Mechanotherapy for cancer patients using novel hydrogels

Investigating cancer mortality by capturing cells in their primary location to prevent metastasis and delivering anti-cancer drugs

One of the main threats to mortality in cancer patients is cancer metastasis. Advances in current anti-cancer therapy including chemotherapy and immunotherapy, showed promising improvement in removing cancer tissue that is rapidly growing.

However, metastasis has not been efficiently targeted by those therapies even though it is one of the main threats to mortality in cancer patients.

This project aims to encapsulate cancer tissues in their primary location to prevent them from metastasising, while hydrogel materials release anti-cancer drugs at a controlled rate.

This project will focus on the following areas:

  • Designing of dynamic hydrogels to mechanically secure cancer cells in the primary site and chemically release drugs
  • In vivo imaging to guide the delivery of hydrogels and to monitor encapsulation of cancer tissues

This project is part of BioZone, which brings a transdisciplinary approach to research in biomedical science and engineering to solve complex challenges, leading to improved patient care. Find out more about the BioZone vision and the PhD training program.

Research team leader: Dr Yu Suk Choi

I completed my PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2010 prior to undertaking three years’ postdoctoral research at University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Bioengineering (US #2). After two years in Sydney Medical School as research fellow, in 2015 I joined the School of Human Sciences as a lecturer and a leader of the 'Stem Cell Mechanobiology lab'.

This project will be co-supervised by Dr Brendan Kennedy (UWA and Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research), Professor Killugudi Swaminatha Iyer (School of Molecular Sciences, UWA) and Professor Christobel Saunders (Medical School, UWA).

How to apply

Interested in becoming part of this project? Complete the following steps to submit your expression of interest:

Step 1 - Check criteria

General UWA PhD entrance requirements can be found on the Future Students website

Step 2 - Submit enquiry to research team leader

Step 3 - Lodge application

After you have discussed your project with the research team leader, you should be in a position to proceed to the next step of the UWA application process: Lodge an application. Different application procedures apply to domestic and international students.


Scholarships specific to this project
Details of scholarships provided specifically for BioZone PhD projects are available on the UWA Scholarships website.
Domestic students

All domestic students may apply for Research Training Program and University Postgraduate Awards (UPA) scholarships

International students

A range of scholarships are available from international organisations and governments. The full list, organised by country, is available on the Future Students website.

In addition, all international students may apply for International Research Training Program scholarships.

Indigenous students
Indigenous students are encouraged to apply for Indigenous Postgraduate Research Supplementary Scholarships.
Prestigious postgraduate research scholarships

Prestigious postgraduate research scholarships support graduate research training by enabling students of exceptional research promise to undertake higher degrees by research at the University.

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