About the Research Team
Children with Cancer UK’s Clinical PhD Studentships are provided to develop and support future leaders in clinical cancer research. Dr Macarena Oporto Espuelas completed her medical degree at the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain, before training as a paediatrician at the Niño Jesús University Children’s Hospital, one of the leading centres in Spain, while focusing on her interest in haematology and oncology. She has since worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) as a clinical fellow in haematology, oncology and bone marrow transplant. Dr Oporto Espuelas’ research will be supervised by Prof. Persis Amrolia and based at the UCL GOSH Institute of Child Health (ICH), which has pioneered CAR T-cell therapy for children in Europe and boasts a world-class programme of laboratory, translational and clinical research in CAR T-cell therapy for paediatric ALL and neuroblastoma. Prof. Amrolia is Professor of Transplantation Immunology at the ICH and is an Honorary Consultant in Bone Marrow Transplant at GOSH. His CARPALL clinical trial
, funded by Children with Cancer UK and GOSH Children’s Charity, investigated a new CAR T-cell therapy, designed to target cancer cells more quickly and cause fewer side effects, showed very promising results for children with previously incurable ALL. Dr Oporto Espuelas will also be co-supervised by Dr Alice Giustacchini, who is a research leader in the field of single cell transcriptomics (gene activity) in leukaemic stem cells.