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Cryo-storage Biotechnologies for Cell-Based Therapies

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  • Full or part time
    Prof M Gibson
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

MIBTP CASE PhD studentship with industrial collaborator GE Healthcare


Cancer chemotherapy has been transformed in the past decade by the introduction of immunotherapies. Antibody therapies (such as Herceptin, >$1B/year sales) have made a real impact on people’s lives. The next generation (so called ‘5th pillar’) of chemotherapy is the use of genetically modified T-cells (CAR-T), which function as a living drug. The impact of these treatments cannot be understated, with untreatable cancers being taken to complete remission. However, a key challenge is the price of these therapies which is £100,000’s per patient due to the logistics of obtaining, transfecting, purification and transport of the cells.

This ambitious collaborative project will study the biotechnological processes associated with the transfection and transport steps in cell-based therapies especially those parts which require cold storage of the cells or vectors. The GibsonGroup at Warwick has developed world-first technology in macromolecular (polymer) cryoprotectants which mimic the function of antifreeze proteins in extremophiles species in some of the Earths coldest climates. This allows us to reduce, or eliminate, the need for organic solvent in cryopreservation. (E.g Nat. Comms, 2014, 5, 3244, and 2017, 8 1546 )

This exciting project will combine expertise in new macromolecular cryoprotectants (GibsonGroup at Warwick) with GE Healthcare’s innovative cryopreservation technologies. The GibsonGroup laboratories are split between the Department of Chemistry and Warwick Medical School providing a unique multidisciplinary environment covering synthetic organic chemistry to microbiology and cell biology and is underpinned by world-class analytical facilities. More details about the group can be found on the Gibson Group website: http://www.warwick.ac.uk/go/gibsongroup/

CASE studentships are designed to provide students with a first-rate challenging research training experience within the context of a mutually-beneficial research collaboration between academic and non-academic partner organisations.

CASE students must fulfil the MIBTP entry requirements and will join the MIBTP cohort for the taught modules and masterclasses in year 1 and regular cohort events throughout their PhD.

Funding Notes

Applications accepted from UK students. EU students may be eligible; where the student has been living in the UK for 3 years prior to the programme start date. Please check the MIBTP website for further information.



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