Immunotherapy and Immunoprevention - Molecular Vaccine Design

Nitya Mohan

PhD Student

Phone: +49 6221 42 3822

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Scientific CV

Since Aug 2016
PhD student, Immunotherapy and Immunoprevention / Molecular Vaccine Design, DKFZ & DZIF, Heidelberg

Dec 2014 - Jun 2015
Junior Research Fellow, PostGraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India

2011 - 2014
MSc (Research) Biology, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India

2008 - 2011
BSc Biochemistry, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India

Research Project

Is hypoxia hindering or promoting CD8+ T cell mediated killing of HPV16-transformed cells?

The aim of the group is the development of a therapeutic vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV)-transformed cancers and their precursor lesions. HPV-induced cancers have long been considered the ideal scenario for the development of a therapeutic cancer vaccine, as viral proteins (especially the early proteins E6 and E7) can serve as immune targets.
An important parameter to consider for the design of a therapeutic vaccine is the tumor microenvironment. Hypoxia has been shown to influence the activities of various immune cells. In addition, the expression of the E6 and E7 target proteins is decreased in HPV16-transformed cells in a hypoxic environment. Thus, the aim of this project is to investigate whether hypoxia affects antigen presentation, and CD8+ T cell-mediated killing of HPV16-transformed cells. The hypoxic microenvironment might be one of the reasons contributing to the so far limited clinical success to of therapeutic vaccines for HPV-induced malignancies. Thus, elucidating effects of hypoxia may help to remove roadblocks for clinical success of therapeutic HPV vaccines.

Resulting Publications

A targeted LC-MS strategy for low-abundant HLA class-I-presented peptide detection identifies novel human papillomavirus T-cell epitopes.
Blatnik R*, Mohan N*, Bonsack M*, Falkenby LG, Hoppe S, Josef K, Steinbach A, Becker S, Nadler WM, Rucevic M, Larsen MR, Salek M, Riemer AB. * Equal contributors.
Proteomics 2018, 18(11): e1700390.

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