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Strategies to improve the safety and efficacy of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapy

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Tey
    Assoc Prof T Kenna
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Our laboratory studies the interaction between the immune response and tumour control, with a particular emphasis on translating our ever-expanding basic science knowledge into clinically applicable therapeutic platforms.

The aim of this PhD project is to develop better Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapy. Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cells are immune cells that have been genetically modified with a CAR gene which enables them to recognise and kill cancer cells that express a particular antigen on the cell surface. CAR T cells targeting CD19 antigen expressed on B cells are remarkably effective in B cell blood cancers, and are now approved for the treatment of B cell leukaemia and lymphoma in the USA, Europe, Australia and other countries. Despite the promising outcome, around 1 in 4 patients treated with CD19-specific CAR T cells will relapse as a result of loss of CD19 antigen expression. Furthermore, the success of CD19 CAR T cells have not been replicated in CAR T cells targeting other cancers. This project will investigate new ways to improve the anti-tumour response associated with CAR T cell therapy. These involve redesigning the CAR gene construct and investigating new protocols for CAR T cell administration to promote broad anti-tumour response beyond the target antigen (in this case, CD19). The project spans the fields of immunology, molecular biology and biotechnology.

This project will suit a keen, inquisitive and hard-working PhD student interested in immunology, cell and gene therapy, and translational research.

Funding Notes

Australian and International applicants are eligible to apply. Selected candidates will be required to apply to competitive scholarships through the Faculty of Health, QUT and will be assisted with their applications. PhD scholarships are approx. $(AUD) 27 596pa for 3.5 years full time study. PhD applicants must have completed or be expected to complete a first class hons or a Masters degree (>25% research).

Demonstrated research excellence, such as academic awards, presentations and peer-reviewed publications are desirable, but not essential.

International students must meet entry requirements for QUT

For more information about scholarships and postgraduate study at QUT

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