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Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cells for the treatment of cancer

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 …

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Engineering Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell for the treatment of cancer

Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cells are genetically modified immune cells that can recognise and kill cancer cells. They do so through the CAR, which recognises specific antigens expressed on cancer cells. CAR T cell therapy has emerged as an effective form of cancer immunotherapy in certain types of blood cancers and are now approved for use in patients. However, CAR T cell therapy can only benefit a very small proportion of cancer patients at present because it is very …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Immunotherapy for autoimmune disease using T cell receptor-modified T-regulatory cells (PhD)

Autoimmune diseases affect approximately 5% of Australians. Well known examples include type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. These diseases have unpleasant, and sometimes tragic, consequences for the affected person and are a costly burden on our health system. As treatment is often limited to managing symptoms, new therapies for autoimmune diseases are much desired.The autoimmune diseases we study are described as "organ-specific", which means the unwanted immune response attacks either a single organ, or a collection of organs …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Immunotherapy for autoimmune disease using T cell receptor-modified T-regulatory cells

Autoimmune diseases affect approximately 5% of Australians. Well known examples include type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. These diseases have unpleasant, and sometimes tragic, consequences for the affected person and are a costly burden on our health system. As treatment is often limited to managing symptoms, new therapies for autoimmune diseases are much desired.Many autoimmune diseases are tightly associated with inheritance of a particular allele at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC, also called human leucocyte antigen or HLA). …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Impact of cytomegalovirus on human responses to malaria parasites

The lifelong viral infection cytomegalovirus (CMV) has broad influence on the human immune system. Some studies in young adults have suggested that these CMV mediated changes can enhance responsiveness to vaccination and infection. How CMV infection impacts immunity to malaria parasites is unknown.This project will leverage previous experimental human malaria infection trials to investigate whether CMV infection modifies innate and adaptive immune responses following malaria.AimsInvestigate whether CMV infection impacts innate immune responses (monocytes, DCs, gamma delta cells and NK cells) …

Study level
Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Prolonging survival in brain cancer by targeting slow-dividing cells

Aims and MethodologyGlioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and malignant primary brain tumour in adults. GBM is deadly because of resistant glioma stem cells that reconstitute the tumour after treatment. Glioma stem cells resist chemotherapy in part because they are quiescent (slow-dividing), whereas chemotherapy primarily targets fast-dividing cells. In this project we will test targeted molecules to inhibit quiescence, forcing glioma stem cells to divide during chemotherapy to prevent tumour recurrence.Applicants can expect to gain experience in tissue culture, microscopy, …

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Infection kinetic changes that occur within macrophage-adapted Chlamydia

Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular, bacterial pathogen. C. trachomatis infections of the human reproductive tract affect approximately 127 million people globally each year. The major concern of C. trachomatis infections is their ability to cause infertility in both men and women, by damaging the upper reproductive tracts. However, we are still lacking information about how Chlamydia travels around the reproductive tract, and reaches the upper tract (ovaries and testes in particular) to cause this damage.Recent research has shown that …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Testing of novel antibiotic-loaded nanoparticles for treatment of Chlamydia infection

C. trachomatis, sexually transmitted infections of both the female and male human reproductive tract, affects approximately 127 million people globally each year. The major concerning sequela of C. trachomatis infection is infertility in both men and women. This occurs by damaging the upper reproductive tracts, the ovaries and testes most importantly.The majority of research has been focussed on female disease, and male disease has been underestimated and understudied, particularly therapeutics for male infections. Antibiotic therapy is the only therapy currently …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Renewal and differentiation in human neural stem cells and their application to understanding neurological disorders

The effective regeneration of brain tissue requires an understanding of the factors mediating the damage as well as the integration of new/replacement cells to form new functional neural networks. The isolation and expansion of human stem cells and limited neural lineage differentiation have provided the foundation for strategies in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. We utilise iPSC-derived NPCs and patient-derived (Alzheimer’s disease; AD) iPSCs and neural lineage differentiation of hMSCs, iPSC NPCs and AD iPSCs in neuronal and glial culture …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Why do epithelial cells have antigen processing machinery?

Epithelial Cells (ECs) constitute the border between the host immune system and an environment teeming with inhaled antigens. Work from us and others has highlighted that ECs have the ability to express the antigen processing and presentation machinery, Major Histocompatibility Complex class II (MHC II) that is important in initiating immune responses. MHC II expression and function on mucosal epithelial cells, is not well understood.Whilst MHC II is expressed by ECs, and is altered with inflammation, there is a paucity …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Investigating DNA repair mechanisms in aging adult stem cells

When we age the DNA repair systems of our cells become down regulated. This results in reduced DNA repair capacity, enhanced rates of mutation load and may lead to the development of chronic aging-associated diseases including osteoporosis, Alzheimer's and cancer(1). So it is no surprise that genome instability and stem cell exhaustion, which also strongly correlates with the accumulation of DNA damage, are considered hallmarks of aging(2).However, we still lack a clear understanding on how the decrease in DNA repair …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Understanding the immunological mechanisms that regulate increased susceptibility to respiratory syncytial viral infection after stem cell transplantation

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT) is considered the gold standard procedure for the treatment of blood cancers. Globally, over 9000 patients per year undergo this high-risk, life-saving therapy. However, major complications limit the therapeutic potential of this treatment which include graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and infections due to the severe immunosuppression in these patients. Respiratory syncytial viral (RSV) infection is frequent in these patients, is often fatal and clearly a significant clinical problem. Thus, there is a pressing need for new …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

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