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Dr Zsuzsanna Tabi

Dr Zsuzsanna Tabi

Reader

School of Medicine

Email
tabiz@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2251 0550
Campuses
G16, Tenovus Building, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XN

Summary

My research focuses on the role of the immune system in cancer. I am especially interested in the effect the tumour microenvironment exerts on the function of immune cells. It is important to understand how this complex interaction can be manipulated, in order to reverse localised immunosuppression and improve the outcome of conventional and novel therapeutic approaches. The projects in my laboratory are patient-based and incorporate translational elements, designed to aid the development of personalised cancer treatment.

Current/Recent Research Funding

British Lung Foundation. Project Grant. Optimising/modelling immune checkpoint inhibitor treatments in mesothelioma. 2018-2021. 

Sasakawa Foundation - PhD exchange studentship with Sapporo University, Japan. 2017.

Cardiff University, Medical School - PhD studentship.  2017-2020.

MesobanK UK. Development of primary mesothelioma cell lines for gene profiling and drug susceptibility testing.  2015-2018

MRC-GW4 – PhD studentship.  2016-2019.

Tenovus Cancer Care – PhD studentship. Are cancer stem cells susceptible to T cell killing? Amy Codd. 2015-2018.

British Lung Foundation – Project Grant (PI)  Heterotypic spheroids for the study of stromal influence on drug- and immune resistance in mesothelioma. 2014-2017.

Cancer Research Wales – Program Grant.  The development and immunosuppressive nature of tumour stroma in prostate cancer. 2011-2017.

June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund – Clinical Trial Grant. Application of TroVax® in MPM patients receiving pemetrexed/cisplatin chemotherapy. 2010-2016.

MRC/Cardiff University I3 IRG – PhD Studentship. TLR4 polymorphism and antigen cross-presentation in cancer. 2010-2014.

Career overview

2017 - present. Reader. Division of Cancer and Genetics, School of Medicine, Cardiff University

2005 - 2017: Senior Lecturer, Cancer & Genetics, School of Medicine, Cardiff University

2002-2005: Senior Research Fellow, Cancer and Genetics, School of Medicine, Cardiff University

Research Fellow,  The University of Queensland, RBH, Brisbane, Australia.

Research Officer, Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Australia

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, USA.

Education and qualifications

PhD in viral immunology. John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

MSc/BSc. 1st Class Hon. in biology/biochemistry.  Attila József University, Szeged, Hungary

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

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2012

2011

2010

2009

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2007

2005

2004

2002

2001

Current/Recent Research Students

Main research projects

  • My group is studying three-dimensional models (spheroids) of mesothelioma, prostate and lung cancer in order to capture the interactions between tumour, tumour-stroma, tumour stem-cells and immune cells. We have discovered that tumour stroma itself is highly capable of skewing myeloid cell differentiation towards an immunosuppressive phenotype, including the upregulation of PD-L1, that blocks T cell activation, on dendritic cells. (Spary et al. OncoImmunology, 2015) This is important in understanding what cell types the immune checkpoint inhibitors, which are having a breakthrough in cancer treatment, affect.
  • Ongoing work, using the NanoString technology (http://www.nanostring.com) is aimed at finding predictive immunological markers in prostate cancer patients who relapse following prostatectomy. The results of this study will guide patient-selection for early follow-up therapies in order to prevent relapse.
  • The results of some of our past work lead to setting up a cancer vaccine clinical trial in malignant pleural mesothelioma patients (SKOPOS trial; www.ClinicalTrials.gov, Trial identifier: NCT01569919). We have established a sensitive immunomonitoring assay, which proved that T cell responses can be successfully generated against a tumour antigen in these patients. The findings warrant a further trial, combining the cancer vaccine (TroVax®) with novel treatments in order to find synergistic effects.

Areas of expertise