Oncogenomics

Professor Nicholas Hayward

Senior Scientist

The laboratory’s principal focus is on the molecular genetics of melanoma, a topic Professor Hayward has been researching for more than 30 years. They aim to identify cancer genes and study the way in which defects in these genes are associated with cancer predisposition or development. With improved understanding of the genetic events underlying cancer susceptibility, better ways of diagnosing or treating cancers will be discovered. The other complementary key area of interest centres on applying a range of high throughput ‘omics’ technologies to comprehensively characterize the genomic landscape of the various melanoma subtypes.

CURRENT RESEARCH

  • played key roles in the identification of CDK4, MITF, POT1, ACD and TERF2IP as familial melanoma susceptibility genes
  • contributed significantly to many genome-wide association studies for melanoma and the associated phenotypic risk traits of pigmentation and naevi
  • contributed to the understanding of key somatic mutations that drive melanocytic neoplasia, including roles in the seminal findings of BRAF mutations in naevi, and novel driver mutations in cutaneous, acral, mucosal and uveal melanoma

Staff

  • Dr Peter Johansson, Research Officer
  • Dr Kelly Brooks, Research Officer
  • Dr Ken Dutton-Regester, Research Officer
  • Madeleine Stark, Research Assistant
  • Jane Palmer, Research Nurse
  • Hayley Hamilton, Research Nurse
  • Vaishnavi Nathan, PhD student
  • Natasa Broit, PhD student
  • Matthew D’Mellow, MPhil student

Internal Collaborators

External Collaborators

  • Members of the Melanoma Institute Australia
  • Members of GenoMEL, International Melanoma Genetics Consortium
  • Dr Kevin Brown, National Cancer Institute
  • Jeffrey Trent, Translational Genomics Research Institute
  • Dr Andrew Barbour, University of Queensland Department of Surgery/Princess Alexandra Hospital
  • NHMRC
  • Melanoma Research Alliance
  • Cure Cancer Australia

STUDENT PROJECTS

Investigating SF3B1 in DNA damage response and sensitivity to PARP inhibitors

Honours project SF3B1, a splicing factor component, has been found to be mutated in subtypes of a number of cancers including uveal melanoma (UM) (~15-24%), chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) (~17%) and mucosal melanoma (MM) (~10-37%), all of which need improved therapeutic options. SF3B1 mutations in UM are known to be associated with metastatic disease and […]

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