Application deadline date has been passed for this Job.
PhD candidate for the NSW Health Gene & Cell Therapy PhD Program
*Work type: Full-time
*Location: Sydney, NSW
UNSW is recruiting a PhD candidate for the NSW Health Gene & Cell Therapy PhD Program entitled “Tuning of anti-cancer potency in engineered immune cells with a novel non-viral gene editing system”
The student will be supported by NSW Office of Health and Medical Research with a PhD stipend of $ 40,000 p.a. (tax exempt) for 4 years and additional $ 10,000 pa will be available for project consumables. Domestic candidates only are eligible.
The program will be supervised by Prof Shane Grey (Garvan Medical Research Institute, UNSW), Prof Ewa Goldys (UNSW Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering) and A/Prof Wei Deng, University of Technology, Sydney.
The candidate should have undergraduate and/or Masters level training in areas such as biology, biotechnology, or biomedical science. Excellent grades would be preferred, ideally combined with documented research experience (supported by refereed publications).
Project description: Immune cells are capable of fighting cancer with great effectiveness, but cancer actively evades immune recognition. We discovered a genetic immune master switch (A20 gene) that can be used to dial up anti-cancer response in patient’s immune cells extracted from blood which have been suitably genetically engineered and injected back into patients. This type of genetic engineering is currently carried out using viruses, the procedure which is uncontrolled and potentially dangerous to patients. This project will establish a virus-free technology where genes in the immune cells will be edited by using CRISPR technology, and favourable variants of the A20 gene inserted by using patented liposomes developed at UNSW. These liposomes are produced from clinically approved components, facilitating their future regulatory approval.
The project outcomes will be significant to future immunotherapy of cancer and immune cells engineered in this way will be able to augment leading edge techniques such as CAR-T. The project will test the applicability of this approach to pancreatic cancer, with a view to extend the CAR-T technology to solid cancers, which represents a Holy Grail in this field.
The PhD student involved in this project will develop expertise which is central to the field of cell and gene technologies. They will work with leaders in this field Grey, Goldys and Deng who will supervise this project. They will be exposed to components of medical translation and project commercialisation.
The candidate will receive training in:
- Research skills development, including state-of-the-art analytical methods, statistics, academic writing, presentation and collaboration skills.
- Training in cell culture in vitro, advanced microscopy, flow cytometry, genetic engineering, histopathology, synthesis and characterisation of liposomes., animal models and animal handling; animal ethics
- Training in specialized methods applied in cell and gene technologies;
- Training in designing and management of complex projects;
- Commercialization training (focused on drug development pipeline) and business networking;
- Preparation and submission of the IP disclosure/ provisional patent(s); negotiations with potential investors; steps towards commercialization strategy
Eligibility – The candidate must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or hold an appropriate visa. Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents must provide evidence, certified by a Justice of the Peace (JP) or equivalent, of residency status and right to remain and work in Australia for at least the projected duration of the PhD candidate’s studies.
This recruitment will remain open until filled.
Any enquiries, please contact Christina Rofe and she will schedule a meeting with Prof Ewa Goldys. email@example.com .
Interested candidates should send their CV with a covering letter to Christina Rofe (firstname.lastname@example.org) in charge of Prof Goldys’ office.
Advertised: 20 Sep 2021 AUS Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: 16 Dec 2021 AUS Eastern Daylight Time
- Offered SalaryNot Specified
- Career LevelNot Specified
- ExperienceNot Specified
- QualificationMaster's Degree(M.Sc.)