• Lancaster University Featured PhD Programmes
  • Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine Featured PhD Programmes
  • University of Manchester Featured PhD Programmes
  • FindA University Ltd Featured PhD Programmes
  • University of Birmingham Featured PhD Programmes
  • University of Glasgow Featured PhD Programmes
  • Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich Featured PhD Programmes
Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes
EPSRC Featured PhD Programmes
Imperial College London Featured PhD Programmes
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Heidelberg) Featured PhD Programmes

The role of co-signalling receptors in cytotoxic lymphocyte activity during infection and cancer

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Cytotoxic lymphocytes (CD8+ T and natural killer (NK) cells) are integral for immune protection against infection and in the immunosurveillance of cancer. The activation of T cells, and the cytotoxic activity of T and NK cells, relies on the formation of an immunological synapse with antigen-presenting cells, or target cells, respectively. During synapse formation, T and NK cell activation and function is fine-tuned by a range of co-signalling molecules that positively or negatively modulate lymphocyte activity. Two important receptors in the regulation of T and NK cell function are the co-signalling molecules, DNAM-1 and CD96. We have evidence that tumour cells, such as acute myeloid leukemic (AML) cells, down-regulate the expression of ligands recognised by DNAM-1 and CD96 as an immune evasion mechanism.

Preliminary data show that DNAM-1 is necessary for cytotoxic lymphocyte adhesion and synapse formation during target cell killing. This project will investigate the role of both DNAM-1 and CD96 in T cell responses to antigen, and in T and NK cell cytotoxic activity. We will also investigate the consequences of ligand expression on DNAM-1 and CD96 on NK recognition and killing of AML cells.

The aims of this project will be to:
(1) Investigate the role of DNAM-1 and CD96 in immunological synapse formation and tumour cell killing in vitro
(2) Examine the anti-tumour response in CD96 deficient mice

Techniques commonly used in this laboratory include:Tissue culture, flow cytometry, cell sorting, fixed and time-lapse confocal microscopy, cytokine assays, killing assays, real-time PCR, western blotting, mouse experimentation and general immunological techniques.

In the Oliaro laboratory, researchers investigate the regulation of cytotoxic lymphocytes – the immune cells that are responsible for the recognition and killing of cancer cells. Our research focuses on investigating immune cell interactions with cancer cells, with a particular focus on immune synapse formation.

Funding Notes

All PhD students at Peter Mac must have a scholarship from The University of Melbourne or through another government, trust or philanthropic organisation. Before applying for a scholarship, you must have agreed on a project with an institute supervisor.

For further information about the university application process, see:
View Website

For further information regarding scholarships (both local and international), see:
View Website
Closing dates for applications for scholarships to commence in 2017: Round 1 -31 October 2016; Round 2 - 18 Dec 2016.

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

Cookie Policy    X