Programme(s) to which this project applies:
|☑ MPhil/PhD||☒ MRes[Med]||☒ URIS|
The hypothesis of this study is to identify mutations or variations of gene (s) mutations that may increase toxicity to immune checkpoint inhibitors.
We will aim to perform whole-exome sequencing on patients with severe, potentially life-threatening toxicities from immunotherapy in the first phase. Thus, we aim to identify significant enrichment of novel gene(s) mutation(s) in this cohort that may predispose patients to increased risk of severe toxicity from immune checkpoint inhibitors.
Dr A El Helali, Department of Clinical Oncology
Dr Aya El Helali is a clinician scientist that has recently joined the Department of Clinical Oncology at the University of Hong Kong. She was conferred the MB BCh BAO designation from the National University of Ireland Galway in 2008 and graduated with a first-class honours and gold medals in the fields of Medicine and Surgery. She was awarded the Sir Allen McClay Clinical Research Fellowship at the Stratified Medicine Group and conferred a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by Queen’s University Belfast in 2018. Her PhD focused on the area of stress activated kinase, tumour angiogenesis and biomarker development. She obtained her specialist Medical Oncology qualification in 2018.
Dr Aya El Helali has extensive experience in translational research and has been involved in investigating the distinct gastric cancer subtypes and their underlying molecular characteristics that may have implications on checkpoint inhibitor response, to deliver robust predictive biomarkers for immunotherapy response. Dr Aya El Helali research interests include understanding innate and adaptive immunity in solid cancers and adopting a personalised approach to identify novel drug combinations by integrating patient genomic data, thereby streamlining novel personalized therapeutics into clinical use by designing biomarker stratified phase I/II clinical trials.
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