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Novel Technologies for Targeting Metastatic Signalling at the Human Immune Cancer Cell Synapse.

  • Full or part time
    Prof T Hupp
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 30, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The human immune system has evolved to eradicate a huge diversity of pathogens and aberrant or malignant cells. Evasion of this immune surveillance system is a key hallmark of oncogenesis. The majority of anti-cancer strategies do not, however, address the ability of cancers to cloak themselves from immune-mediated eradication. Regulatory immune cells can also be subverted to promote cancer cell survival and metastasis. Developing strategies that reawaken the immune system, harness the plasticity of antigen recognition and modulate the pro-oncogenic regulatory phenotype may lead to durable therapeutic success. The aim of this training studentship is to harness cross-disciplinary expertise to reverse translate clinical observations from a compelling clinical cancer problem and develop novel immunotherapeutic approaches that provide a structure for future therapeutic strategies. We focus on cancers of high unmet clincal need such as oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC). Technologies for cross-disciplinary training in the project can include antibody engineering, synthetic biology, mass spectrometry, pathology, and computational science.

Funding Notes

The PhD project is part of the IBioIC industrial PhD programme and the student will be committed to IBiolC transferable skills training. The project also offers placement with the industrial partner, Pure Biologics, who can offer training in synthetic antibody engineering.


Examples of publications that have emerged from therapeutics projects are listed below:

1.Quantitative Shotgun Proteomics Unveils Candidate Novel Esophageal Adenocarcinoma (EAC)-specific Proteins. O'Neill JR, Pak HS, Pairo-Castineira E, Save V, Paterson-Brown S, Nenutil R, Vojtěšek B, Overton I, Scherl A, Hupp TR. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2017 Jun;16(6):1138-1150. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M116.065078. Epub 2017 Mar 23.

2.The Sequence-specific Peptide-binding Activity of the Protein Sulfide Isomerase AGR2 Directs Its Stable Binding to the Oncogenic Receptor EpCAM. Mohtar MA, Hernychova L, O'Neill JR, Lawrence ML, Murray E, Vojtesek B, Hupp TR. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2018 Apr;17(4):737-763. doi: 10.1074/mcp.RA118.000573. Epub 2018 Jan 16.

3.The landscape of selection in 551 esophageal adenocarcinomas defines genomic biomarkers for the clinic. Frankell AM, Jammula S, Li X, Contino G, Killcoyne S, Abbas S, Perner J, Bower L, Devonshire G, Ococks E, Grehan N, Mok J, O'Donovan M, MacRae S, Eldridge MD, Tavaré S; Oesophageal Cancer Clinical and Molecular Stratification (OCCAMS) Consortium, Fitzgerald RC. Nat Genet. 2019 Mar;51(3):506-516. doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0331-5. Epub 2019 Feb 4.

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