Our People

Bryan Day

Professor | Group Leader

Sid Faithfull Brain Cancer Laboratory

+61 7 3845 3885

bryan.day@qimrberghofer.edu.au

CAREER HISTORY

Professor Day is the Group Leader of the Sid Faithfull Brain Cancer Laboratory and an internationally recognised expert in brain cancer. He is a Co-Director of the Children’s Brain Cancer Centre, a national initiative to improve outcomes for children with brain cancer.

The focus of his laboratory’s research is to better understand the molecular mechanisms which drive the most common and aggressive forms of adult and paediatric brain cancers. Among Professor Day’s achievements is the characterisation of the receptor EphA3 as a therapeutic target in GBM (Day et al 2013, Cancer Cell, Cit 163). This research has led to clinical testing of a novel EphA3 targeting therapeutic antibody in patients with recurrent brain cancer.

A major achievement has been the development of a brain tumour and cell culture bank at QIMR Berghofer, which has collected >350 tumour specimens to-date. From this resource, more than 60 primary cell lines have been generated which are the basis of his group’s research and collaborative global researchers. Twelve of these models have been characterised in great detail and made publicly available as a resource termed ‘Q-Cell’. These models have been used in numerous studies globally and have been published in over 40 articles to-date. He has more than 1500 career citations and has published over 50 scientific articles directly relating to understanding the biology of brain cancer and defining new therapies to treat these aggressive diseases.

Professor Day is a past ASMR Director and sits on the scientific advisory committee for the Co-Operative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO) and the steering committee for Brain Cancer Biobanking Australian (BCBA) – therefore, ideally placed to translate his findings to clinical trial. 

 

CURRENT APPOINTMENTS

2015-current: Group Leader, Sid Faithfull Brain Cancer Laboratory, QIMR Berghofer

2015-2023: Sid Faithfull Fellow, QIMR Berghofer

2019-2022: Professor Adjunct, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland

2019-2023: Director, Children’s Brain Cancer Centre – Children’s Hospital Foundation

2019-2023: Scientific Advisory Committee, Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO)

2018-2021: Professor Adjunct, School of Biomedical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology

2017-2020: Steering Committee, Brain Cancer Biobanking Australia (BCBA)

 

PREVIOUS APPOINTMENTS

2017-2019: Directors Consultative Committee, QIMR Berghofer

2017-2019: Management Committee, Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO)

2014-2015: Board of Directors, Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR)

2008-2014: Postdoctoral Scientist, Leukemia Foundation Research Laboratory, QIMR Berghofer

2004-2008: PhD Scholar, UQ, Leukemia Foundation Research Laboratory, QIMR Berghofer

2003-2004: BSc Honours, UQ, Leukemia Foundation Research Laboratory, QIMR Berghofer

2002: Nutritionist, Wesley Uniting Hospital Brisbane

 

ORCID NUMBER

0000-0002-8948-9089

 

RESEARCHER ID

AAV-6170-2020

 

CURRENT AREA OF RESEARCH

Professor Day and his team at the Sid Faithfull Brain Cancer Laboratory study the most common and aggressive form of adult brain cancer, Glioblastoma (GBM) and paediatric brain cancers, Medulloblastoma and Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). The focus of this research is to better understand the molecular mechanisms which are responsible for the initiation and recurrence of brain cancers. From this work, Professor Day and his team aim to develop and test new and effective therapies to treat these aggressive diseases.

 

CURRENT PROJECTS

  • defining Eph receptors as therapeutic targets in brain cancer
  • defining novel therapies for the treatment of brain cancer
  • understanding intratumoural heterogeneity and interclonal cooperativity in brain cancer
  • exploring the use of Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs) and organoid cultures in the treatment of brain cancer
  • brain cancer tissue and culture bank development
  • developing effective strategies to target multiple GBM cell-states
  • neo-adjuvant immuno-oncology clinical trial preparation

 

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

  • discovery of EphA3 as a functional targetable receptor in GBM (Cancer Cell 2013, CIT 167) leading to a world-first clinical trial (NCT03374943), testing an EphA3 targeting antibody in GBM patients in Brisbane and Melbourne
  • development of a successful, nationally and internationally recognised brain cancer program at QIMR Berghofer
  • published author on 60 original research articles and reviews (1584 citations, H index 21), the majority within the last 10 years directly relating to brain cancer. Second highest cited brain cancer focussed researcher in Australia
  • development of brain cancer tumour bank (>350 specimens to-date) being the first in Australia to develop new techniques to reliably generate primary GBM models (Day et al 2013, Cancers)
  • alongside Brett Stringer, the first in Australia to fully characterise these models and make the data and models freely available to the scientific community as a resource (Q-Cell)
  • obtained role as a Director (4 directors) of the CHF funded ($5 million) Centre for Child and Adolescent Brain Cancer Research (CCABCR)
  • invited to testify at the Senate Committee Hearing for Low Survival Rate Cancers, culminating in the $124 million funded Australian Brain Cancer Mission

 

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

2019-2023: Director, Children’s Brain Cancer Centre – Children’s Hospital Foundation  

2017-2020: Steering Committee (Member), Brain Cancer Biobanking Australia 

2019-2023: Scientific Advisory Committee (Member), Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology

2017-2019: Management Committee, Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology

2014-2015: Board of Directors, Australian Society for Medical Research

 

AWARDS RECOGNITION

2013

  • Prize (QIMR Berghofer Annual Institute Awards) – Best Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Prize (Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO) – Best Poster

2007

  • Cancer Council Queensland Travel Scholarship

2006

  • QIMR PhD Performance Scholarship

2004

  • UQJRS (Mayne Health PhD Scholarship)

2004

  • QIMR Summer Scholarship

 

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

2008: PhD Medicine (Brain Cancer), University of Queensland

2003: BSc Hons (Pharmacology), University of Queensland

1998: BApp Sc (Consumer Science), University of Newcastle, Australia