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T Cell immunosuppression in glioblastoma- developing novel therapeutic approaches

Project Description

Applications are invited for this PhD studentship, fully funded by the Colin Oliphant Charitable Trust.

Glioblastoma is the most common type of brain tumour in adult patients and represents a complex and heterogeneous disease with an extremely poor prognosis in almost all cases. These tumours represent extreme examples of tumour-mediated immunosuppression, although the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Under normal circumstances microglia and infiltrating tumour-associated macrophages should support anti-tumour T cell responses through antigen presentation and secretion of inflammatory mediators.

However, in glioblastoma, despite these cells accounting for up to 50% of the tumour mass, intra-tumoural T cells demonstrate diminished effector function and hypo-responsiveness. Based on studies of the tumour secretome that we are currently undertaking, this project therefore aims to investigate how the tumour microenvironment in glioblastoma affects the phenotype and function of T cells, macrophages and microglia with a view to identifying novel interventions aimed at restoring anti-GBM immunity.

Application process

We are looking for exceptional applicants who hold at least a 2:1 Degree (or equivalent) or have a Master’s level qualification in a biological or biomedical-related discipline. Applicants are invited to submit an application form with names of three academic referees who may be contacted immediately, together with a 250-word summary that sets out clearly how your qualifications and career aspirations match the subject area.

Apply here:

A complete application will consist of the following documents:
 A fully completed application form
 Summary form (max 250 words)
 Academic referees form

Completed applications should be submitted by email to by Monday 26th August 2019.

All short-listed applicants will be interviewed either in person at the University, if based in the UK, or by telephone/Skype if they are based overseas. The studentship is available for an immediate start.

PhD Terms and Conditions: please note that all bursaries offered are subject to the University regulations and continuation from one year to the next is contingent on satisfactory progress.

Funding Notes

The stipend for the studentship will be £15,009 pa for three years with home/EU tuition fees paid. Applicants from non-EU countries will be expected to pay the difference between the full overseas tuition fee and the UK/EU tuition fee. There will also be a contribution to research expenses including travel to conferences.

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