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Testing a promising targeted therapeutic for triple-negative breast cancer

Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) are negative for Estrogen Receptor, Progesterone Receptor and HER2 expression, are clinically aggressive and cannot be treated with the available hormonal or targeted drugs used for other breast cancer subtypes. TNBC accounts for 15-20% of all invasive breast cancer and patients have increased risk of recurrence, mortality and metastases early during disease progression. There is an urgent clinical need to develop improved treatment strategies for these women since the median survival of patients with metastatic TNBC …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
974877
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Can virus-based defective interfering particles (DIPS) be used to treat dengue infection?

Infection by dengue virus causes incapacitating and potentially dangerous acute disease in humans. Dengue is a mosquito-borne infectious disease with about 100 million serious clinical infections annually. Considerable effort in drug development is underway, but no effective drug therapy is available. A major difficulty for drug development is the rapid evolution of RNA viruses, like dengue virus, which presents a major challenge for controlling virus transmission and infection using conventional pharmaceuticals and vaccines.This project is based on the observation that …

Study level
Master of Philosophy
Faculty
974877
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

933923

Investigating differences in downstream signalling mediated by two isoforms of FGFR2 in endometrial cancer

FGFR2 encodes two alternatively spliced isoforms that differ in their ligand binding domain and the combination of tissue specific expression of these isoforms and tissue specific expression of the FGF ligands is the foundation of normal paracrine signalling. Isoform switching from FGFR2b (inclusion of exon 8) to FGFR2c (inclusion of exon 9) occurs in tumorigenesis as it establishes an autocrine loop in epithelial cancer cells.We have previously published a detailed investigation into differences between wildtype FGFR2b and mutant FGFR2b following …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
974877
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Investigating the activities of clinically significant arboviruses from 2002 to 2017 in Australia: possible implications for blood transfusion safety

Arboviruses are a significant concern for public health in Australia and worldwide. More than 75 arboviruses have been identified in Australia.1 Three of the most common and clinically important arboviruses in Australia today include Ross River virus (RRV), Barmah Forest virus (BFV) and dengue virus (DENV). These mosquito-borne diseases have exhibited an upward trend in case numbers in Australia since 2002.Concern has arisen that these numbers will only continue to increase as a result of climate change. Vector-borne disease risk …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
974877
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Metagenomic analysis of bacterial contamination screening pooled platelets

Bacterial sepsis is second only to ABO incompatibility as a cause of death from transfusion. Bacterial contamination of platelets is recognised as the most significant residual infectious risk of transfusion in developed countries. Bacterial Contamination Screening (BCS) has been required for testing of pooled and apheresis platelets manufactured by the Blood Service since April 2008. International microbiological culture studies suggest that the incidence of bacterial contamination ranges from 1:3000 to 1:1000 units of apheresis platelets and 1 in 600 to …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
974877
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Epigenetic regulation of non-coding RNAs in hypoxic tumours

At the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood (Lifeblood) we collect, screen and manufacture blood components for clinical use. Innovative and imaginative research and development (R&D) is fundamental for the success of Lifeblood, supporting core activities, removing risk and adding value. The role of R&D’s world class researchers is to conduct leading edge research, continually scanning the horizon for new and emerging opportunities or threats and facilitating the translation of research outcomes to the blood transfusion community and the broader health and …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
974877
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Determining the theapeutic efficiency 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 are key drivers of cancer progression. However, very few drugs targeting epigenetic modifiers have been successful, in part due to the lack of effective means …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
974877
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Potential for defective interfering particles (DIPS) to interrupt mammal-mosquito transmission of dengue virus

Dengue is a major mosquito-borne disease affecting 390 million people annually across 100 countries. Disease results from infection with dengue viruses, which are single positive-stranded RNA viruses in the family Flaviviridae. Defective interfering particles (DIPs) are virus-like particles with greatly reduced genomes that are byproducts of RNA virus replication and replicate only in the presence of standard virus (Vignuzzi and Lopez 2019, doi: 10.1038/s41564-019-0465-y). DIPs occur naturally during Dengue infection (Li et al. 2011, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019447) and suppress DENV replication …

Study level
Master of Philosophy
Faculty
974877
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Characterisation of melanoma cell membranes to identify novel drug targets

Cell membrane structure and function are altered during tumour development, but to date comprehensive studies on the characterisation of cell membranes of a given cancer are scarce, or are only focused on a particular property (e.g. overall charge, global lipid composition, or specific lipid). In preliminary work we compared the lipidome (i.e. the lipid profile) of a panel of cells, and found the lipid composition of model melanoma cells to be distinct from that of other cancerous and non-cancerous cells. …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
974877
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Using a natural β-carboline dimer compound to target metabolic vulnerabilities linked to glycolysis in prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is an androgen dependent cancer and treatments are aimed at preventing activation of the androgen receptor. Part of the development of resistance to therapies involves prostate cancers reprogramming their metabolism to overcome metabolic stress induced by these therapies and support growth and survival. This reprogramming involves increases in the rate of glycolysis and intermediate pathways branching from glycolysis. Previously in our laboratory, the natural compound, beta-carboline dimer, BD, was identified to have potent effects on cell viability, cell …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
974877
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

An airway chip for screening viral infection mediated immune responses

Respiratory infections such as influenza, SARS-COV-2, , and MERS are increasingly prevalent. Complications and related deaths arising from these infections are often the result of a “cytokine storm”, whereby there is an over production of proinflammatory soluble factors by immune cells, which dictates symptoms severity and mortality risk [1]. Recent works showed that immunomodulatory therapy with or without antiviral agents may improve recovery outcome. However, the screening of suitable immune-modulatory and antiviral agents relies heavily on animal models which cannot …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
974877
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

A novel molecular targeted therapy for anaplastic prostate cancer

In advanced PCa, where the cancer has spread into the bone and other organs, the emergence of treatment resistance remains inevitable. For decades the primary form of treatment in advanced PCa has been to target the production and actions of male sex hormones, androgens, the primary developmental and survival factor of prostate tissue. While these therapies result in tumour regression and cancer control, this is temporary and treatment resistance occurs, referred to as castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). In the …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
974877
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

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