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Characterising a DNA repair protein as an anti-cancer therapeutic target and diagnostic marker in brain cancer

Cancer is the single biggest clinical problem facing the world and will account for half of all global deaths by 2030. Even though there have been significant advances in immunotherapy, we are still unable to cure most cancers. New therapeutic targets, individualised to patient needs, must be identified and validated in order to improve cancer outcomes.Brain cancer causes more deaths in people under the age of 40 than any other cancer and more deaths in children than any other disease. …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)
Centre for Genomics and Personalised Health

Establishing the research priorities for children's cancer in Australia

This exciting and important project involves working with children and young people diagnosed with cancer, their families, healthcare professionals and researchers across Australia. The candidate will be supported by an established group of experienced researchers in the Cancer and Palliative Care Outcomes Centre and will develop skills in mixed methods research and project management.The aim of this Australian Childhood Cancer Research Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) is to undertake a consumer led process to identify the gaps and unanswered questions about …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Nursing
Research centre(s)
Centre for Healthcare Transformation
Cancer and Palliative Care Outcomes Centre

Optimising outcomes for children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer

Each year in Australia, around 1200 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer and while most (84%) will achieve 5-year disease free survival, all will suffer significant distress from symptoms associated with cancer and treatment.High symptom burdens can lead to numerous negative outcomes that persist for many years beyond cancer treatment. These include disruptions normal development, schooling, relationships, careers, and living an independent life. This is concerning, because young people have a long time to live with these negative consequences, …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Nursing
Research centre(s)
Centre for Healthcare Transformation
Cancer and Palliative Care Outcomes Centre

Optimising delivery of a novel nose-to-brain treatment for brain cancer

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an aggressive brain cancer with no curative treatment and poor prognosis. One of the biggest challenges with treating GBM is the inability of treatment to cross the blood-brain barrier resulting in poor drug distribution in the brain. Fortunately, scientists have recently developed a novel nose-to-brain delivery system that uses nanoparticles loaded with a chemotherapy drug called paclitaxel. Initial treatment investigations in vivo are showing significant promise in reducing and controlling the tumour burden. While exciting, before …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Mathematical Sciences

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
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

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
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

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
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

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
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Investigating the role of Neuropilin-1 in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer metastasis and chemoresistance

Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) are negative for Estrogen Receptor, Progesterone Receptor and HER2 expression, are clinically aggressive and are unresponsive to the available hormonal or targeted drugs used for other breast cancer subtypes, so that TNBC patients rely mainly on chemotherapy. TNBC accounts for 15-20% of all invasive breast cancer and patients have increased risk of recurrence, mortality and early metastatic progression. Thus, there is an urgent clinical need to develop improved treatment strategies for TNBC. Neuropilin-1 (NRP1) is a …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Investigating immunosuppression downstream of activated 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. Our lab has reported that FGFR2 activation by mutations or isoform switching is associated with …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Post-translational modification of proteins in cancer

The Protein Ablation Cancer Therapeutics (PACT) laboratory are interested in understanding how post-translational modifications contribute to the tumorigenic functions of proteins in cancer cells. We hypothesise that particular post-translational modifications are required for the cancer-associated function of a protein and that prevention of these would be a useful approach to treating cancer.The aim of this project is to select a candidate protein from our database of potential targets, confirm the protein is modified, identify the key modified lysine in the …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Identification of novel melanoma biomarkers using exosomes

Tumour cells excrete exosomes, membrane vesicles (30-150 nm diameter) that encapsulate and transport proteins, metabolites and genetic material. They mediate intercellular communication within the tumor microenvironment, metastasis formation via circulation, and development of drug resistance. Circulating tumor-derived exosomes can be isolated from blood patients as a non-invasive liquid biopsy.The chemical composition and overall properties of the exosomal membranes are expected to be similar to those of parent cell membranes and to modulate blood circulation time, and uptake and targeting of …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

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