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Dr Marta Barisa
Dr Marta Barisa profile picture
  • Senior Research Fellow
  • Developmental Biology & Cancer Dept
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

University College London, London, UK

  • PhD, Molecular Aspects of Immunotherapy Design; Child Health Research Appeal Trust scholarship and John Lipscombe Memorial Award
  • MSc

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA, USA

  • Visiting Scholarship

St George's Hospital Medical School, University of London, London, UK

  • BSc

Research Summary

I work with the Experimental Paediatric Oncology Research Group and Allogeneic Immunotherapy Research Group at the Zayed Centre of UCL GOS ICH. 

I specialise in solid cancer immunotherapy development, with a particular interest in paediatric solid tumours. The solid tumour microenvironment remains a major obstacle to achieving therapeutic success. Our work focuses on evaluating different ways to target and re-polarise the solid tumour microenvironment, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy, checkpoint blockade and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. We then target this modulated tumour microenvironment with in-house developed gene-engineered cell therapies that include autologous chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-αβT cells and allogeneic CAR- or opsonin secreting (OPS)-γδT cells. Our aim is to build complete pre-clinical data packages of solid tumour-targeting cell therapy combinatorial approaches for rapid translation into clinic. 

Our work ranges from early-to-late stage cell therapy drug development, including: (i) gene engineering construct design, (ii) transduction process optimisations, (iii) cell signalling analysis, (iv) in vivo combination therapy modelling, and (v) scale-ups of both viral and cell therapy product manufacture. Our work is funded by a range of academic and charity grants, as well as the UCL Technology Fund. 

Teaching Summary

2019, 2021-present

MSc Cell and Gene Therapy - University College London


Cell Therapy DevelopmentBRC Summer Programme & Studentships

03-MAR-2020 Senior Research Fellow Cancer, DBC, Zayed Centre, UCL GOS ICH University College London, United Kingdom
01-JUL-2018 – 28-FEB-2020 Honorary Associate   University College London, United Kingdom
01-JAN-2018 – 30-JUN-2018 Postdoctoral Research Associate DBC, Institute of Child Health University College London, United Kingdom
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