Location University of South Australia, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences
App. deadline 25/10/2019
  • Please enquire for further details
Project ID Blencowe-Carina
Eligibility Australian residents only

PhD project: Thermoresponsive Hydrogels for Cell Therapies in collaboration with Carina Biotech

Carina Biotech

Carina Biotech is a new biotechnology start-up company developing cellular immunotherapies, spun out of the Cooperative Research Centre for Cell Therapy Manufacturing (‘CTM CRC’) to develop a suite of cellular immunotherapy technologies.

Carina’s work will initially focus on developing technologies involving Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cells (‘CAR T-cells’), which have shown unprecedented results in clinical trials against leukaemia. CAR T-cell technology harnesses the killing capacity of a patient’s own immune system and involves engineering a patient’s immune cells (T-cells) to attack cancer. The engineered T-cells are then grown in the lab before being infused back into the patient to find and destroy cancer cells.

Carina is developing a suite of technologies around producing, growing and delivering T-cells. One of the main challenges is the delivery of Car T-cells to solid tumours. In collaboration with the Blencowe Group at the University of South Australia, Carina are developing a delivery platform that provides sustained delivery of Car T-cells to solid tumours.  


Project Summary

The aim of the project is to develop a novel thermoresponsive hydrogel that can be used to deliver Car T-cells through a simple injection into the patient, and locks the cells in place near the tumour site, provided a controlled release of cells over a sustained period. 

The project will involve the development of biocompatible and biodegradable thermoresponsive polymer formulations with suitable characteristics for cell encapsulation and release. The project will involve collaboration with other Carina Research Teams to test the materials in vitro and in vivo.  

The person

Domestic candidates should have an Honours degree or equivalent in chemistry or materials science (or related disciplines) and must meet the requirements of admission into the PhD program at the University of South Australia. Due to the fast-paced, multidisciplinary and collaborative nature of this work, the candidate should be a team player with an independent and professional work ethic.


Interested applicants should contact Dr Blencowe for more details. 

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Further Information / Application Enquiries

Dr Anton Blencowe
+61 8 8302 3490