Developing peptide antagonists of the growth hormone receptor

Project Code: 10444780

Faculty: Liggins Institute

Department: Liggins Institute

Main Supervisor: Dr Jo Perry

Application open date: 11 Jan 2019

Application deadline: 31 Dec 2019

Enrolment information: NZ Citizens, NZ Permanent Residents, International


Growth hormone (GH) secretion from the anterior pituitary is essential for normal human growth. However, in adults, too much GH can lead to acromegaly, a rare debilitating somatic growth disorder. Expression of GH is also detectable in a variety of different human cancers and is associated with reduced overall survival for cancer patients. We have evidence to indicate that an approach that inhibits the GH receptor could be an effective strategy to improve radiotherapy outcomes. This has led to the development of therapeutic approaches aimed at antagonising GH function.

What we are looking for in a successful applicant

 The applicant should have a background in a relevant biological science and a broad interest in endocrinology or cancer


 This project will involve the development of chemically modified recombinant protein antagonists of the GH receptor. Inhibitory potential will be tested using cell culture bioactivity assays and cancer cell lines.

Other information

Skills learnt:

A range of experimental procedures will be utilised including molecular biology techniques such as DNA cloning, DNA extraction, quantitative PCR, as well as protein expression and purification and in vitro cell culture and bioactivity assays.