Keith Moss

PhD defence by Keith Moss

On Thursday 23 September 2021, Keith Moss will defend his PhD thesis "Exploring molecular encoding in the context of T cell-based immunotherapy".

Time: 14:00

Place: bldg. 421, aud. 74 and
Please be aware that the PhD defence may be recorded - This will also be informed at the beginning of the PhD defence. 

Principal supervisor: Professor Sine Reker Hadrup
Co-supervisor: Scientist Søren Nyboe Jakobsen
Co-Supervisor: Professor Thomas Lars Andresen

Associate Professor Yi Sun, DTU Health Tech
Clinician Scientist Marco Donia, Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev
Professor Emeritus Dario Neri, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Chairperson at defence:
Associate Professor Kira Astakhova, DTU Chemistry

Over the recent years, immunotherapy has revolutionized the way cancer treatment is approached and has led to vast improvements in therapeutic success for patients. However, due to the complex nature of cancer and our immune system itself, the success of immunotherapy is still limited to a small fraction of the patients. Understanding why some patients respond to immunotherapy when others do not has now become a major focus area. It is becoming evident that a patient’s response to immunotherapy is determined by numerous factors, of which the characteristics of the tumor and the immune cells within the tumor microenvironment are critical. A particular type of immune cell, the cytotoxic T lymphocyte, is recognized as one of the key mediators of immunotherapy-based tumor destruction, due to its ability to detect specific targets on the tumor cells. This thesis focused on assessing which targets these T lymphocytes recognize in cancer patients and how the properties of these cells potentially impact patient response to immunotherapy in a clinical trial. The strategy applied here utilized synthetic DNA “barcodes” for the detection of T lymphocytes recognizing the tumor targets, in a high-throughput manner. Further characterization of these cells hinted at properties that might be favorable to the patient therapeutic outcome, of which an early-activated, proliferating and self-renewing T lymphocyte state seemed to be important. Additional work in this thesis assessed the use of DNA barcodes for the development of new experimental reagents for the detection of tumor- and viral-reactive T lymphocytes. Furthermore, such barcodes were assessed as proof of concept for the identification of nanoparticle delivery systems for the transport of therapeutic cargo to cells. The research presented in this thesis suggests that the utilization of DNA barcodes, as a form of molecular encoding, can be broadly applied for the identification of drug and T lymphocyte targets but also could enhance the design of more effective nanoparticle delivery systems to improve overall success in immune-based therapies


Thu 23 Sep 21
14:00 - 17:00


DTU Sundhedsteknologi


Bldg. 421, aud. 74 and zoom