to investigate new drugs designed to treat hypoxic fractions and which can be used in combination with chemo- and radiotherapy to improve overall survival rates."

To apply for the position, select this link.