Doctoral student in a lab

Investigation of long-term sensory neuronal degeneration and pain in adult childhood cancer survivors

  • School: School of Science and Technology
  • Starting: 2018
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


Advances in childhood cancer research has led to increased understanding and early diagnosis of cancer, has led to a significant increase in childhood cancer survivorship. However, use of anti-cancer treatments come at a price, as 75% of patients have to live with therapy associated side-effects for many years after the treatment has stopped.

Many adult childhood cancer survivors highlight pain as a side-effect of treatment, with chemotherapy (platinum-based) induced sensory neurodegeneration leading to long-term alterations in sensory perception in adult childhood cancer survivors. Pain, a quality of life issue for adult childhood cancer survivors is underrepresented both in the clinic and research based investigations. This requires initiatives to be forged to drive research into identifying adult childhood cancer survivorship pain focussed therapies, which is the ultimate objective of this investigation.

We are currently defining how chemotherapy can damage the sensory nervous system but also establishing how this activates the sensory neurons to cause pain. We have established key growth factors that are involved with neuroprotection and pain development. By targeting these mechanisms we believe we can understand chemotherapy induced sensory neurodegeneration and pain, which will allow us to effectively treat pain in the future. We utilise cell and rodent based assays inclusive of histology, behavioural assessment and electrophysiological studies incorporating biochemical techniques. This work will involve collaborations at Nottingham Trent University including the John van Geest Centre and University of Nottingham.


Dr Richard Hulse

Entry qualifications

Applicants should have a 2:1 or 1st class honours degree in a subject relevant to the proposed project. A 2:2 degree may be considered only where applicants also offer a Masters degree with Merit.

How to apply

How to apply

Applications are accepted all year round.

Download an application form here.
Please make sure you take a look at our application guidance notes before making your application.

Further information on how to apply can be found on this page.

Fees and funding

This is a self-funded PhD opportunity.

Guidance and support

Further information on guidance and support can be found on this page.

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Richard Hulse