Grazyna Lipowska-Bhalla

Grazyna Lipowska-Bhalla, MRes, PhD, SFAHE


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Personal profile


I graduated in Chemistry and Biotechnology from the University of Gdansk (Poland) in 2000 and Functional Genomics from the University of York (UK) in 2005.

Before embarking on a PhD, I was working for several years with United Nations peacekeeping mission at Lebanese-Israeli border, first as an epidemiologist and hygiene officer in a field hospital and later as a medical communication officer in the mission headquarters.

I undertook my PhD at the University of Manchester between 2006-2010 under the supervision of Dr Dominic Rothwell and Dr David Gilham working on improvement of methodologies for engineering and use of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) in T cell therapy of cancer. Following my PhD, I stayed in the same lab for a postdoctoral training focusing on engineering 5T4 and CA19-9 specific CARs.

In 2012 I joined Targeted Therapy Group led by Professor Tim Illidge to work on radiotherapy and immunotherapy of haematological malignancies. My research has focused on two major areas; improvement of efficacy of radiotherapy through combination with various immunomodulatory agents involving monoclonal antibodies and TLR agonists, and enhancing efficacy of anti-CD20 antibody therapy of B cell malignancies also through combination with different immunomodulatory agents.

Outside of my work, I’m married to Sonal and am a mom of two charming lads Alex and Kubus. I love baking, the great outdoor, walking our labrador Dixie and running. 

Research interests

Radiotherapy (RT) is one of the most important anti-cancer treatments with nearly 50% of all cancer patients receiving RT at some point during their treatment. In addition to the direct cytoreductive effect, RT-induced cellular stress can render tumour cells immunogenic. However, both preclinical and clinical data demonstrate that as a monotherapy RT is usually insufficient to induce durable antitumor immune responses.

My research focuses on enhancing antitumor immune responses following RT through combination with various immunomodulatory agents involving monoclonal antibodies (mAb) such as mAb targeting CD40; signalling through which can license cross presentation of tumour-associated antigens by antigen presenting cells (APC).

I’m also interested in understanding how the different subsets of APC frequently found to infiltrate established tumour, including macrophages (MΦ) and dendritic cells (DC) impact on the priming of tumour specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes following therapy and whether antitumor responses can be improved by manipulation of these tumour-resident APC populations.

The second area of my interest is enhancing efficacy of anti-CD20 antibody therapy in B cell malignancies. Although monoclonal antibodies have significantly improved treatment of B cell malignancies, many patients relapse and develop progressive disease following treatment. Therefore, I look into combining the anti-CD20 antibody with other immunomodulatory agents that could generate durable antitumor immune responses.

My collaborations

Professor James O'Connor

Professor Kaye Williams

Professor Geoff Parker

Dr Denis Alferez

Dr Damien McHugh

Dr Ross Little

Professor Tim Illidge

Dr Jamie Honeychurch

Dr Simon Dovedi

Dr Ellie Cheadle


Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Member of Senior Management Team for Division of Cancer Sciences (Research Staff representative)

Research Staff Representative on Faculty Research Staff Forum

MRes Oncology Programme Committee Member

Member of Manchester Immuno-Oncology Group

British Society of Immunology

British Association for Cancer Research

European Association for Cancer Research


Senior Fellow of Advance Higher Education (SFAHE)

PhD Cancer Immunology & Immunotherapy

MRes Funcional Genomics

MSc Chemistry and Biotechnology


Postdoctoral Researcher 

Lead for MRes Oncology Programme Lecture Series

Division of Cancer Sciences Research Staff Representative


MRes Oncology: Unit lead for Lecture Series; Programme Committee Member; Research Project Supervisor; Academic Advisor; Admissions Interviewer

Lecturer on the MSc Medical Imaging Programme (Molecular Bases of Diseases, Apoptosis & Necrosis, Inflammation)

Lecturer on the MRes Oncology Programme (Cancer Immunotherapy, Adoptive T cell Transfer Therapy)

Lecturer on the MSc Cancer Biology & Radiation Physics Programme (Cancer Immunotherapy, Molecular Methods)

MSc Cancer Biology & Radiation Physics Programme: Research Methods Workshop, Research Proposal Writing Workshop, Laboratory Practical Sessions

MRes Oncology: Small Group Tutorials

MBChB Programme: Year 1 & 2 Personal & Professional Development Advisor

Academic Advisor

Supervisor of students on research projects

Examination Officer, Marker and Moderator

Manchester Access Programme Tutor

Brilliant Club Tutor



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


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