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Characterize the nature of the crosstalk between the cDC and NK in the tumour microenvironment

Given their natural adjuvant properties, and their unique attributes in promoting T cell priming and recruitment into solid tumors, dendritic cells (DCs) have long been a focal point of cancer immunotherapies. Recent studies have shed light on the critical importance of type-1 conventional DCs (cDC1s) in controlling tumor immune response and the therapeutic outcome of immune checkpoint inhibitors . The maturation status of cDC1s, and therefore their anti-tumor function, is closely correlated with the makeup of the surrounding immune and tumor cells, however the mechanism behind this phenomenon and the microenvironment where cDC1s are active is not fully understood. In addition to the presence of cytotoxic CD8 T cells, increased numbers of cDC1s in the tumour micro-environment (TME) correlates with high numbers of Natural Killer (NK) cell infiltrates and an overall better survival outcome for melanoma patients. We therefore hypothesise that strategies that enhance the abundance and function of cDC1s and NK cells in tumours may provide promising new ways to improve the responsiveness of cancer patients to immunotherapy.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
Tumour Immunology, Imaging, Immunotherapy, Innate immune system
Biomedicine Discovery Institute (School of Biomedical Sciences) » Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Available options 
Masters by research
Masters by coursework
Short projects
Joint PhD/Exchange Program
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Physical location 
15 Innovation Walk
Nicholas Huntington

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