Cartherics congratulates Rasa Islam on PhD success

Cartherics is delighted to announce that Rasa Islam has successfully completed her PhD candidature.

Rasa’s research thesis, titled, Re-engineering the function of natural killer cell receptors via CRISPR/Cas9: a new approach for ‘off the shelf’ immunotherapy, investigated the generation of Natural Killer (NK) cells (immune cells) from gene-edited stem cells to provide an ‘off-the-shelf’ supply for anti-cancer immunotherapy.

Using a molecular technique called CRISPR/Cas9 technology, NK cell activation receptors were redirected to target ovarian cancer cells. The approach established within Rasa’s thesis forms the basis to produce larger numbers of well-defined therapy cells with tumour specificity, on-demand delivery, ability to treat multiple patients with the same product and potentially treating solid cancers. The reduced production cost of these cells is indicative of lower cost to patients and healthcare systems, making effective anti-cancer immunotherapy more accessible.

Rasa started her PhD at Cartherics in 2019 under the guidance of supervisor, Prof. Alan Trounson and co-supervisors, Drs Richard Boyd, Vera Evtimov, Runzhe Shu and Nicholas Boyd. She is currently working as a Research Fellow at Cartherics investigating dual CAR-NK cell-based immunotherapy.

Dr Islam said, “I’m just happy to finally have reached that light at the end of the tunnel – this would not have been possible without my supervisors and personal support network. I look forward to making substantial contributions in this exciting field.”