Study level

  • Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

In progress.

Research centre

External supervisors

  • Dr Lochlan Fennell, QIMR Berghofer


Colorectal cancer is responsible for over 5,000 deaths each year, with most deaths resulting from the spread of cancer to distant sites. When this occurs, cancer is said to be metastatic. When colorectal cancer is metastatic, chemotherapy becomes the mainstay of treatment. Responses to chemotherapy are mixed, and resistance and progression occur in more than 95% of patients.

There is a need to enhance responses to common chemotherapeutics to improve patient outcomes. This project will investigate combining common and safe compounds with chemotherapy to improve anticancer activity.

This project is based at QIMR Berghofer (Herston).

Research activities

Research activities include:

  • laboratory experiments
  • data collection
  • data entry
  • data analysis.

You'll gain experience in techniques in cell and molecular biology, including:

  • cell culture
  • drug screening assays
  • PCR
  • western blotting.

You'll have access to supervision and training, lab desk, desk space and a computer.


You'll be expected to present your findings to the research group at the end of your placement.

Skills and experience

The project is looking for second- and third-year students with a background in biomedical science.

You'll be expected to understand basic molecular and cell biology concepts and techniques.



Contact the supervisor for more information: