Valentina Bianchi

Valentina Bianchi

October 2012-Present: PhD student in the Cardiff University T-cell modulation group (based in the Henry Wellcome Research Institute).

There is increasing interest in new immunotherapies which exploit the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. For example, cells of the immune system of a melanoma patient can be re-introduced into the patient’s blood to provide a more powerful ‘natural’ anti-cancer therapy, compared to traditional approaches (i.e. radio- and chemio-therapy). By using modern techniques we aim to gain new insight about how tumour cells are specifically recognized by immune T-cells through T-cell receptors (TCRs). My PhD project, funded by Cancer Research Wales, focuses on the identification of novel effective anti-tumour TCRs from cancer patients T-cells, which can then be characterized from a functional, biophysical and structural point of view (Supervisor: A. Sewell; co-Supervisor: D. Cole). These findings could be applied to on-going immunotherapy approaches to achieve more effective anti-tumour responses.

2009-2012: Master’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Medical Biotechnology DIBIT, San Raffaele (Milan, Italy).

During my final 12-month full time thesis internship (Division of Genetics and Cell Biology; Molecular Immunology Unit; Prof A. Siccardi’s lab) my research project involved the construction of recombinant poxviral vectors expressing the human tumour antigen Survivin and their evaluation as potential anti-cancer vaccines.

2006-2009: Bachelor of Science in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele (Milan, Italy).