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MRC iCASE Partnership - Student Project:


Cytotoxic T cells (CTLs), which kill tumour cells upon recognition of antigenic peptides presented by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) on the cell surface, are the goal of precision medicine including immunotherapies. However, tumour cells engage several mechanisms to avoid the presentation of tumour-specific antigens (TSAs or TAAs) and consequently, they can escape CTL-mediated cell death. This contributes to the failure of many immunotherapies to control tumour growth even when immunity (e.g. CTLs) has been properly stimulated. Most immunotherapies targeting antigen presentation focus on professional antigen-presenting cells and rarely on tumour cells themselves, which leads to poor efficacy. Hence, immunotherapies and products that enhance the antigen presentation process in tumour cells are an unmet need.

Working with Oxford Vacmedix UK Ltd (OVM), the student will test the small molecules co-developed by the Departments of Chemistry and Oncology in the vaccine models used by OVM. Moreover, the students will gain hands-on experience in OVM learning new skills regarding technology transfer and drug development.

Shisong Jiang


Associate Professor/ Senior Industrial Fellow

  • Immunology

Therapeutic vaccines; TNF-related inflammation

Background and Research Interests

Dr. Shisong Jiang is a clinician-turned-scientist with an academic background. He obtained his PhD degree from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2000. Following that, he pursued 4.5 years of postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the United States before joining the University of Oxford.

Currently serving as an associate professor and a Group Leader at the University's Department of Oncology, Dr. Jiang's research interests revolve around antigen presentation, vaccine development, and cytokine-related inflammation. Notably, his ground-breaking work has led to the discovery that short peptides derived from viral or tumour antigens exhibit a superior ability to activate both killer and helper T cells when compared to full-length native proteins. This remarkable finding has resulted in the establishment of a spinout company by the University of Oxford, dedicated to developing therapeutic vaccines for cancer and infectious diseases.

Furthermore, Dr. Jiang's lab has made another significant discovery in the form of a new biomarker called Inflammation Enhancer (IE). This autoimmune factor, in conjunction with TNF, exacerbates inflammatory diseases such as sepsis and contributes to a higher incidence of fatality. IE is also found correlated with chronic inflammation such as dementia. The lab is presently focused on unravelling the IE pathway that leads to inflammation. In parallel, they are actively developing diagnostic methods and treatments for these conditions.

Dr. Jiang's lab is dedicated to driving forward the development of novel therapeutic strategies and improving patient outcomes in the realm of cancer and inflammatory and infectious diseases.


Demin Li, Honorary Researcher

Wenshu Lu, Visiting Research Fellow

Alexander Stephens, DPhil Student

Yuqian Ou, DPhil Student

Sichen Liu, DPhil Student

Constantinos Demetriou, DPhil Student

Hanjun Zhao, DPhil Student

Zachary Rawlinson, DPhil Student

Wynne Wijaya, MRes Student

Group Alumni & Next Destinations

Yihan Zhou, Research Assistant, Harvard Medical School, USA

Cedric Song Chan, PhD Student, University College London, UK

Jian Wang - Associate Professor, Southwest University, Chongqing, China

Rong Hu, Attending Doctor,  Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology Beijing

Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, China

Sophie Owen - PhD Tropical Medicine, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK

Neha Vashist-Postdoctoral Researcher, Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany

Jason Huang - Associate Medical Director, Oncology, Asia-Pacific at Merck Group, Singapore

Qiongyu Chen - Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME, USA

Hongwei Zhang - Associate Chief Physician, Beijing You'an Hospital, Capital Medical University, China

Hai Hong - Associate Professor, Sun Yat-Sen University, China


'Advancing Immunology' - Oxford Vacmedix from ITN Business on Vimeo.

Shisong speaks to ITN about cancer vaccines

OVM-200 Phase I Clinical Trial featured on TV

ROP vaccine OVM-200 Phase I Clinical Trial featured on TV

The phase I clinical trial of cancer therapeutic vaccine OVM-200  at The Christie Hospital in Manchester was featured on ITV's Granada News on Wednesday 7th September 2022.

Read the full article and watch the video report here: Chorley mum with ovarian cancer first in North West to get new vaccine trialled at the Christie