Event Name: Graduate Seminar Series: Cell and Tissue Stream
Graduate Seminar Series for the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME). This day is for cell and tissue stream presenters.
Location: Red Seminar Room – Donnelly Building
Presentation Title: Probing Immunomodulatory Factors in a Hypoxic Pancreatic Tumour Microenvironment
Abstract: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a devastating disease with less than 7% of patients surviving 5 years past diagnosis. Despite the emergence of immunotherapy, the survival improvement observed in other cancers has not yet translated to PDAC in part due to its highly hypoxic and immunosuppressive microenvironment. To this end, the 3D in vitro platform TRACER – Tumour Roll for Analysis of Cellular Engineering and Response – will be used to dissect tumour-immune interactions in the context of hypoxia. Patient-derived organoids will be used in TRACER to model the genetic heterogeneity observed in patient tumours. From here, RNA-sequencing will be conducted to identify genes which are reprogrammed in the hypoxic environment of TRACER and implicated in the immune response to the tumour. A subset of these genes will be selected for further investigation in functional assays to assess whether modulation of these genes or their protein products can enhance anti-tumour immune response to PDAC. By using TRACER in conjunction with patient derived organoids, there is a unique opportunity to elucidate tumour-immune interactions which could not be easily identified in vivo. Uncovering some of the key players in these interactions may uncover a valuable therapeutic target with high translational potential for enhancing the efficacy of immunotherapy for PDAC.
Supervisor Name: Alison McGuigan
Year of Study: 2
Program of Study: PhD
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