I am trying to uncover the cellular and molecular drivers of immune-related adverse events (IRAEs) in cancer patients receiving checkpoint inhibitor therapy. IRAEs are a suit of inflammatory side effects that are thought to occur due to inappropriate stimulation of the immune system when checkpoint inhibitors are used. The exact mechanisms of IRAEs are unknown. I’m using high-dimensional mass cytometry to immune-phenotype patient immune cells to uncover populations that may drive IRAEs. I later plan to functionally study these populations to determine mechanisms of IRAE development.
I chose the DTP so that I could rotate across a range of research areas, techniques and supervisors before choosing the project that suited me best. I enjoy being part of a cohort, it made it easy to meet people when moving to a new city. I also appreciate the opportunities to do placements in different industries during the PhD.
I studied BSc Biomedical Sciences with Industrial Placement Year at the University of Leeds. As part of a scholarship scheme, I completed summer lab placements in a lab specialising in super-resolution microscopy during my undergraduate. I also completed a year in industry as party of my undergraduate where I worked at MedImmune, Cambridge. There I used molecular engineering to produce different version of an immune-stimulatory antibody designed for cancer treatment and evaluated the effects of different mutations on its activity.