Cancer Drug Mechanisms

Professor Glen Boyle

Senior Research Fellow / Group Leader

The Cancer Drug Mechanisms Laboratory combines expertise in cell biology with understanding of drug mechanisms to treat cancers and other chronic diseases.  The group’s cancer biology work currently focuses on understanding the development and progression of cancers of the skin and oral cavity. Specifically, the laboratory is investigating the molecular mechanisms involved in the progression and metastasis of melanoma, head and neck cancer, as well as cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. These mechanisms also affect drug resistance of cancers. The identification and understanding of pathways in these cancers is crucial prior to the design or identification of suitable treatments. The group also uses its cell biology knowledge to assist in the development process for novel agents targeting cancer and other chronic disorders.


  • heterogeneity and cellular cooperativity in melanoma progression, metastasis and drug resistance
  • identification of factors involved in melanoma invasion that impart survival of cancer cells in circulation and during metastasis
  • molecular investigation of cancers of the head and neck, including squamous cell carcinoma with perineural invasion
  • identification, testing and mechanistic studies of novel anti-cancer agents
  • mechanism of action studies into novel treatments for chronic wound healing


Internal Collaborators

External Collaborators

  • Professor Craig Williams, University of Queensland
  • Dr Aaron Smith, Queensland University of Technology
  • Professor Ben Panizza, Princess Alexandra Hospital
  • Associate Professor Steven Ogbourne, University of Sunshine Coast
  • Associate Professor Steve Ralph, Griffith University
  • Associate Professor Terry Piva, RMIT University
  • Dr Ryan Moseley, Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering & Repair, Cardiff University
  • Professor Giovanni Appendino, Università degli Studi del Piemonte

We gratefully acknowledge the support from the following funding agencies:

  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Cancer Council Queensland
  • Perpetual Trustees – Wilson Fellowship for Skin Cancer Research