Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Regulation of immunity by microparticles excreted from human papillomavirus positive cervical cancer cells

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Academic background
Health Sciences
Host campus
Honours, Master’s
Pathology (Dunedin)
Professor Merilyn Hibma


This project involves human papillomavirus (HPV) and the microparticles that are shed from cells expressing HPV oncoproteins. We are particularly interested in the composition of the microparticles, and how the composition influences antigen presentation. The project would focus on the hypothesis that HPV microparticles from HPV cancer cells suppress immunity by regulating activation of antigen presenting cells.

Firstly, the project involves further analysis of proteomics data that we have already generated using microparticles from HPV oncoprotein expressing (CaSki, SiHa, HaCaT E7) and control cells (C33A, HaCaT), in order to identify particular proteins of interest that are over represented in the microparticles. Secondly, antibodies to maximally differentially expressed proteins of interest will be purchased, and the expression of these proteins in the microparticles will be determined by western blot. Thirdly, microparticles would be co-cultured with human monocyte derived antigen-presenting cells, and the effects on activation would be determined.


Merilyn Hibma