Laura Mora Bitria

Short description of my project:

Immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) is a targeted therapy that has shown dramatic and long- lasting responses. ICB aims at triggering the host immune system to eliminate the tumor. Monoclonal antibodies targeting the programmed cell death receptor-1 (PD-1), the programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1) and cytotoxic T and lymphocyte-associated molecule-4 (CTLA-4) have been studied for several years now and some of them have been approved for cancer treatment. Despite the well-known success of these drugs, the response rate is still low and there is a high incidence of immune-related adverse events. This underpins the lack of understanding of the pathways involved.

In my project I aim at identifying additional biomarkers which may result in better patient selection and provide insights into resistance mechanisms. I will explore the role of other immune checkpoint pathways to see whether they have a clinically relevant impact on their own and/or in current immunotherapy regimes. To do so, I will convey immunogenetic analysis of different cancer cohorts. I will also develop mathematical models to gain insights into the cellular mechanisms of T cell killing of tumor cells and the effect of immune checkpoint modulation in this context.

CV for Laura Mora Bitria

In the video below, Laura describes her PhD research project, and also discusses how QuanTII will help her training and future career: