Role of PDGF-CC in the Tumour Microenvironment

2021 PhD scholarship opportunity

Supervisors: Professor Andrew Scott and Dr Ingrid Burvenich

Laboratory: Tumour Targeting


This project aims to elucidate novel mechanisms of action of a novel antibody that targets platelet derived growth factor–C (PDGF-CC), and to determine the cellular pathways within the tumour microenvironment that are impacted by antibody treatment.

Through 2D and 3D co-cultures and organoids derived from cancer associated fibroblasts and triple negative breast cancer cell lines (TNBC), we will determine the signalling pathways responsible for converting estrogen receptor α (ERα)-negative TNBC into ERα-positive tumours upon treatment with anti-PDGF-CC antibody (Nature Med, 2018). The temporal course of ERα expression change following antibody treatment will be assessed with 18F-FES positron emission tomography, which will allow optimal design of ERα-targeting combination therapies.

A suitable candidate would have used one or more techniques of the following: western blot analysis, CRISPR technology, RNA extraction, animal models, tissue culture (2D, 3D).


Discover more about La Trobe University’s PhD program and this opportunity or contact our Student Co-ordinator via

Application deadlines:
International students – 30 September 2020
Domestic students – 31 October 2020