A new regulator of 'stemness' to create dendritic cell factories for immunotherapy

A new regulator of 'stemness' to create dendritic cell factories for immunotherapy

Project details

Dendritic cells (DCs) are being harnessed for cancer immunotherapy considering their potent ability to activate T cells. However, they cannot be generated in large numbers.We have identified a novel molecule that negatively regulates stemness activity in DC progenitors in culture such that when the gene is deleted, DCs grow indefinitely – an unprecedented observation that may extend to other cell types too.

The student will use a suite of tools to understand how this protein regulates stemness, what its transcription factor and histone deacetylase binding partners are, and whether it could be harnessed to generate clinical scale DCs for immunotherapy. Techniques will include cell culture, flow cytometry, CRISPR, molecular techniques such as ChIP-Seq, proteomics, using bespoke PROTAC tools and in vivo cancer immunotherapy.

About our research group

The Single Cell Systems Biology laboratory focuses on understanding development at a single cell or ‘clonal’ level. Our biological interests are focused on haematopoiesis (both in the steady-state and after perturbation with inflammation or during leukemia). We have a particular interest in the development of the dendritic cell subtypes of the immune system.

We both adopt and develop our own technologies including cellular barcoding for clonal lineage tracing, as well as single cell ‘multi-omics’. Depending on interests and skills, students in the lab are encouraged and supported in learning both the laboratory techniques to generate new data, as well as the computational tools to analyse and interpret the results.


Email supervisors



Dr Shalin Naik

Dr Shalin Naik in the laboratory
Laboratory Head

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