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From remission to relapse: How do tumour resistance is driven under the pressure of immune responses?

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Academic background
Health Sciences
Host campus
Postgraduate Diploma, Honours, Master’s
Pathology (Dunedin)
Dr Kunyu Li, Professor Antony Braithwaite


Adoptive T-cell therapy (ACT) that treats cancer using patients own T cells is the most advanced personalised cancer treatment and has been showing promising clinical outcome in patients with refractory B-cell lymphoma. However, the application of ACT in solid cancers is far less successful.

Previous studies by Dr. Kunyu Li showed that the addition of the anti-cancer vaccine did not enhance the response rate of ACT, rather abolish ACT mediated anti-tumour response in some tumour-bearing animals. These observations suggest that the addition of the anti-cancer vaccine might alter the balance of immune response at the tumour site and promote tumour resistance.

In this research, we wish to investigate how different ACTT-based approaches might influence the development of tumour-immune microenvironment (TIME) and define factors that responsible for driving acquired resistance to ACT-based approaches.

Students with substantial knowledge in immunology and cancer biology are desired.


kunyu Li
Tel   +64 21 155 9148