PhD on the ERC Consolidator project: Boosting metabolism in T cells

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 29 Nov 2021

Within the department of Experimental Immunology and Hematology, we are currently looking for a motivated and enthusiastic PhD candidate to join our highly committed team of scientists and hematologists.

About your role
We recently found that CLL cells impose alterations in metabolic processes in T cells which may underlie the acquired T cell dysfunction. We therefore hypothesize that improving metabolic fitness of CAR-T cells may offer a path to cure CLL.
To achieve this, we plan to conduct an array of complementary molecular, metabolic, and genetic assays using patient samples and a murine model of CLL. To address therapeutic potential we will study murine and human CAR-T cells in which metabolic processes will be manipulated. This study is supported by an ERC Consolidation grant.

The project
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common leukemia in the Western world. Novel targeted drugs are effective, but not curative. Moreover, prolonged use is associated with development of resistance, toxicity, and high economic cost. T cell-based approaches, e.g. chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T), are highly promising, however, in contrast to the success of CAR-T cells in aggressive leukemia, their effect in CLL is limited owing to a largely unexplained acquired T cell dysfunction in this disease setting.

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