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Determine the effect of isoforms on the anti-tumour immunotherapy response

By Dr Kevin Ly

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the National Research Grant Round 2022: Post-Doctoral Fellowships.

Dr Kevin Ly

Read about Dr. Kevin Ly, one of the Fellowship recipients.

Dr Kevin Ly

Determine the effect of an Δ133p53-like isoform on the anti-tumour immunotherapy response.

Immunotherapy aims to use the patient’s immune system to treat cancer by inducing the immune system to attack the tumour. However, this type of therapy is not always effective and some patients develop resistance to the treatment.

In recent studies from the Braithwaite laboratory, over-expression of a tumour suppressor variant known as Δ133p53 has been found in some cancers to be associated with poor outcomes. Dr Kevin Ly’s project aims to find out how the Δ133p53 variant affects the immune response in the tumour and the effectiveness of immunotherapies in the context of colorectal cancer.

His research aims to identify Δ133p53 as a marker for predicting the patient’s response to immunotherapy. It also aims to provide information for improving immune-targeted therapies for solid cancers.

Kevin says: “I am a molecular physiologist originally trained in protein-to-protein interaction that controls iron absorption and blood pressure. After my PhD, I undertook several assistant research fellow positions working on cancer research projects.

Since then, I have fallen into the “dark hole” of cancer and keep asking myself why cancer cells are so smart and able to build their blood vessel for nutrient supply, tell other cells to assist their growth, invade the host defence mechanisms, and resist drug treatments? These questions drive my enthusiasm and passion for cancer research.

Having a postdoctoral fellowship means that I can now turn my ideas into research to further develop my professional and academic skills, and allow me to work under the mentorship of an internationally renowned researcher, Professor Antony Braithwaite.”

Kevin's Post-Doctoral Fellowship is supported by the Cancer Society Central Districts Division.