Director: CRUK Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre; Director: MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (MRC-IGMM) , United Kingdom
Margaret Frame is a biomedical research scientist with interests in novel cancer mechanisms, as evidenced by deep biology, imaging and new approaches to drug discovery and cancer therapeutics – work that has been funded by five successive CRUK (or predecessor charity) Programme grants and more recently also by an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant.
From 2002-2007, Margaret was Deputy Director of the core funded CRUK Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow, after which she moved to the University of Edinburgh (UoE). Currently she is Professor of Cancer Research, Director of the CRUK Edinburgh Cancer Centre and Director of the MRC-IGMM (Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine), having recently stepped down as Dean of Research in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine (UoE). Margaret is very active in supporting the scientific careers of early- and mid-stage researchers (the MRC-IGMM has 25 early-career Chancellor’s Fellows, 20 of whom have won personal fellowships or substantial other grant funding). She supports early career researchers, both clinical and non-clinical, an interest that stems from her time as Chairman of the CRUK New Investigator Panel and from her own experiences when building a research career during the ‘young family’ years (3 adult sons). She is currently co-Chair of the Academy of Medical Sciences Careers Committee and member of Lister Institute Scientific Advisory Committee, a Wellcome Trust Expert Review Group and an ERC Funding Panel, as well as chairman, or member, of several international scientific advisory boards.
Margaret was awarded the Tenovus Medal in 1999, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2002, an EMBO Member in 2007 and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2009. She was awarded the Chancellor’s prize for Research - presented by HRH The Princess Royal (the Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh). She recently served as President of the British Association for Cancer Research and Chaired the 2018 National (UK) Cancer Research Institute meeting. She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Honours List in 2018 for services to cancer research.
Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore
Professor Patrick Tan is a professor at the Duke-NUS Medical School and Deputy Executive Director of the Biomedical Research Council (Agency for Science, Technology and Research). He directs PRISM, the SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Precision Medicine, and was Program Director of POLARIS which established the first CAP-certified facilities for next-generation sequencing and the first clinically implemented NGS panel in South East Asia, which to date has been been applied to >1000 cancer patients.
He received his B.A. (summa cum laude) from Harvard University and MD PhD degree from Stanford University, where he received the Charles Yanofsky prize for Most Outstanding Graduate Thesis in Physics, Biology or Chemistry. Other awards include the President’s Scholarship, Loke Cheng Kim scholarship, Young Scientist Award (A-STAR), Singapore Youth Award (twice), SingHealth Investigator Excellence Award, Chen New Investigator Award (Human Genome Organization), President’s Science Award, and the Japanese Cancer Association International Award. In 2018, he received the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Team Science Award as Team Leader, representing the first time a team from Asia has received the award. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the Bioethics Advisory Committee (BAC), a Board Member of the International Gastric Cancer Association, and co-chair of the Singapore National Precision Medicine Program Steering Committee.
McGill University Montreal, QC, CANADA
Dr Nada Jabado is a Professor of Pediatrics at McGill University and pediatric neuro-oncologist at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. She completed her residency in pediatrics with a specialization in hemato-oncology. She also obtained a PhD in Immunology in Paris, France, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in biochemistry at McGill. She began her career as an independent investigator at McGill in 2003, pioneering a research program in pediatric brain tumors which is now unparalleled. Her group uncovered that pediatric high-grade astrocytomas (HGA) are molecularly and genetically distinct from adult tumors. More importantly, they identified a new molecular mechanism driving pediatric HGA, namely recurrent somatic driver mutations in the tail of histone 3 variants (H3.3 and H3.1).
Dr. Jabado's ground-breaking work has created a paradigm shift in cancer with the identification of histone mutations in human disease which has revolutionized this field, as the epigenome was a previously unsuspected hallmark of oncogenesis, thus linking development and what we now know are epigenetic-driven cancers. She has over 160 peer-reviewed publications to her credit, with an impressive number of senior-author, high-impact publications in such prominent journals as Nature Genetics, Nature, Science and Cancer Cell, to name a few. She has over 16,000 citations and an h-index of 67 and many of her publications are considered landmark papers. Nada is an international leader in the field of neuro-oncology/cancer, honored by invitations as s keynote speaker at top ranked symposia and universities. Dr. Jabado has received numerous national and international honors while garnering prestigious salary support awards throughout her career. She is one of the best-funded investigators in Canada, with grants from CIHR, Genome Canada, NIH as well as philanthropic organizations. She has been inducted as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada, a member of the CIHR Governing Council, a member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and was recently awarded the Israel Cancer Research Fund Award for Women of Action.
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Dr Kristin Brown is a group leader in the Cancer Therapeutics Program at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Melbourne. Her research laboratory investigates mechanisms that drive response or resistance to chemotherapy and targeted therapy agents in breast cancer. This knowledge is applied to the pre-clinical development of novel and more effective interventions for breast cancer therapy.
Christine's passion and career focus is understanding the mechanisms driving human cancer development, progression and metastasis. Christine has challenged, and changed, pre‐established paradigms in cancer biology, and has multiple high-impact papers demonstrating the effects of cancer cell plasticity on driving tumour progression and development into metastatic disease. Her strengths include mammary gland biology, breast cancer biology, cancer stem cells/tumour-initiating cells and cellular transitions, including the epithelial‐to‐mesenchymal (EMT) and the reverse process, the mesenchymal‐to‐epithelial (MET) transition.
Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University
Roger is a Professor of Signalling Network Biology, Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Head of the Biomedicine Discovery Institute Cancer Program at Monash University. Roger’s research focus is tyrosine kinase signalling mechanisms and their deregulation in cancer. Over the last 7 years he has established cutting-edge technology platforms in mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics and kinomics, and has successfully applied these to characterization of cancer signaling networks.
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
The Davis Laboratory studies the regulatory networks that control the behaviour of cells in normal and cancerous tissues. We approach these questions with a suite of computational techniques that include classical bioinformatics methods, knowledge-based modelling, machine learning, and network analysis. Our current focus is understanding the signalling and regulatory networks that underpin epithelial-mesenchymal transitions in breast cancer.
Harry Perkins Institute, UWA
Ruth Ganss is a Research Professor at the Perkins and NHMRC Senior Research Fellow. Her team studies vascular and stromal remodelling in the context of tumour growth and cardiovascular pathologies. During the last decade, her research at the University of California, San Francisco and the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg has focused on blood vessels as the interface between immunology and cancer research. Her current studies at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research aim to identify convergent and common mechanisms in the pathogenesis of two major disease groups, namely cancer and cardiovascular disease.
University of Sydney
Associate Professor Jeff Holst leads the Translational Cancer Metabolism Laboratory in the Adult Cancer Program at the University of NSW. The Translational Cancer Metabolism Laboratory is focussed on understanding the role of amino acid uptake and metabolism in melanoma, breast and prostate cancer. The lab examines the basic biology regulating amino acid transporter expression and function, the downstream metabolic pathways, as well as developing new therapeutics to target the transporters and metabolic processes.
Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University
Nick Huntington’s team aims to understand how the many diverse types of white blood cells develop, and how constant numbers of these cells are maintained throughout our life. We strive to comprehend how certain genes and tissue environments:
• Instruct the development of white blood cells.
• Maintain the numbers of different types of white blood cells.
• Prime the protective functions of white blood cells.
Olivia Newton John Cancer Research Institute
Peter Janes completed his PhD on receptor tyrosine kinases in breast cancer at the Garvan Institute (Sydney) followed by postdoctoral positions in cancer cell signalling at the National Institute for Medical Research (London) and the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre (Melbourne).
In 2003, he moved to Monash University to work with Martin Lackmann, on cell surface proteins implicated in cancer, supported by NHMRC Howard Florey and CDA Fellowships.
Peter has recently moved his laboratory to the Tumor Targeting Program at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, and took up an Adjunct Associate Professor position at La Trobe University in the School of Cancer Medicine. He continues to focus on the role of Eph cell guidance receptors and ADAM metalloproteases in cancer, and developing antibodies against these targets as potential therapies.
Associate Professor Laura Mackay is a Principle Research Fellow at The Peter Doherty Institute at The University of Melbourne, and holds an Adjunct appointment at the Singapore Immunology Network at A*STAR in Singapore. Her Laboratory studies memory T cell responses, with a focus on the signals that control tissue-resident memory T cell differentiation, with a view to harness these cells to develop new treatments against infection and cancer.
Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University
Professor Christina Mitchell is currently Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University. Professor Mitchell is a physician scientist who has made major contributions to the field of intracellular signalling and haematology. Her work has concentrated on the regulation of phosphoinositide signalling by the inositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatases and their role in human diseases. In April 2015, she was the recipient of the 2015 Lemberg Medal, awarded annually to a distinguished biochemist in Australia. Also in 2015, she became a memberof the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. She is also a Sir John Monash Distinguished Professor.
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Dr Jane Oliaro obtained her BSc (Hons) degree from Monash University in Melbourne and PhD from Massey University in New Zealand, followed by an INSERM postdoctoral fellowship in Montpellier, France. She returned to her hometown Melbourne to undertake postdoctoral work at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and in 2015 became Head of the Immune Defence Laboratory at the Peter Mac. Her laboratory focuses on the regulation of cytotoxic lymphocyte-tumour cell interactions, and therapies that enhance anti-tumour immunity.
Dr Marina Pajic completed her PhD in 2008 at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), where she investigated chemoresistance mechanisms in childhood cancers. Dr Pajic’s postdoctoral work in the group of Professor Piet Borst at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) led to discovery of key new mechanisms behind treatment-induced resistance in breast cancer. Her research focus is to understand the role of –omic alterations in pancreatic cancer progression and treatment failure and develop new effective treatment approaches.
Centre for Cancer Biology, University of Adelaide
Stuart Pitson is a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Research Professor at the Centre for Cancer Biology, Adelaide, Australia. His research has primarily focused on the molecular mechanisms governing the sphingosine kinases, the pivotal enzymes controlling sphingolipid metabolism, determining how these are altered in disease, and approaches to target these to improve human health. His laboratory has made a number of important contributions to the field, including the cloning of the first human sphingosine kinase, and identification of key phosphorylations and protein interactions relating to the sphingosine kinases that have (patho)physiological significance, as well as the development of novel inhibitors with potential clinical application.
Hudson Institute of Medical Research & Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University
Associate Professor Joseph (Sefi) Rosenbluh is the Director of the Centre of Functional Genomics and a lab head at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Monash University as well as a Chief Investigator for the Paediatric Precision Medicine program. A/Prof Rosenbluh, an early career researcher, has made major contributions in functional cancer genomics and our understanding of how b-catenin signaling promotes cancer.
Centre for Cancer Biology
Michael Samuel is a cancer biologist and heads the Tumour Microenvironment Laboratory at the Centre for Cancer Biology, Adelaide. His research program focuses on elucidating the reciprocal biochemical and biomechanical signals travelling between tumours and their microenvironments to regulate tumour progression and metastatic potential. To underpin this work, he has established novel murine models of altered signalling that are used in his laboratory to dissect out key novel players in cancer ↔ microenvironment signalling. This has helped identify several secreted factors, validated using human samples, that provide insights into how cancers modify their microenvironments and that may be targeted to halt tumour progression and metastasis.
Olivia Newton John Cancer Research Institute
Professor Andrew Scott is Laboratory Head at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute; Director, Department of Molecular Imaging and Therapy, Austin Health; and Professor, University of Melbourne, La Trobe University, and Monash University. His clinical and research interests are focused on developing innovative strategies for targeted therapy of cancer with monoclonal antibodies, and in molecular imaging, particularly oncology applications in PET in staging cancer, as well as global issues of nuclear medicine and human health. His laboratory has been involved in the preclinical development and first-in-man trials of numerous recombinant antibodies in cancer patients, and seven antibodies developed in his laboratory have been licenced to Biotech and Pharma companies.
He is the immediate Past-President of the World Federation of Nuclear Medicine and Biology, and is on the Board of many significant organisations including the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Chair of the board of Cancer Trials Australia, member of the Scientific Committee of ARTnet, and Chair of the International Relations Committee of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine. In 2017 he was awarded Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia “for significant service to nuclear medicine and cancer research as an academic, and to professional organisations”, and elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.
Paul aims to understand pancreatic cancer in the context of the surrounding environment using cutting edge imaging technology. Pinpointing the molecular drivers of cancer progression and the environmental cues that cause resistance to current systemic therapy are the focus of his research.
His laboratory uses novel state-of-the-art intravital imaging approaches and new fluorescent mouse models to uncouple the metastatic process into key stages in order to pinpoint critical events that drive tumour invasion and metastasis. The approach permits real-time imaging, ranging from whole body tumour progression to single-cell invasion events, and helps us to understand how tumour cell (a) dissociation (b) invasion or (c) progression are controlled and how this is linked to the development of invasive or metastatic cancer.
Queensland University of Technology
Professor David Waugh is Head of School, Biomedical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, and Professor of Molecular Oncology and Therapeutics. Prior to this, David hed the position of Director of the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at Queen’s University Belfast.
David’s primary research interest lies in understanding the importance of inflammatory signals and how they contribute to the initiation and progression of prostate cancers. His work has determined the importance of specific inflammatory chemokine proteins in underpinning the aggressive behaviour of a major population of prostate cancers. Current research is focusing on how inhibiting these signals may constitute new opportunities to improve outcomes for patients with advanced prostate cancer.
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne
Dr Sarah Best's research focuses on identifying targetable driver mutations in epithelial tumours, and modelling these mutations in GEMMs. Dr Best completed her PhD in breast cancer research at the WEHI, before undertaking a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School in non-melanoma skin cancer. In 2016, Dr Best returned to the WEHI in the internationally-renowned lung cancer research laboratory under the mentorship of Dr Kate Sutherland. Dr Sutherland’s research program is dedicated to understanding the drivers of inter-tumoural heterogeneity in lung cancer, with the aim of designing precision medicine approaches for patients.
John Curtin School of Medical Research
Dr Barry Thompson established his own laboratory at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute in 2007 and studies the genes that control tissue growth and form in Drosophila and mouse models. Dr Barry Thompson has held the position of Senior Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute and will commence as an EMBL Australia Group Leader at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (at the Australian National University, Canberra) in 2019. The Thompson group aims to understand the control of tissue growth and form, with a focus on exploring how cells construct epithelial tissues during development and how epithelial tumours can arise.
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Dr. Wiede completed his PhD at the Nikolaus-Fiebiger-Centre for Molecular Medicine/University Erlangen-Nuremberg in 2005 and undertook his postdoctoral training with Prof. Tony Tiganis at Monash University in Melbourne. During this time Dr. Wiede has made some important contributions to our understanding how protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) regulate thymic and peripheral T cell development to prevent excessive responses to self. In 2018 he moved to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre where he was appointed as a theme leader in the laboratory of Prof. Tiganis. He utilises both cell-based and animal models to develop novel approaches for enhancing cytotoxic T cell responses in the context of T cell adoptive cancer immunotherapy.
Lee Wong Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute
Lee completed her PhD at Monash University. Her post-doctoral work at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute marked the beginning of her chromosome biology studies. In 2012, she established her own lab, the Epigenetics and Chromatin (EpiC) Research Laboratory, in the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Monash.
The main areas focus of Lee's group to identify new epigenetic factors that regulate centromere and telomere function. With this, she aims to uncover mechanisms that control chromosome stability and genetic transmission, of which are pertinent to cell growth, tissue differentiation and embryo development.
Recent studies have identified the frequent mutations of histone variant H3.3 and its chaperone ATRX in human cancers including childhood brain cancers. The current aim of her team is to define the normal function of H3.3 and ATRX in controlling transcription silencing at the telomeres and in the global genome. They also investigate genome-wide epigenetic defects associated with H3.3 and ATRX mutations in cancers.
Grant McArthur Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Professor Grant McArthur has an international and national reputation as a leader in the treatment of melanoma, as demonstrated by the many regular invitations to present at forums on melanoma, skin cancer and oncology. He manages a large multi-faceted basic research and clinical program, and has excellent administrative abilities.
Prof McArthur is the Head of the Molecular Oncology Laboratory, holds the Lorenzo Galli Chair in Melanoma and Skin Cancers at the University of Melbourne, is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health & Medical Science (AAHMS) and is currently the Executive Director for the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
The McArthur laboratory investigates oncogenes as therapeutic targets for cancer. By targeting oncogenic signalling in cancer and understanding the impact of this therapy on both the tumour cell and its microenvironment, we aim to develop novel treatment strategies that are durable and prevent therapy resistance. The McArthur laboratory has a specific interest in melanoma, but also investigates pancreatic and oesophageal cancer.
Major themes include:
• Defining the molecular events underpinning targeted therapy response, tolerance and resistance.
• Role of cellular metabolism in the response to targeted and immune therapies
• Immunobiology of melanoma
• Translating our pre-clinical studies into clinical trials