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University of Otago researchers Antony Braithwaite, Louise Bicknell, Alexander McLellan and Lyn Wise have gained Health Research Council grants totalling $600,000.
Each grant amounts to $150,000 and is for two years.
Prof Braithwaite, of the university’s pathology department, aims to improve the effectiveness of adoptive cell therapy against solid cancers and to ‘‘enhance the potential of our immune cells to treat diseases’’.
Dr Bicknell, also of pathology, wants to identify genes linked to reduced growth, which could act to slow growth in cancer.
Prof McLellan, of microbiology and immunology, hopes to develop new strategies for a form of T cell immunotherapy.
Dr Wise, of pharmacology and toxicology, seeks to develop an agent to help combat the "huge global burden" of inflammatory diseases.