Phone: +61 7 3362 0323
My research aims to understand the genetic events driving the growth of melanoma with the goal of using this information to improve survival outcomes for patients. I believe that a thorough understanding of the fundamental biology and core mechanisms of tumour development will result in effective, rationally designed therapeutic and early-intervention strategies.
Between 2009 and 2012, I completed my PhD under the supervision of Professor Nick Hayward (QIMR Berghofer) focusing on the genetics of late-stage melanoma. Here, I used genome-scale genetic analysis methods, including next-generation sequencing, to identify a number of previously unidentified genes that are mutated and causally involved in melanoma development.
After being an awarded an overseas NHMRC Early Career Fellowship, I moved to Boston (2014-2016) to gain expertise in functional genomics in Professor Levi Garraway’s Laboratory at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Broad Institute of Harvard MIT. Using genome-wide negative selection knockout screens (shRNA and CRISPR), I have been systematically identifying melanoma gene dependencies (genes that when turned off will kill melanoma cells).
At the end of 2016, I returned to QIMR Berghofer to pursue the functional significance of the novel gene dependencies in melanoma I identified while overseas. Specifically, I will be assessing their role in melanoma development, determining their suitability as novel drug targets and exploring their contribution to drug resistance as observed with the latest treatment regimes.
Research laboratories and groups
Other current appointments
External Scientist Appointment, Broad Institute of Harvard MIT, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
- Research Fellow, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Broad Institute of Harvard MIT (2014-2016)
- Research Fellow in Medicine, Harvard Medical School (2014-2016)
- Overseas Biomedical Fellow, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (2014-2016)
- Research Officer, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (2012-2014)
- PhD Candidate, Queensland University of Technology (2009-2012)
- Laboratory Technician, Australian Genome Research Facility (2006-2009)
Professor Nicholas Hayward
Current Area of Research
- Genetics and Genomics
- Genome-Wide Functional Screens (shRNA, CRISPR)
- Next-Generation Sequencing
- Targeted Therapies
- Precision Medicine
- Contributed to the identification of key genes somatically mutated in melanoma including RASA2, RPS27, BCL2L12, RAC1, MAP3K5 and MAP3K9.
- Contributed to the identification of genes driving familial melanoma including shelterin complex genes ACD and TERF2IP, and MITF.
- Helped develop a targeted melanoma specific mutation panel that formed the basis for MelaCarta™ (Agena Bioscience).
- Identified the genetics driving a rare form of cancer (Melanoma of Unknown Primary), to determine the likely origins within the body and assess clinical intervention strategies.
- Been involved in a number of studies exploring responses to current targeted therapies, including the role of transcriptional cell states contributing to drug resistance in melanoma.
- National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship (2014-2018)
- QIMRB and Rio Tinto Ride to Conquer Cancer Grant (2012)
- QIMRB and Rio Tinto Ride to Conquer Cancer Grant (2011)
- Levi Garraway, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
- William Hahn, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
- Richard Scolyer, Melanoma Institute of Australia, Sydney, Australia
- Yardena Samuels, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
- Glen Boyle, Cancer Drug Mechanism Laboratory, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
- American Association for Cancer Research (member since 2010), Chairperson of the Associate Member Council (2017)
- Society for Melanoma Research, (member since 2010), Co-Editor of Newsletter (2016-present)
- National Postdoctoral Association (member 2014-2017), International Officer (2015-2016)
- QUT IHBI Carla Patterson Award (2013)
- QUT Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award (2013)
- QIMR Bancroft Award (2012)
- Society for Melanoma Research Congress Best Oral Abstract Presentation (2012)
- AACR Scholar-In-Training Award, sponsored by AACR-Axel Ulrich (2011)
- ATSE Young Science Ambassador Award (2011)
- Doctor of Philosophy, Queensland University of Technology
- Bachelor of Applied Science, Honours 1A, Queensland University of Technology
- Bachelor of Applied Science, with Distinction, Queensland University of Technology