Thank you for reading my letter. I am taking this opportunity to express my interest to be a candidate for the PhD position in ----------------------” under your supervision at the CiMaas BV. I introduce myself as a graduate from the xxxxx; where I pursued Master’s in xxxxxxx under the xxxxx Scholarship. Passion for being a researcher is in my DNA, I figured it out early in my academic life when I realized that I only feel immense happiness if I can outperform in the academic results and when I can solve a question about the complex biological system of our body that emanates in my thought spontaneously. Indeed, this intense enthusiasm for exploring the hidden unearthed things of our body directed my career path towards the challenge of a PhD.

Since my under graduation, I found Immunology as a highly fascinating and interesting field. I remember the feelings of wonder, excitement and amazement first time when the Immune system was explained to me during the Immunology course of undergraduate study in Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. I was mostly impressed by the function of monocytes as it differentiates into macrophages or Dendritic cells and recruited to the different organs to serve specific functions. It was only then did I truly appreciate how nature created the animal body and made a defence system that protects us from millions of microorganisms surrounding us. My amazement grew over time and I was inspired to continue my study as a Master’s student in the Department of Pathology after finishing graduation. In the Immunopathology course, I got to comprehend the functional realm of DC cells while preparing a presentation over a review article “The role of Dendritic cells in Autoimmunity” as a part of the course assignment. I was astonished to know that apart from the usual antigen presenting function, Dendritic cells are also responsible for peripheral tolerance, bridging innate immunity and adaptive immunity and in the pathogenesis of several autoimmune diseases by secreting IFN1 in response to self-nucleic acids sensing. This review article raised a question in my thought, whether DC might play a significant role in activating adaptive immunity against cancer, as the dying cancer cells release DNA which can be sensed by DC. In fact, I had a hidden interest to cancer as my beloved grand parents died of Leukaemia. Meanwhile, I got the privilege to study in the European Master’s program in the field of Biomedical Science. Where I had the opportunity to enhance my knowledge in basic life science topics, particularly the opportunity to conduct a research internship on Stem Cell culture project at the Justus Leibig Universitat Giessen in Germany introduced me to the modern laboratory facilities and advanced molecular techniques including stem cell isolation, expansion, doubling time determination, sub culturing, storage, characterization by flow cytometry, PCR and cell viability assays.

Collectively reckoning my theoretical knowledge, skills and academic background, I carefully pondered over my interest and determined my focus on tumor immunology for doing higher degree research. I materialized it while choosing my dissertation topic that was hosted at the Laboratory of Cell Biology under the Department of Molecular Medicine and Medical Biotechnology of the University of Napoli, Italy. The dissertation project focused on understanding the STING (Stimulator of Interferon Gene) signalling pathway; a gene recently emerged as an important protein having a regulatory role in Innate Immunity and Cancer Immunity. My responsibility was to make STING knockout from THP1 cells using CRISPR/Cas9 mediated Lentiviral Transduction procedure and to study the effect of STING in monocyte to macrophage differentiation after treating with PMA.

Interestingly, while working on this dissertation, though I had a very small contribution in an ongoing big project, my knowledge about the role of DC in cancer immunity has widened. As the studies revealed that the DNA from the damaged tumor cells are sensed by cGAS-STING pathway in DC and release IFN1 which in turn activates the NK cell and CD8+ T cells against tumor. These findings explored the wider scope of the creative application of DC based cancer immunotherapeutic research. Ultimately, this thesis work has developed an unquenchable interest to follow my PhD research on DC cell-based cancer immunotherapy. Therefore, this PhD project is highly relevant to my previous research and future interest. After PhD, I want to join in an Industry or research organization as an immunotherapy scientist to contribute to the product development. So, working experience in a GMP and Quality driven environment is necessary, and this PhD project will provide me this platform by giving exposure to both academic and industrial research. In this opportunity, as a young scientist, with the availability of the state of the art research facilities offered at CiMaas BV, close contact with the world-renowned researchers, scientists and industrialists, I will have the opportunity to develop my professional network as well as the skills in preclinical and clinical development of cell based medicinal products that are essential for my future career plan.

I feel that I have the required knowledge, skills and expertise to contribute to this project. Apart from the knowledge of the latest scientific advancement on immunotherapy that I follow regularly by reading published articles, I could offer my CRISRPR/Cas9 gene editing skills, DNA/RNA extraction, PCR, Gel Electrophoresis, SDS-PAGE, Flow cytometry and Immunofluorescence skills as well as the experience of hematopoietic and stem cell culture techniques. In my past academic achievements, I demonstrated myself as an excellent researcher. I attained more than 85% marks in both the Master thesis conducted before. I have two scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals. I was always among the top 5% achievers in the final academic result. Besides, I am highly flexible, committed and responsible for my work. I am the person who likes to take the leadership of the work, feel like an entrepreneur and whose mistake or irresponsibility will have a big impact in society. My biggest strength is the critical thinking ability, self motivation and the ability to work under pressure to meet the deadlines. Moreover, the joined European Masters Program in four Universities of the four different European countries has increased my communication and collaborative skills to unknown heights that your team could be benefitted.

Lastly, from the afore-mentioned criteria, allow me to express that I deserve to be a member of your team. I want to take this PhD as an opportunity to make substantial progress towards my carrier goal. I would appreciate the opportunity for a personal interview to discuss my background and expertise as well as the project in more detail. Please take my appreciation and gratitude for your further assessment and consideration.

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