Parisa Badiee, mentee in the 2019 MedTech-Pharma program in SA (University of South Australia)

I studied pharmacy at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran and obtained doctorate of Pharmacy (PharmD) in 2017. I started my PhD at University of South Australia in 2018 to study biomaterials engineering and nanomedicine under the supervision of Professor Benjamin Thierry. In my research project, I will develop a nanomedicine approach to block immune checkpoints for cancer immunotherapy.

Immune checkpoints such as PD-1 are receptors expressed on immune cells, predominantly on T-cells. Engagement of these receptors by their ligands will lead to the exhaustion of T-cells. Many cancer cells over express immune checkpoints ligands to escape from immune system. There are some antibodies in the market that block the immune checkpoints to prevent the exhaustion of T-cells. However these commercial products suffer from two major draw backs; low response rate in some patients and high rate of immune related adverse effects that cause some patients to discontinue their therapy.

In my project I will prepare nanoparticles for targeted delivery of PD-1 antibodies to address the mentioned challenges. Afterward, I will build up on this step and use nanoparticles for co-delivery of immune checkpoint blockers and in the last step I will use gene editing systems to inhibit the expression of PD-1.

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