UCL Cancer Institute


Lab Members

Meet our talented team of:

1. Postdoctoral Researchers

2. PhD Students

3. Clinical Fellows

4. Assistants/Technicians

5. Associate Members

1. Postdoctoral Researchers

James Reading

Dr. James L Reading
Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

Investigates the function and dysfunction of neoantigen-specific T cell responses in non-small cell lung cancer and maps T cell differentiation pathways patterned by chronic antigen stimulation and tumour evolution. Current interests include the molecular regulation of T cell responses to key neoantigens throughout disease initiation to death in the TRACERx study and exploring nodes of tumour-reactive T cell biology that may help optimise cell therapies, identify novel immunotherapy targets, and define clinically relevant biomarkers.

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Dafne Franz Demane

Dr. Dafne Franz Demane
Research Associate

Investigates immuno-modulatory antibodies as cancer therapies in pre-clinical models by establishing three different mouse models of lung cancer and evaluating the impact of monoclonal antibodies in the tumour microenvironment. Also interested in deciphering the mechanism of action of anti-ICOS mAb in models of colorectal cancer.

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Marcos Vasquez

Dr. Marcos Vasquez 
Postdoctoral Fellow 

Interested in understanding the immunomodulatory effect of radiotherapy in the tumour microenvironment to identify key targets to improve its anti-tumour efficacy. Performs high-dimensional flow cytometry and unsupervised analysis with a focus on the T cell and myeloid compartments in different mouse models. 

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Dr. Felipe Gálvez-Cancino
Postdoctoral Researcher

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Dr. Manar Shafat
Postdoctoral Researcher

2. PhD Students

Quezada Lab Dry Lab Scientist Male SKB

Mr. Marc Robert de Massy
Cancer Research UK Bioinformatics PhD Candidate

Explores the rules of tumour specificity in the T Cell Receptor (TCR) repertoire of cancer patients. Looks at how the TCR repertoire changes in space and time and how these dynamics impact patients’ outcome through integration of TCR-seq, RNA-seq, flow cytometry and genomic data in a treatment naïve setting and in the context of checkpoint inhibitors.

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Joanne Clancy

Ms. Joanne Clancy 
PhD Student (in collaboration with the Hochhauser Lab) 

Studies how the addition of a pharmacological inhibitor of DNA double strand break (DSB) repair not only potentiates cancer cell death following ionising radiation, but may also increase tumour immunogenicity and therefore, mobilise an anti-tumour immune response.

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Maria Vila De Mucha


Ms. Maria Vila de Mucha
PhD Student (in collaboration with the Jenner Lab)

Investigates the role of CD4+ T cells in anti-tumour immunity, with a focus on how the differentiation of cytotoxic CD4+ T cells is regulated on an epigenetic and transcriptional level in tumours.

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Mr. Cristobal Costoya
PhD Student

Interested in understanding the mechanisms behind agonistic antibodies targeting T cell costimulatory receptors, with a focus on OX40 and its combination with the immune checkpoint blockade.

Chen Qing


Ms. Chen Qing
PhD Student

Studies the immune landscape in poorly-infiltrated mouse models following Treg depletion and inoculation with a cancer vaccine. Also interested in exploring the potential mechanisms underlying tumour resistance to the combinatorial therapy.

Quezada Lab Wet Lab Scientist Male SKB

Mr. Ernesto Lopez Cabrera
PhD Student

Kane Foster

Mr. Kane Foster
PhD Student (in collaboration with the Yong Lab)

Explores how changes in T cell function can contribute to the progression of pre-cancerous conditions such as smouldering multiple myeloma. Investigates T cell responses at the single cell level by analysing RNA-seq, TCR-seq and flow/mass cytometry data using machine learning and computational statistics.

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Hongchang Fu

Mr. Hongchang Fu
PhD Student (in collaboration with the Litchfield Lab)

Develops the tumour fragment platform as an ex vivo technique and investigates its ability to recapitulate the complexity of tumour architecture and the microenvironment. Also interested in the immunotherapeutic response of the tumour fragment platform to fs-indel derived neoantigens escaping from the nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) pathway.

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3. Clinical Fellows

Emine Hatipoglu

Dr. Emine Hatipoglu
Medical Oncology Registrar at the Royal Marsden Hospital/CRUK Clinical Research Fellow

Interested in translational immune-oncology with a focus on understanding the immune landscape and response to immune checkpoint blockade in renal cell carcinoma and glioblastoma as well as designing immuno-oncology trials. Experienced in various techniques including high dimensional flow cytometry, T cell receptor sequencing and multiplex immunofluorescence.

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Dr. Ehsan Ghorani
Clinical Research Fellow

Ignacio Matos Garcia

Dr. Ignacio Matos Garcia
Medical Oncologist/Research Fellow

Conducts comprehensive immune phenotyping of both tumour biopsy material and PBMCs from patients treated with immune checkpoints inhibitors, categorised as hyperprogressive disease during these therapies.

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Yien Ning Sophia Wong

Dr. Yien Ning Sophia Wong
Clinical Research Fellow

Interested in identifying predictive biomarkers in response to immunotherapy in urological malignancies.

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Dr. Tami Grunewald 
Clinical Research Fellow

Alvin Lee

Dr. Alvin Lee
Clinical Training Fellow/NIHR Clinical Lecturer

Investigates response and resistance to immune checkpoint blockade using high-dimensional techniques including flow cytometry, mass cytometry and RNA-seq. Also interested in CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing of T cells and targeting T cell metabolism.

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Quezada Lab Wet Lab Scientist Female SKB

Dr. Assma Ben Aissa
Clinical Research Fellow

4. Assistants/Technicians

Quezada Lab Wet Lab Scientist Male SKB

Mr. Andrew Georgiou
Lab Manager/Research Technician 

Assists with several research projects and deals with the lab's administrative needs including ordering reagents and servicing equipment. Other responsibilities include being the Safety Officer for the lab, conducting induction training for new members, and clinical sample processing.

Mansi Shah

Dr. Mansi Shah
Senior Technician

Established and runs a patient-derived immune xenograft (PDiX) core as part of the Cancer Research UK City of London (CRUK CoL) Centre. This includes writing SOPs, establishing tissue biobanks and collaborating with other research groups. Please see their website for more information. Other responsibilities including managing lab admin, social media, and members of the group.

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Maha Tijani

Dr. Maha Tijani 
Research Assistant 

Works on developing new bispecific antibodies for cancer therapy. Also involved in CRISPR-Cas9 mediated manipulation of Fc regions of various Hybridoma cell lines as well as development of cancer cell lines stably expressing gene of interest to generate new transplantable tumour models. 

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Despoina Karagianni

Ms. Despoina Karagianni
Lab Technician

Helps to set up a loss-of-function study with in vitro and in vivo models using CRISPR/Cas9 systems in order to identify potential targets to reverse exhaustion and direct T cells to potent effector functionality. Other responsibilities include managing the lab and social media.

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Supreet Kaur Bola

Ms. Supreet Kaur Bola

Handles the processing, storage and retrieval of all clinical samples for immunological analysis ensuring compliance with the Human Tissue Act and maintaining Good Clinical Lab Practice. Other responsibilities include managing lab social media. 

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Quezada Lab Wet Lab Scientist Female SKB

Mrs. Elena Hoxha 

Processes clinical samples including blood and other tissue such as lung, brain, kidney, and many others that come from cancer patients enrolled on different clinical trials for future immunological research. Also keeps an inventory and up-to-date database of all the lab's samples to aid efficient locating and retrieval.

5. Associate Members

Ayse Akarca

Ms. Ayse Akarca 
Research Fellow 

Provides a service for multiplex immunolabelling to pharmaceutical companies and clinical trials. Focuses on tissue-based assays and image analysis.

Quezada Lab Wet Lab Scientist Female SKB

Ms. Kim Dhillon
Research Assistant

Gordon Beattie


Dr. Gordon Beattie
Research Fellow - Single Cell Bioinformatics

Provides bespoke single-cell bioinformatic analyses as part of the Single Cell Genomics Facility funded by the Cancer Research UK City of London (CRUK CoL) Centre. Please see their website for more information.

Imran Uddin


Mr. Imran Uddin
Research Fellow - Single-Cell RNA-seq Specialist

Runs the single-cell genomics service as part of the Single Cell Genomics Facility funded by the Cancer Research UK City of London (CRUK CoL) Centre. Please see their website for more information.


Mariana Werner Sunderland

Dr. Mariana Werner Sunderland
Visiting Scientist

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Dr. Pablo Becker
Visiting Scientist