Student Projects

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Cancer

Antigen Presentation & Immunoregulation Laboratory: The effects of Ibrutinib on monocyte/macrophage differentiation after SCT

Our studies have identified the involvement of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) and IL-2 inducible T cell kinase (ITK) in both skin and lung GVHD, and demonstrated that treatment with Ibrutinib, an FDA-approved irreversible inhibitor of BTK and ITK, delayed progression, improved survival, and ameliorated clinical and pathological manifestations of chronic GVHD (cGVHD) (1). Although BTK […]

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Conjoint Gastroenterology Laboratory: Genetic changes underlying colorectal cancer initiation and progression

In the Conjoint Gastroenterology Laboratory we are interested in characterising the genetic changes underlying the progression of pre-cancerous colonic polyps to colon cancer. We work closely with clinicians specialising in Gastroenterology, Pathology, Oncology and Genetics to increase our understanding of this disease and improve patient management and outcomes. Potential Honours and PhD projects will examine candidate genes for a role in the development of colorectal cancer, selected from bioinformatic analysis of genome-wide data including expression arrays, DNA methylation array profiling and next generation genomic sequencing. Candidate genes will be examined in a clinically and molecularly well-defined series of colorectal polyps and cancers. Functional studies will be conducted in colorectal cancer cell lines and in xenograft models. Projects are also available to examine strategies for pharmacoprevention using our BRAF mutant murine model. Conjoint Gastroenterology

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Conjoint Gastroenterology Laboratory: Colorectal cancer – from genetics to chemoprevention

This project will use a well-developed in vivo model to investigate the role of various drugs in the prevention of bowel cancer. Using an inducible BRAF mutant mouse, we have observed the sequential development of intestinal hyperplasia, polyps and ultimately advanced cancer, in a model that closely mimics human serrated neoplasia. This project will investigate […]

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Epigenetics & Disease Group: Therapeutic opportunities targeting epigenetic-metabolism crosstalks in cancer

Epigenetic and metabolic pathways in cancer cells are highly interconnected. Epigenetic landscape in cancer cells is modified by oncogene-driven metabolic changes. Metabolites modulate the activities of epigenetic modifying enzymes to regulate the expression of specific genes.  Conversely, epigenetic deregulation that occurs in cancer affect the expression of metabolic genes, thereby altering the metabolome. These changes […]

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Epigenetics & Disease Group: Combining epigenetic drugs with immunotherapy in melanoma

Whereas advances in immune and targeted therapies have made tremendous progress recently they are effective only in distinct subsets of patient’s or result in the emergence of drug resistance. Also, the prohibitive cost of immunotherapy can be overcome by therapy that uses relatively inexpensive small molecules. Patients suffer considerable side effects and these may be […]

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Epigenetics & Disease Group: Determining the therapeutic efficacy of epigenetic drugs in ovarian cancer

Because cancer and many diseases arise from a combination of genetic propensity and the response of cells to external factors mediated through changes to the expression of key genes, it is important to understand epigenetic regulation. The epigenome is crucial to the changes of gene expression and there is now strong evidence that epigenetic alterations […]

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Drug Discovery Group: Investigating the anti-cancer activity of the Epoxytigliane family

Previous work performed by the Drug Discovery Group, together with QBiotics Ltd. (an Australian based biotech company situated in North Queensland), has led to the identification of a family of natural products (the Epoxytigliane family) with significant anti-cancer potential. Intratumoural injection of the prototypical member of this family, tigilanol tiglate (also known as TT or […]

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Signal Transduction Laboratory: Characterisation of a novel regulator of cell division

Honours or PhD student Aberrant cell growth and division is a hallmark of cancer. A number of checkpoints exist to regulate the passage of cells through cell division cycle to ensure that cells copies their DNA and divide it equally amongst two daughter cells. One of the major interests in our lab is to define […]

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Signal Transduction Laboratory: Understanding the pathophysiological role of novel repair proteins

Honours or PhD student Cells have developed a vast array of repair and signalling proteins in order to prevent the loss of valuable genetic information that results from DNA damage. Our work centres on elucidating the roles of two newly identified single-stranded DNA binding proteins designated as SSB1 and SSB2 that plays a crucial role […]

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