How to control Natural Killer cells to improve stem cell transplant outcomes

Research Opportunity
PhD, Honours
Project Status
Medicine and Radiology
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Joanne Davis
David Ritchie Personal web page

Project Details

The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) is the largest provider of allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT) in Australia. AlloSCT is a complex but potentially curative procedure for patients with haematologic malignancies or bone marrow failure syndromes. The fundamental principle of alloSCT is that a donor’s haematopoietic stem cells (or graft), when infused into the recipient, will develop into a new set of immunologically active cells that recognise tumour cells as foreign and contain or destroy them. We must find means to lower conditioning toxicity, promote donor engraftment and limit graft-versus host disease in order to improve alloSCT outcomes. The ACRF Translational Research Laboratory (located at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre) has AEEC-approved projects to investigate the role of natural killer (NK) cells in regulating donor cell engraftment after alloSCT.

Our innovative approach, which promotes engraftment whilst lessening the risks of alloSCT, utilises drug therapies that are already available clinically. This project will utilise novel mouse models of alloSCT to investigate pharmacological inhibition of NK cells in combination with reduced conditioning, to improve long-term engraftment and anti-cancer responses. Techniques used in this project include immunoprofiling of mouse alloSCT and acute myeloid leukaemia models using multi-parameter flow cytometry, cytokine bead array, histology, and bioluminescence imaging. This project is based in the ACRF Translational Research Laboratory, with co-supervision and collaboration from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology, Cancer

School Research Themes

Cancer in Medicine

Research Opportunities

PhD, Honours
Graduate Research Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other Graduate Research requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

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Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Medicine and Radiology

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital

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