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Harnessing the immune system to battle ovarian cancer

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, September 15, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The Cancer Therapeutics Lab headed by Dr. Sherry Wu is interested in developing novel nano-therapeutic methods to overcome immune suppression in ovarian cancer. The high recurrence rate is a major challenge in the clinical management of high grade serous ovarian cancer. While stimulating our own immune system to recognize and attack tumour cells represents an attractive means to facilitate complete elimination of tumours, emerging data suggest that many of the immunotherapy tools, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, are minimally active in ovarian cancer. We aim to develop effective strategies to enhance the infiltration and function of cytotoxic T lymphocytes in ovarian tumours and to develop clinically feasible means to monitor T-lymphocytes activity in tumours following therapy. Ultimately, strategies developed in this project could harness the power of the immune system to eliminate tumours and significantly increase the survival of patients with ovarian cancer.

We are seeking a motivated student who is interested in nanotechnology and cancer biology, and who is driven to develop effective strategies to enhance anti-tumour immunity. Prospective students with interests in these areas are encouraged to apply. The PhD candidate will learn to develop (1) strategies to enhance the infiltration and function of cytotoxic T lymphocytes in ovarian tumours, (2) novel nanoparticle platforms for tumour-targeted delivery, and (3) techniques to reliably image therapeutic responses in mouse models of ovarian cancer. He/She will gain experience in working in a multidisciplinary environment, perform advanced molecular and cellular biology techniques, cell imaging, and animal studies using cancer nanotherapeutics. He/She will also be required to contribute to other research activities in the laboratory, research publications, and presentations. Applicants should possess an appropriate qualification for entry into the PhD training scheme at University of Queensland, and should have prior relevant research experience.

Funding Notes

Successful applicant will be eligible to submit an application for University of Queensland Category 1 scholarship funding. The scholarship funding has already been secured for this project (View Website). The candidate must meet the standard that is required for receiving PhD scholarship funding from the University of Queensland. The candidate must be able to start, with appropriate visa clearance, by 1 January, 2020.

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