Glioblastoma (GBM) are the deadliest tumors in adults despite optimal treatment, with an average survival of <15 months upon diagnosis and a recurrence rate > 90%. Two GBM characteristics underlie such poor prognosis: 1) the infiltrative capacity of tumor cells outside of the hypoxic tumor core and 2) the unique composition of the tumor immune microenvironment (TME) that is sparce in T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells but dominated by microglia- and monocyte-derived macrophages (>75% of all leukocytes in the tumor). Further, despite being part of the current standard of care, two clinical practices might contribute to GBM progression, recurrence and the dismal success of immunotherapies in this cancer: a) surgical resection that fails to eliminate infiltrative cells but elicits an inflammatory and immunosuppressive trauma with a potential to promote recurrence and b) the use of the anti-inflammatory corticosteroid, i.e. dexamethasone, aimed at countering cerebral edema but that might limit anti-tumor immunity. Macrophages are at the center of these events as they can exert both pro- and anti-inflammatory functions. Their phenotypes and functions are determined by their ontogeny and by metabolic and “danger” signals in their environment. However, their diversity in GBM post-resection and which pathways drive their functions in GBM primary growth and post-resection recurrence remain largely unknown. We use single cell and spatial transcriptomics to address the role of specific danger sensors such as the inflammasomes, in immunosuppression, cerebral edema, and anti-tumor immunity.
The objectives of this PhD project are:
- To characterize the GBM immune environment post-tumor resection
- To identify immune determinants leading to post-resection relapse
- To devise therapeutic strategies to target the immune compartment to prevent post-resection relapse
- Cell and Molecular Biology
- Dr. Maya Saleh, INRS professor
- Hold a master’s degree in immunology, biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, or a related field.
- open to collaborating with an interdisciplinary team and working in different areas of research
- Have a curious, resourceful and autonomous mind.
Knowledge or experience in some or all of the following areas would be an asset:
- Cellular and molecular biology
- Animal handling
- Flow cytometry
INRS offers attractive scholarships. Each student benefits from financial support during their graduate studies.
Centre Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie
531, boulevard des Prairies
Laval (Québec) H7V 1B7
Submission of application
Interested candidates can submit their applicant by using the online form below.
- a cover letter indicating your interest.
- a detailed CV.
- a record of all your academic results.
- contact information for three people who can provide letters of recommendation
We encourage women, visible minorities, ethnic minorities, Indigenous people and people with disabilities to apply.