Group: Cancer Inflammation and Immunity
Group Leader: Santiago Zelenay
Project Title: Dissecting cancer immunogenicity to enhance therapy response
This 4 year PhD studentship offered in Dr Santiago Zelenay’s research group is based at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, Alderley Park, Cheshire
Immunotherapies have transformed the clinical care of cancer patients across a wide range of cancer types representing the most promising pan-cancer treatment approach since the development of the first chemotherapies. Unprecedented outcomes continue to be observed in multiple cancer types including in malignancies once thought treatment refractory. Responses, especially complete and durable, are nevertheless only observed in a limited fraction of patients. The development of these treatments builds on more than one hundred years of basic research in immunology. Under the premise that further fundamental research in the cancer immunology field will provide insights into how to make immunotherapies more efficient and safer, our group studies the underlying principles that determine the susceptibility of tumours to natural or therapy-induced cancer immunity. In doing so, we have uncovered key cellular and molecular immune mediators whose targeting offers promising therapeutic avenues to enhance the efficacy of immune-based therapies. The aim of this project will be to examine how these pathways regulate the tumour inflammatory profile and impact cancer immunity combining the use of genetically engineered pre-clinical cancer models with the analysis of cancer patient samples. The overarching goal is to uncover primary determinants of the inflammatory and immunogenic properties of tumours to inform the design of new cancer treatment modalities.
Applications are invited from exceptionally high calibre students, graduates or final year undergraduates who should hold or are expected to gain a first/upper second-class honours degree in a relevant subject as part of a University degree course.
Applicants can find full group project details, entry criteria and details on how to apply online at
Closing date: Friday 3 January 2020 – 2100 hours GMT
Interview date: Tuesday 18 February 2020, Alderley Park, Cheshire