• Cancers
  • Immunology
  • Infectious disease

Location: The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute

Type of student: Honours students 

Type of work: 

  • Clinical work
  • Literature review
  • Qualitative methods
  • Secondary data analysis
  • Systematic review
  • Wet lab work

Brief synopsis:

Immune 'checkpoint' inhibitors can increase the activity of tumor-resident cytotoxic lymphocytes and have revolutionized cancer treatment. Current therapies block inhibitory pathways in tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells and recent studies have shown similar programs in other effector populations such as natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells are critical for immunosurveillance, particularly the control of metastatic cells or hematological cancers. However, how NK cells specifically recognize transformed cells and dominant negative feedback pathways, as well as how tumors escape NK cell control, remains undefined. Our research seeks to advances knowledge in inhibitory checkpoints in NK cells, some of which are shared with conventional cytotoxic T lymphocytes. It also aims to develop emerging approaches aimed at unleashing the potential of NK cells in immunotherapy for cancer or persistent bacterial infection.

Prerequisite skills: Be familiar and interested with immunology and cell biology, wetlab and previous research experience is desired.

Website link:



Dr Fernando Fonseca Guimaraes

Dr Fernando Fonseca Guimaraes

Senior Research Fellow
Translational Research Institute / UQ Diamantina Institute