Functional Cancer Genomics

The Functional Cancer Genomics Laboratory focuses on understanding how DNA variation contributes to cancer risk and development. The laboratory is particularly interested in translating the findings from cancer genome-wide association studies (GWAS). This includes identification of the functional risk variants, connecting these variants to their target genes and understanding how the new genes contribute to cellular phenotypes. Our research integrates genetics, chromatin and transcriptome profiling, computational genomics and molecular studies to unravel the complexity of cancer development. These discoveries have accelerated progress from genetic studies to biological knowledge that may ultimately guide preventative and therapeutic measures.


  • understanding how DNA variation contributes to the risk of developing cancer; including breast and skin (melanoma) cancers
  • using high-throughput chromatin profiling and functional studies to identify new cancer genes that contribute to cancer development
  • using transcriptome profiling and functional studies to identify new noncoding RNAs that contribute to cancer development



Internal Collaborators

External Collaborators

  • BCAC (Breast Cancer Association Consortium)
  • Professor Douglas Easton, Cambridge University, UK
  • Associate Prof Alison Dunning, Cambridge University, UK
  • Dr Kevin Brown, National Cancer Institute, USA
  • Dr Eloise Dray, UT Health San Antonio, USA
  • Associate Professor Joseph Rosenbluh, Monash University, AUS
  • National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia
  • National Breast Cancer Foundation
  • Cancer Council Queensland
  • Perpetual IMPACT Philanthropy Program


Identification and evaluation of new melanoma risk genes

PhD project Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have successfully uncovered new risk genes and new biology for complex diseases resulting in a major push to translate these findings to improve drug development. We want to realise the promise of this approach in cutaneous melanoma (CM), the deadliest form of skin cancer. In the last two years, […]

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Identifying new long-noncoding RNAs involved in breast cancer development

Can be adapted in scope for Honours or PhD It is now clear the majority of the human genome is transcribed from both DNA strands but only 2% encodes protein. Much of this transcription is derived from DNA sequences that do not encode functional proteins. The majority of these transcripts are long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) […]

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