Study level


Master of Philosophy

Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Yin Xiao
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Dr Yinghong Zhou
Senior Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


A fully-functioning immune system is essential to maintain good health, though such a system deteriorates with advancing age, contributing to increased susceptibility to infection, autoimmunity, and cancer.

Relatively little research has been conducted on the impact of ageing on the innate immune response, which plays a crucial role in protecting against infection and represents a first line of defence. Macrophages are central effector cells of the innate immune system and have many diverse functions. This means age-related impairments in macrophage function are likely to have important consequences for the health of the older population.

This project aims to re-program the ageing immune system by developing a new generation of stem cell-based nanoparticles with immunoregulatory and pro-regenerative properties. Such therapeutic products for immnue defence are expected to:

  • boost weakened immnue systems of the elderly and immune-compromised patients
  • empower endogenous regenerative properties
  • accelerate tissue repair and regeneration, especially with challenges of unexpected pathogens.

Research activities

Your research project will involve:

  • synthesis and characterisation of nanoparticles incorporating immunoregulatory therapeutic ions
  • characterisation, analysis and mass production of stem cell derivatives
  • investigating the immune enhancing effect of the bio-nanoparticles on aged macrophages.


We expect this research to:

  • generate therapeutic ion-containing nanoparticles encapsulating stem cell derivatives
  • reveal the molecular mechanisims that drive the immune enhancing-effect of the newly developed bio-nanoparticles.

Skills and experience

As the ideal candidate you should:

  • have a background in biological sciences
  • ideally have experience with cell culture and small animal handling.


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.