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CRUK Clinical Research Training Fellowship: developing novel T-cell immunotherapy for paediatric high grade glioma

Project Description

Overall aim of the PhD project is to develop novel T-cell immunotherapy for paediatric high grade glioma. Brain tumours are the major cause of cancer-related death in children, overtaking the other paediatric cancers including leukaemias and other solid tumours.

This PhD project will develop CAR T-cell therapy for paediatric high grade glioma. We hypothesize that tumour specific T-cells are well suited to treat (childhood) brain tumours based on their intrinsic capacity to cross the blood brain barrier and migrate to distant and diffuse sites of disease.
The supervisory team will select the most suitable target antigen(s) for paediatric high grade glioma for this project based on current data at the start of this project (September 2019).
The project will encompass construction of chimeric antigen receptors and selection of optimal design based on (1) in vitro functional tesing (tumour killing, T-cell proliferation, immunophenotype and cytokine profile) and (2) in vivo efficacy in PDX and transgeneic murine models. This PhD studentship will provide comprehensive training in laboratory skills including molecular cloning, lentiviral transduction of T-lymphocytes, immunological functional assays and animal modelling/in vivo T-cell tracking.
Additionally, the project will encompass training in translational research including development of the clinical protocol, documentation required for regulatory approval and assays to assess safety and efficacy of CAR T-cell treatment in patients treated on clinical study.
Cllinical work undertaken during this post will further complement this translational research training and include enrolment/consenting and monitoring of patients on clinical studies.

The applicant will develop an in-depth understanding of brain cancer biology and tumour immunology along with good manufacture practice (GMP) and relevant statistical approaches.

The successful applicant will have a Medical Degree, Membership of the Royal College of Paedatrics and Child Health or Royal College of Surgeons or equivalent and GMC registration and entry on the appropriate GMC Specialist Register.

They must have experience in clinical oncology and patient care along with basic statistical approaches in clinical medicine. Ability to organise and prioritise workload, work effectively within a team environment and have an understanding of research methodology are also essential.

For further details about the vacancy and how to apply online please go to and search on Reference Number 1793912

For enquiries regarding the application process please contact Cancer Institute HR Office

Closing Date: 14 April 2019

Latest time for the submission of applications: 23:59.

Funding Notes

The CRUK CRF Studentships will pay tuition fees at the Home/EU rate only. There is no funding available from CRUK or UCL to cover the additional cost of Overseas tuition fees (which would be an additional £56,000 - £103,000 over the course of the degree). CRUK do not allow a student to be expected to pay the difference either. Therefore we can only accept applications from candidates who would meet the eligibility for Home/EU fee costs.

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