Cancer Immunotherapy

​Dynamic tumour heterogeneity in various cancer types is the major challenge in cancer immunotherapy. Recently developed personalized cancer immunotherapy (PCI) mainly relies on the ex vivo identification of neo-antigens from an individual patient, therefore the vaccine manufacturing process is complicated, time-consuming and expensive. This project aims to design nanoparticles to capture in-situ generated tumour associated antigens (TAA) for customized cancer-specific immunotherapy. TAA generally have post translational modifications (PTM) which are cancer-type specific. The PTM information extracted from proteomics studies will be utilized in the design of nanoparticles tailored for cancer-type specific TAA capture and delivery. It is expected that this new technology will pave the way towards convenient and affordable cancer immunotherapy with improved efficacy.

Shevanuja Theivendran successfully finished her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Mississippi, USA, with 3 years of research experience in the synthesis and characterization of Gold Nanomaterials. During her bachelor’s degree she got a wonderful opportunity to associate with a world leading expert in the field of crystallization, Prof. Allan Myerson from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA, as a research intern. She was also awarded with Taylor Medal in 2016, the university’s highest academic award which is awarded as a recognition for her meritorious studies. Thereafter, she got admitted to the PhD program at UQ with the prestigious RTP scholarship in 2018. Currently, Shevanuja is under taking her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Chengzhong Yu, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, focusing on the design of nanoparticles for the capture of in-situ generated tumour associated antigens (TAA) for customized cancer-specific immunotherapy. TAA generally have post translational modifications (PTM) which are cancer-type specific. The PTM information extracted from proteomics studies will be utilized in the design of nanoparticles tailored for cancer-type specific TAA capture and delivery. It is expected that this new technology will pave the way towards convenient and affordable cancer immunotherapy with improved efficacy.

Key Publications

  1. Praneeth Reddy Nimmala, Shevanuja Theivendran, Giovanni Barcaro, Luca Sementa,  Chanaka Kumara , Vijay Reddy Jupally,  Edoardo Apra , Mauro Stener, Alessandro Fortunelli and  Amala Dass (2015) Transformation of Au 144 (SCH 2 CH 2 Ph) 60  to Au 133 (SPh-tBu) 52 Nanomolecules: Theoretical and Experimental Study, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 6(11); 2134-2139. 
  2. Amala Dass, Shevanuja Theivendran,  Praneeth Reddy Nimmala ,  Chanaka Kumara , Vijay Reddy Jupally, Alessandro Fortunelli, Luca Sementa, Giovanni Barcaro,  Xiaobing Zuo , and Bruce C. Noll (2015) Au 133 (SPh-tBu) 52  Nanomolecules: X-ray Crystallography, Optical, Electrochemical, and Theoretical Analysis, Journal of American Chemical Society, 137(14); 4610-4613. 
  3. Amala Dass, Tanya C. Jones, Shevanuja Theivendran, Luca Sementa, and Alessandro Fortunelli (2017) Core Size Interconversions of Au 30 (S-tBu) 18 and Au 36 (SPhX) 24 , Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 121 (27); 14914-14919. 
  4. Shevanuja Theivendran and Amala Dass; (2017) Synthesis of Aromatic Thiolate-Protected Gold Nanomolecules by Core Conversion: The Case of Au 36 (SPh-tBu) 24 . Langmuir DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b01017. Online Publication Date: July 17 th 2017 
  5. Naga Arjun Sakthivel, Shevanuja Theivendran, Vigneshraja Ganeshraj, Allen G. Oliver, and Amala Dass; (2017) Crystal Structure of Faradaurate-279: Au 279 (SPh-tBu) 84 Plasmonic Nanocrystal Molecules. Journal of American Chemical Society, 139 (43), pp 15450–15459. 
  6. Shevanuja Theivendran, Le Chang, Aneek Mukherjee, Luca Sementa, Mauro Stener, Alessandro Fortunelli, and Amala Dass; (2018) Principles of Optical Spectroscopy of Aromatic Alloy Nanomolecules: Au 36–x Ag x (SPh-tBu) 24 , Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 122 (8), pp 4524–4531.
  7. Shevanuja Theivendran, Jun Zhang, Cheng Tang, Mohammad Kalantari, Zhenying Gu, Yannan Yang, Yang Yang, Ekaterina Strounina, Aijun Dub and Chengzhong Yu; (2019) Synthesis of biphenyl bridged dendritic mesoporous organosilica with extremely high adsorption of pyrene, Journal of Material Chemistry A, 19 (7), pp 12029-12037. 
Featured projects Duration
Cancer therapy and immunotherapy
20182021