Master Student Biology (m/f/d)

Themenbeschreibung

The Institute of Experimental Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (Director: Prof. Dr. Dirk Heckl) of the University Hospital of the Goethe University Frankfurt is looking for a highly motivated MSc student (m/f/d) to work on the project entitled “Optimizing lentiviral genome editing for Natural Killer (NK) cells” and to integrate current and new ideas of stable and transient NK cell modification for genome editing in immunotherapy. Cellular immunotherapy holds major promises for the treatment of cancer, and genetic engineering is a powerful tool to optimize immune cells enabling them to meet the challenge to attack cancer cells. The most widespread method to increase the efficacy of cellular therapies is the use of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). However, a growing field utilizes genome editing to modulate immune cell activity, circumvent silencing by the cancer environment, or to avoid fratricide. While nowadays this approach is widely employed in T-cell-based therapies, NK cell-based therapies are lacking behind. One of the reasons is an inherent resistance of NK cells to transduction with commonly used lentiviral vectors, which hampers efficient discovery of activity-modifying genetic traits via high-throughput CRISPR screening.
Various modifications to lentiviral packaging and transduction have already been made to overcome these issues, but so far no optimization and comparative evaluation for prospective high-throughput CRISPR screening purposes have been performed. We are looking for a candidate who is a highly self-motivated, creative and organized team player who will join our international and dynamic research team. We offer an excellent supervision and exciting research in well-equipped research laboratories. The MSc project (6-12 months) can start immediately, upon mutual agreement.