Our People

Nicholas Hayward

Professor | Senior Scientist

Oncogenomics

+61 7 3362 0306

nick.hayward@qimrberghofer.edu.au

 

CAREER HISTORY

Professor Nicholas Hayward has studied the molecular genetics of melanoma for over 30 years. He was the first to carry out a linkage scan for melanoma susceptibility genes, to confirm the location of one such gene (CDKN2A), and to report mutations of CDKN2A in Australian families. He played key roles in the identification of CDK4, POT1, ACD, TERF2IP and MITF as melanoma susceptibility genes and in linkage and association scans for melanoma, pigmentation and nevi. Professor Hayward has also contributed significantly to understanding of the somatic mutations that drive melanocyte neoplasia, including the seminal finding of BRAF mutations in naevi, and MAP3K5, MAP3K9 and RAC1 mutations in cutaneous melanoma, and PLCB4 mutations in uveal melanoma.

 

CURRENT APPOINTMENTS

2007-2025: NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowship, Head, Oncogenomics Laboratory, QIMR Berghofer

 

PREVIOUS APPOINTMENTS

2003-2006: NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship, QIMR Berghofer

1998-2002: NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship, QIMR Berghofer

1994-1997: NHMRC Research Fellowship, QIMR Berghofer

1991-1993: NHMRC R. D. Wright Fellowship, QIMR Berghofer

 

ORCID NUMBER

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4760-1033

 

RESEARCHER ID

C-1367-2015

 

CURRENT AREA OF RESEARCH

The principal focus of the research conducted by Professor Hayward’s group is on the molecular genetics of melanoma, a topic that he has significantly contributed to for more than 30 years. He is a foundation member of the International Melanoma Genetics Consortium (GenoMEL) and the Society for Melanoma Research (SMR). To further pursue work to better understand the genes underlying melanoma predisposition in the general population, as well as some rare families, Professor Hayward recently established two international consortia: the BAP1 Interest Group Consortium and the Uveal Melanoma Genome-wide Association Study Consortium. The group’s 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. To this end he is a principal investigator of the Australian Melanoma Genome Project, which seeks to characterize the genomic landscape of somatic mutations and chromosomal aberrations in >500 melanomas, covering each of the main histological subtypes.

 

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

  • 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

 

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

2008-current: Australia and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group

2004-current: Society for Melanoma Research

2002-current: American Association for Cancer Research

1991-current: National Association of (NHMRC) Research Fellows

 

AWARDS RECOGNITION

2012: Lifetime Achievement Award – Society for Melanoma Research

2011: William Rudder Travelling Fellowship – Cancer Council Queensland

2009: Ralph Doherty Science Prize – QIMR Berghofer

1991: Beckman-QIMR Young Scientist Award

 

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

1981-1983: Doctor of Philosophy, Biochemistry Department, University of Queensland – project titled: ‘Phenacetin metabolites and DNA damage’

1980: Master of Science, Qualifying, Biochemistry Dept. University of Queensland – passed at the level of first class honours

1977-1979: Bachelor of Science, University of Queensland – majors in Biochemistry and Microbiology