In this theme, the focus of 2D-Health is cancer immunotherapy, i.e., the mobilisation of the body’s own immune defences against a malignancy. The most common approach in this field is the programming of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) against tumour cells. In this perspective, a unique feature offered by graphene oxide is its preferential accumulation in spleen, a lymphoid organ central for the programming of immune cells. Graphene oxide is an ideal multifunctional nanocarrier: easy diffusion despite large lateral dimensions, large available surface and controlled functionalisation with a plurality of biochemical functions. The molecular engineering of graphene oxide will deliver a family of structures that will be used for the delivery of immuno-modulating molecules to splenic antigen-presenting cells (APCs) with the goal being induction of effective tumour-targeting CTLs. This strategy is advantageous in comparison to more common vaccination techniques as it will circumvent the highly variable step of APC activation in peripheral sites before migrating to lymphoid organs. To provide contingency, this theme will embed a more traditional route of administration via the dermis.

Theme Members

Academic Staff

Prof Andrew MacDonald
Professor of Immunology

Academic Theme Lead

Prof Nicola Tirelli
Professor of Polymers & Biomaterials
 Kostas-Kostarelos-01_160x200 Prof Kostas Kostarelos
Professor of Nanoscience

Research Staff

Dr Alfredo Maria Gravagnuolo
Research Associate
Dr Helen Parker
Research Associate
Dr Paul Sharp
Research Associate
Dr Dhifaf Jasim
Imaging Scientist

Industrial Champion

AstraZeneca
Theme IV Industrial Champion
   Dr Marianne Ashford
Theme IV Industrial Champion Referent