PhD defense by LI Xin

On Tuesday 5 July 2022, Li Xin will defend her PhD thesis "Engineering T cells with lipid nanoparticles for cancer immunotherapy".

Time: 13:00

Place: Building 303A, auditorium 43& zoom:

Please be aware that the PhD defense may be recorded - This will also be informed at the beginning of the PhD defense.


Supervisor: Thomas Lars Andresen
Co-Supervisor: Gael Clergeaud Veiga


Assessment committee:
Associate Professor Jonas Henriksen

Professor Camilla Foged

Lecturer Nazila Kamaly


Associate Professor Andrew Urquhart



Adoptive T cell therapy has shown remarkable responses in certain types of cancer. It takes T cells, so-called ´living drugs´, from the patient´s blood, modifies or selects them, expands the T cells to a large number, and then gives the cells back to the patients so they can find and kill the cancer cells. However, the cancer cells can find ways to avoid being attacked such as inducing a suppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) that severely limits the response to T cell therapy. Thus, it often relies on the supporting adjuvant drugs to maintain the function and lifespan of T cells. A challenge is that systemically administered drugs can hardly reach the cell subsets of interest and can cause unwanted adverse effects. To deliver the supporting drugs precisely to T cells, we put a nanosized lipid particle as a ´backpack´ to them before infusion into the body. The lipid nanoparticles can carry various types of drugs and act as a depot to travel along with T cells in the circulation, ultimately reaching the disease sites. Using the designed formulations, we demonstrated that the nanomedicine could be loaded by T cells efficiently, remain in T cells, and slowly release the therapeutic reagent. The loading did not impact T cell viability and proliferation. We chose a checkpoint inhibitor as the supporting drug to counteract the immune suppression signals imposed on T cells. The loaded T cells exhibited increased functionality in cell culture, and further achieved an enhanced anti-tumor efficacy on tumor-bearing mice models. In conclusion, we developed methods for attaching nanomedicines to T cells with high efficiency and safety. The approaches potentiate the loading of different therapeutic agents in T cells for enhanced anti-cancer immunotherapy.


Tue 05 Jul 22
13:00 - 16:00


DTU Sundhedsteknologi


Building 303A, auditorium 43& zoom