Leveraging lung organoid models to improve lung cancer treatments

Research area

 |  lung cancer


 |  lung cancer, organoids, treatment, immunology


 |  PhD/Doctorate, Honours, Masters

Project description

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths worldwide. The greatest advance in treatment has been the development of agents that harness the patient’s own immune system to fight their tumour. However, the response to this class of therapy has been intermittent and it is not possible to predict which patients will respond. To enable this we need a deep understanding of how the tumour interacts with the immune system within its local environment. There are powerful tools to address this which includes the use of genetically engineered mice. However, these models are relatively slow and difficult to manipulate. To address this we have established lung organoid cultures which enables us to recreate the microenvironment ex vivo and interrogate key factors that dictate the tumour-immune interaction.

In this project you will investigate the key molecules that control the tumour-immune interaction and define ways to improve response to immune based therapies. To achieve these goals you will learn sophisticated organoid culture techniques, RNA-sequencing, CRISPR based gene editing, immunity and treatment development.