Paul Beavis Lab

The Beavis laboratory has a focus on developing novel immune-based therapies for Cancer. We employ innovative approaches and technologies to enhance the effectiveness of both conventional immunotherapies and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells in the treatment of refractory cancers

Immunotherapy of cancer has been a major breakthrough, now accepted as the fourth pillar of treatment after surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Immunotherapy is most effective in cancers with a high mutational burden and high levels of immune infiltrate, while cancers with a low mutational burden and/or low levels of immune infiltrate are refractory. The vision at the Paul Beavis lab is to identify novel targets/combination approaches that are effective in these refractory cancers. 

One of our major focusses is upon adoptive cellular therapy and particularly chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy. This involves the genetic engineering of a patient’s own immune cells to target the cancer through a specified tumour-specific protein (antigen). Whilst CAR-T cell therapy has radically changed the outcome of blood cancers such as acute lymphocytic leukaemia, progress in treating solid cancers has been elusive. The major barriers to success in solid cancers are tumour-induced immunosuppression, inefficient trafficking and tumour antigen heterogeneity.

The research program of the Paul Beavis lab is dedicated to designing and testing novel approaches to overcome these barriers, guided by the philosophy that for CAR-T cells to be effective in solid cancers they need to be further engineered to engage the patient’s own immune system (e.g. Lai, Mardiana et al. 2020, Nature Immunology). To achieve this, we utilise novel engineering approaches such as CRISPR/Cas9 mediated “knock-out” or “knock-in”.

The Paul Beavis lab is committed to the creation of an inclusive and equitable community where collaboration and support of others is encouraged. We are invested in empowering our members to achieve their full potential.

Current projects

Related pages

Paul Beavis Publications


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