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Cambridge Biosciences DTP PhD Programme


Department of Pathology

Research theme: Bioscience for an integrated understanding of health


I did my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Leeds. As a part of this I completed a placement year at AstraZeneca, in which I developed assays for biomarkers to predict response to oncology drugs.


Project Title:

Using Tumour Evolution to Understand the Epigenetic and Transcriptional Adaptations of Cancer to Host Immunity

Project Summary:

My project focusses on how cancers evolve to avoid being killed by the immune system. A cancerous cell is basically a cell which divides and reproduces itself very quickly, and loses the inbuilt programming which tells a cell to die as it ages. Our cells turn cancerous all the time, but usually the immune system recognises that these cells are abnormal and kills them. Therefore, in order for a cancer to become large enough to be diagnosed and be a clinical problem, the cells in the cancer must have developed some way of avoiding being killed by our immune system. This could either be through hiding from the immune system, or through finding some way of deactivating it. 
In my PhD project I have cancers that were developed in mice with a normal immune system, and those from mice with no functional immune system. The tumours developed in mice without an immune system have not had to evolve to avoid being killed. Therefore, my project involves identifying the key differences between the cancers which have had to evolve to avoid the immune system, and those which have not. Any differences I find may be methods by which the cancer cells can escape from the immune system. If these methods can be identified, then this could provide future therapeutic strategies and drug targets to help fight cancer. 


Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 

Dr Rahul Roychoudhuri

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Contact Details

Job Titles

PhD Student