• Cancers
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Radiology and imaging

Location:  SBMS, St Lucia

Type of student:  Both types will be considered (i.e. flexible with project)

Type of work:

  • Literature review
  • Wet lab work

The Cancer Therapeutics Lab headed by Dr. Sherry Wu is interested in developing novel nano-therapeutic methods to overcome immune suppression in ovarian cancer. The high recurrence rate is a major challenge in the clinical management of high grade serous ovarian cancer. While stimulating our own immune system to recognize and attack tumour cells represents an attractive means to facilitate complete elimination of tumours, emerging data suggest that many of the immunotherapy tools, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, are minimally active in ovarian cancer. We aim to develop effective strategies to enhance the infiltration and function of cytotoxic T lymphocytes in ovarian tumours and to develop clinically feasible means to monitor T-lymphocytes activity in tumours following therapy. Ultimately, strategies developed in this project could harness the power of the immune system to eliminate tumours and significantly increase the survival of patients with ovarian cancer.

We are seeking a motivated student who is interested in nanotechnology and cancer biology, and who is driven to develop effective strategies to enhance anti-tumour immunity. Prospective students with interests in these areas are encouraged to apply. The PhD candidate will learn to develop (1) strategies to enhance the infiltration and function of cytotoxic T lymphocytes in ovarian tumours, (2) novel nanoparticle platforms for tumour-targeted delivery, and (3) techniques to reliably image therapeutic responses in mouse models of ovarian cancer. He/She will gain experience in working in a multidisciplinary environment, perform advanced molecular and cellular biology techniques, cell imaging, and animal studies using cancer nanotherapeutics. He/She will also be required to contribute to other research activities in the laboratory, research publications, and presentations.

Successful applicant will be provided with a School-sponsored PhD scholarship, including stipend support commensurable with current Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) rates. The appointee will, however, be expected to apply for ongoing support via the APA, UQ, and other PhD scholarship schemes. The appointee will develop and pursue a project in fields of cancer nanomedicine and tumour immunology. He/She will also contribute to a supportive and intellectually vibrant lab culture.

Prerequisite skills:

  • N/A

Time frame: Flexible start date




Dr Sherry Wu

Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Medicine, School of Biomedical Sciences