(May 2022): Congratulations to Elise Sylvander on receiving a DOC fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The aim of her fellowship is to (further) develop a molecular on-switch allowing to activate therapeutic CAR T cells, once they have been administered to the patient.
“CAR T cells are very promising cancer therapies. Unfortunately, they can have strong side effects. The novelty of our CAR T cell system is that it can be switched on, employing a small molecule that demonstrates amazing pharmacodynamics and is very well tolerated, even in children. Only as long as this small molecule is taken, the CAR T cells are active”, explains Elise Sylvander.
The scientist pursues her research in the Christian Doppler Laboratory (CD-lab) for Next Generation CAR T cells under the supervision of Manfred Lehner (head, CD-lab) at St. Anna Children's Cancer Research Institute (CCRI) and Michael Traxlmayr (head of the external module) at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU).
During her two-year fellowship, Elise Sylvander is analyzing the new system in T-cells in the lab, with promising preliminary results. “Later it can be tested in mice. However, it always takes a lot of time for those kind of therapies until they can be applied in humans.”
The DOC Fellowship Program of the Austrian Academy of Sciences offers funding for highly qualified doctoral candidates in all areas of research. The fellowships allow young researchers to dedicate themselves to working in focused fashion to complete their doctoral thesis within a clear timeframe.