Study level

  • Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

In progress.

Research centre


Adjunct Associate Professor Siok-Keen Tey
Adjunct Associate Professor
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health


Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cells are genetically modified immune cells that can recognise and kill cancer cells. They are a type of cancer immunotherapy that can be very effective against certain types of blood cancers and are now approved for use in patients. However, CAR T cells can only benefit a very small proportion of cancer patients at present.

The aim of this project is to develop new types of CAR T cells that are more effective and can target other types of cancer. The project involves using molecular biology techniques to clone new types of CAR T cells and using immunology assays to test the function of these new CAR T cells. It will provide exposure to the fields of cancer immunotherapy, genetic engineering and biotechnology, with a focus on clinical translation.

This research will be carried out at QIMR Berghofer.

Research activities

Research activities include:

  • laboratory experiments
  • data collection
  • data analysis.

You will also gain exposure to:

  • molecular cloning
  • gene modification with retroviral vectors
  • cell culture and immunological assays, such as flow cytometry.

You are expected to learn at least one or two techniques and be proficient in basic laboratory procedures at the end of the project. You will also participate in lab meetings and seminars.

Skills and experience

You should be interested in cancer immunotherapy, biotechnology and clinical translation. We particularly encourage you to apply if you are interested in pursuing honours or a postgraduate research degree.



Contact for more information.