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Understanding lineage switching in haematopoietic malignancies as a mechanism of resistance to CAR-T therapy (Manchester-Melbourne Dual Award)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 31, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is the most common cause of cancer related mortality in children and young adults. Although outcomes have improved significantly a substantial number of patients are either refractory to initial therapy or relapse after achieving a clinical remission. Long term survival in these patients is very poor and, in this context, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy directed against CD19 has emerged as a major avenue to cure these children and young adults. Unfortunately, however, resistance to CAR-T therapy can also emerge through a remarkable process of lineage switching from a lymphoid to a myeloid malignancy that no longer expresses CD19. The goal of this PhD project is to develop sophisticated models that would allow us to investigate lineage switching and CD19 epitope loss both in vitro and in vivo. Ultimately the ambition of the project is to identify novel therapeutic strategies that prevent this form of therapeutic escape from CAR-T therapy.


Funding Notes

This project is available to UK/EU candidates. Funding covers fees and stipend for 3.5 years. Candidates will be required to split their time between Manchester and Melbourne.

Applications should be submitted online and candidates should make direct contact with the Manchester supervisor to discuss their application directly. Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

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