PhD Scholarships in T Cell Recognition of Neoantigens

Updated: about 2 months ago

2 PhD positions are available in the Section of Experimental and Translational Immunology (xTI), Division of Biopharma, Dept. of Health Technology, at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

In the Section of Experimental and Translational Immunology, we are focusing on understanding immune regulation, recognitions and signaling to unravel disease mechanism, and translate immunological finding into therapeutic strategies via design of nanomaterial to actively engage or manipulate the immune system.

The present PhD projects will be conducted in the research group ‘T cells & Cancer’, under supervision of Professor Sine Reker Hadrup. Immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer treatment, but clinical benefit remains only for a subset of patients. We are devoted to identify cancer antigens of clinical importance, and to develop strategies for cancer-specific T cell targeting to improve the efficacy and limit toxicity for T cell therapies.

Individual research projects
We seek qualified candidates for 2 vacant PhD positions. Candidates are invited to apply for a specific project of the two below:

Project 1: ‘Evaluation of T cell response follow neo-antigen vaccination in cancer ’. This project is supported in combination form the Danish Innovations fund and the Danish Cancer Society. Main objectives to this PhD are to evaluate the T cell responses generated following neo-antigen vaccination. A concept that is currently tested in clinical phase I. The PhD candidate will be responsible for evaluating the T cell responses in terms of minimal epitope recognition, functional and phenotypic profiling of T cells, potentially differences in tumor vs peripheral blood. Furthermore we will assess how the above mentioned components may influence clinical outcome.

Project 2:
‘The impact of neo-epitope recognition in NSCLC patients treated with immune-checkpoint inhibition ’. This project is in collaboration between DTU and UCL (London). The objective of the project is to evaluate the T cell recognition towards neo-antigens in response to check-point inhibition. How will therapy affect the T cell repertoire and recognition of neoantigens identified from the individual patient´s tumor. The PhD candidate will be responsible for evaluating the T cell responses in terms of minimal epitope recognition, functional and phenotypic profiling of T cells, potentially differences in tumor vs peripheral blood. Furthermore the PhD candidate will evaluate if such T cells be expanded in vitro to form an attractive T cell product for adoptive T cell transfer. This will be evaluated in relevant preclinical models.

Applicable for both scholarships

Qualifications
Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree in the fields of biomedical sciences, biotechnology, biochemistry, biology or similar.

The successful applicant should have a strong background with course in immunology and cancer biology. Experience with T cell cultures and antigen-specific T-cell detection using MHC multimers, analyses of T cell characteristics such as phenotype and functionality is an advantage. The candidate must have experience with flow cytometry and cell sorting. The candidate should have excellent collaboration and communication skills, an interest in working in an interdisciplinary research environment, and a strong motivation to succeed within a competitive research field. Experiences with previous research activities in the field will be considered as an advantage.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the
DTU PhD Guide .

Assessment
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Sine Reker Hadrup.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Sine Reker Hadrup, sirha@dtu.dk . 

You can read more about the Department of Health Technology at www.healthtech.dtu.dk/english .

Application
Please submit your online application no later than 3 January 2020, 23:59 (local time)Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here in the right hand column)

In the field “Please indicate which position(s) you would like to apply for”, please indicate which project you are applying for (title from the above list of PhD projects or individual research projects).

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Health Tech engages in research, education, and innovation base on technical and natural science for the healthcare sector. The Healthcare sector is a globally expanding market with demands for the most advanced technological solutions. DTU Health Tech creates the foundation for companies to develop new and innovative services and products which benefit people and create value for society. DTU Health Techs expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup.


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