University College London
Traditional cancer therapies, such as chemotherapy, are sometimes unable to eradicate the disease. However, cellular immunotherapy has the potential to cure some of the most devastating and untreatable types of cancer by genetically modifying the T-cells from the patient’s own immune system to detect and kill cancer cells.
Elsa will develop a way to ‘purify’ T-cell samples taken from a patient’s blood by removing contaminating adherent cells within the blood that usually create manufacturing problems for the T-cells. This will enable the T-cell product to be created more effectively to target and kill cancer cells that would otherwise evade the immune system. She is creating an improved and inexpensive T-cell isolation technique, which will speed up the process of enriching and modifying the T-cells.
Elsa Noaks graduated from UCL with a degree in Biochemical Engineering, and her interest in cell therapy led her to continue her studies with an Engineering Doctorate and work at Autolus Limited, a company leading in cutting-edge T-cell therapies. Her current doctoral project aims to develop an adherence based separation device that can enhance the enrichment of T-cells in patient blood fractions.