Events calendar

“Converging on Cancer”- Dr Astero Klampatsa & Dr Maria Papathanasiou

25 Jan 2024, 15:00 PM

We invite you to join us online on Thursday, November 23rd, from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

In this webinar series, presented by the Cancer Research UK Convergence Science Centre at Imperial College London and The Institute of Cancer Research, London, researchers from both institutions will discuss key challenges facing cancer research and the potential of convergence science to tackle them. Join us to discover how innovative approaches and cutting-edge technologies can elucidate unresolved questions in cancer biology, revolutionise cancer research, and bring pioneering treatments to cancer patients faster.


Hosted by our Scientific Director, Professor Axel Behrens, this series aims to fulfil the Centre's mission of fostering collaboration between traditionally separate disciplines.


We invite you to join us online on Thursday, January 25th, from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM, for a presentation by:


Dr Astero Klampatsa – Division of Cancer Therapeutics, The Institute of Cancer Research


"The role of bystander effects in efficient CAR-T cell therapy"


Chimeric antigen receptors (CAR)-T cell therapy has revolutionized the treatment of haematologic malignancies, however its therapeutic success is limited in the treatment of solid cancers. Major challenges relating to poor trafficking and infiltration, as well as hostile factors within the tumor microenvironment contribute to tumour eradication. In this talk, a study is discussed looking into the limitations in efficiency of CAR-T cell therapy in an antigen-heterogeneous tumour model, and whether this can be overcome by CAR-T cell induction of bystander effects. Current data on inducing bystander effects through TGF-β inhibition will also be discussed.


Dr Astero Klampatsa (PhD) is a Group Leader in Cancer Immunotherapy at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK and a Visiting Senior Lecturer in King’s College London, UK. She was awarded a PhD in Research Oncology (focused on mesothelioma apoptotic and hypoxia pathways) from Queen Mary’s College, University of London, UK. As a postdoctoral fellow, she gained expertise in CAR-T cell immunotherapy and immunobiology of thoracic cancers at King’s College London, UK, and at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. Since 2019, Dr Klampatsa has been leading her own team, the Thoracic Oncology Immunotherapy Group, focusing on developing novel CAR-T cell therapies for mesothelioma and lung cancer, as well as the immunobiology of these malignancies for identification of markers of response to immunotherapy. 




Dr Maria Papathanasiou – Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London


"Computer modelling tools in the assistance of the CAR T-cell industry: A focus on distribution"


Following the release of the first CAR-T cell therapies, interest around the optimization of their manufacturing and distribution has increased, urging the scientific community to investigate and suggest robust models for their commercialization. Unlike common pharmaceutical products, those therapies are of autologous nature, suggesting 1:1 business and/or manufacturing models, where the drug is manufactured based on the patient’s own cells. The latter increases the complexity both of the production and the distribution process. In this talk, alternative pathways and solutions that may reduce production cost and time-to-market identified via computer-modelling approaches. The power and potential of using computational tools during the early stages of therapy development are also discussed.


Maria is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London. She holds a PhD degree in Process Systems Engineering from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London and an MSc from the same department. She completed her undergraduate studies at the School of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens and she conducted her Diploma Thesis in Food Process Engineering at the Technical University of Berlin. Maria’s research focuses on the development of Process Systems Engineering tools (modelling, optimisation and control) with application to Life Science and Energy Systems. Her research outputs to date have been acknowledged through over 40 peer reviewed and conference publications, over 40 oral presentations at international conferences and four international awards, including IChemE’s Junior Sargent Medal (2023). She serves as AIChE’s Social Media Ambassador for the CAST Division and as Secretary for IChemE’s Computer Aided Process Engineering (CAPE) group.


Please note: This webinar is exclusively available to colleagues from the Institute of Cancer Research, the Royal Marsden, Imperial and Imperial College Healthcare. Do not forward to colleagues outside of these organisations.