Cancer Seminar Series

Join us for this interdisciplinary seminar series highlighting cutting edge clinical, translational, and basic research topics in cancer from our research partner institutes: UQ Diamantina, QUT and the Mater. Focussing primarily on communicating the findings of early-to-mid career researchers, new faculty members along with notable guest speakers, this seminar series serves as an important tool to promote discussion and collaboration.

Key Researchers
  • Dr Jatin Patel
  • Dr Jenni Gunter
  • Dr Mark Adams
  • Dr Yaowu He

Key Aims
  • Promote researchers
  • Encourage discussion 
  • Enable collaboration
  • Share techniques

Date Presenter Seminar Title Speaker Bio Location and Time
Thurs 16 September  Maddison Rose Targeting Banf1 in Triple Negative Breast Cancer   Maddison is a PhD student within the Cancer and Ageing Research Program, under the supervision of Dr Emma Bolderson at QUT. Her PhD project investigates the role of the nuclear envelope in Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)  tumourigenesis and whether the nuclear envelope may be a novel target for anti-cancer therapy. To address this question, Maddison’s work largely focuses on targeting key nuclear envelope proteins in TNBC cellular models as a method to inhibit tumour cell growth and metastasis. 


Thurs 15 April

Dr Kevin Gillinder

Ms Ghazaleh Hashemi

"New Targets for JAK/STAT Signalling in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms" presented by Dr Kevin Gillinder

"The Effect of Conditional Sox9 Knockout in the Endothelium on Melanoma Tumour Vascularisation and Metastasis" presented by Ghazaleh Hashemi

Kevin Gillinder is a Research Fellow within the Frazer Group at UQDI. He is a Molecular Biologist and Bioinformatician utilising advanced genomics techniques like SLAM-seq, ChIP-seq, & ATAC-seq to study the function of transcription factors and cell signalling. His research focuses on understanding how these functions may be disrupted by mutation and developing new strategies for therapeutic manipulation

Ghazaleh graduated from the University of Adelaide in 2018 with a bachelor of Molecular Biology (Biochemistry). She graduated with first-class honours from the University of Queensland in 2019, where she continued her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Khosrotehrani. She is currently investigating the vascularisation and metastasis in the melanoma tumour.

9:00am - 10:00am

TRI Auditorium and
Zoom 835 6021 2942

Thurs 18 March Dr. Snehlata Kumari Necroptosis and apoptosis signalling pathways in regulating inflammation

I completed my PhD from the University Clinic in Cologne, Germany on understanding the role of NF-B signalling in skin inflammation. Post PhD, I moved to the Institute for Genetics at the University of Cologne in Germany to do my postdoctoral work and identified essential roles of NF-B, apoptosis and necroptosis signalling pathways in regulating skin inflammation. 

Inflammation is crucial to tumor development and progression, but a lack of inflammation defines poor outcomes of the therapeutic approaches, such as immunotherapy. My research focuses on understanding of immunomodulatory signals regulating inflammatory processes to develop targeted therapeutic strategies in fighting against cancer and skin inflammation. 

9:00am - 10:00am

TRI Auditorium and
Zoom 835 6021 2942

Thurs 4 March

Associate Professor Kristen Radford

Principal Research Fellow, Cancer Immunotherapies Group
Mater Research Institute

Next generation vaccines for cancer

A/Prof Radford is the Group Leader for the Cancer Immunotherapies Research Team at Mater Research. Their research is currently focused on understanding human dendritic cell (DC) biology and translating findings into health benefits. These rare white leukocytes are crucial for generating immune responses to eradicate cancer and many pathogens but are poorly understood in humans. This research group has developed novel research tools, including humanised mice models, which are highly sought after in the biomedical world and continues to lead in this area.

9:00am - 10:00am

TRI Auditorium and
Zoom 835 6021 2942



Seminar Details Speaker Title Speaker Bio

Date: Thursday 26 November

Time: 9am - 10am

Zoom ID: 83560212942


Date: Thursday 12 November

Time: 9am - 10am

Zoom ID: 83560212942

Dr Samantha Stehbens

Dr Sri Srinivasan 

"+TIP-dependent Tuning of Microtubule Mechanical Flexibility Protects Cells Navigating Confined Environments." Presented by Dr Samantha Stehbens

"Functional characterization of a prostate cancer genetic variant that confers lower risk is also associated with aggressive disease and poor survival" Presented by Dr Sri Srinivasan

Dr Stehbens is a cell biologist with a long-standing interest in understanding the fundamental mechanisms that regulate cell adhesion and the cytoskeleton. She has made key contributions to the fields of quantitative microscopy, cell motility, adhesion and the cytoskeleton with publications spanning multiple fields from ion channels in brain cancer, to growth factor signalling and autophagy. Her research group aims to understand the fundamental principles of how cells integrate secreted and biomechanical signals from their local microenvironment to facilitate movement and survival. They have uncovered an entirely novel role for the microtubule cytoskeleton in protecting cells from cortical and nuclear rupture during cell migration in 3D cell migration and invasion. Using patient-derived tumour cells, coupled to genetic alteration and substrate microfabrication, they use state-of-the-art microscopy to understand the mechanisms of cell migratory behaviour required for cancer cells to traverse the body during metastasis

Dr Sri Srinivasan is an Advance Queensland Early Career Research Fellow in the Molecular Genetics group at QUT. Dr Srinivasan was awarded PhD in 2016 from QUT and her research focuses on delineating the biology of GWAS identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with prostate cancer risk. Dr Srinivasan uses diverse model systems, including patient-derived organoids, mouse xenografts to explore the functional biology of genetic variants and their effect on the prostate cancer diagnosis. Her research has contributed to identification of a coding SNP that may impact the current PSA testing and was published in Clinical Chemistry

Date: Thursday 29 October

Time: 9am - 10am

Zoom ID: 83560212942

Dr Patrick Thomas (QBCI and QUT) and Dr Laura Genovesi (UQDI)

"Initiation of a Precision Medicine Program in Bladder Cancer Utilizing Bladder Cancer Organoids" Presented by Dr Patrick Thomas (QBCI and QUT)

"Systems pharmacogenomics identifies novel targets and clinically actionable therapeutics for Medulloblastoma" Presented by Dr Laura Genovesi (UQDI)

Initiation of a Precision Medicine Program in Bladder Cancer Utilizing Bladder Cancer Organoids
Bio: Dr Patrick Thomas is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Queensland Bladder Cancer Initiative (QBCI) and part-time academic in the School of Biomedical Sciences, QUT. Dr Thomas’ research focuses directly on patient-derived tumour models, immuno-oncology, microbiology and genomics in urological cancers - with the aim to develop personalised prediction models for therapy response. Dr Thomas is a team member of the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre (APCRC-Q), a proud 9-year Movember veteran and board member of Prostate Awareness Australia (PAA).

Dr Laura Genovesi is a Cure Brain Cancer Early Career Research Fellow in the Paediatric Brain Tumour group at UQDI.  Dr Genovesi was awarded her PhD in 2012  from the University of Western Australia and relocated to the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) at the University of Queensland to commence her post-doctoral studies in the laboratory of Prof. Brandon Wainwright.  Dr Genovesi's post-doctoral research focuses on characterising and targeting the genetic networks driving medulloblastoma growth. Dr Genovesi uses diverse model systems, including patient derived xenografts and genetically engineered mouse models,  to explore both basic tumour biology and response to therapy.  Her work has contributed to the therapeutic application of CDK4/6 inhibitors in the treatment of medulloblastoma, forming the basis of an international clinical trial.

Date: Thursday 15 October

Time: 9am - 10am

Zoom ID: 83560212942

Dr Nathalie Bock or Dr Yaowu He

"A microtissue-engineered osteoblastic model reveals the effects of anti-androgen therapies in the bone tumor microenvironment of prostate cancer" Presented by Dr Nathalie Bock

“Blocking aurora kinase B improves the efficacies of chemotherapies for ovarian cancer” Presented by Dr Yaowu He

Dr Nathalie Bock is a Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the Regenerative Medicine Program at QUT. Her research is about developing biomimetic 3D cell culture model systems using advanced biomaterials and tissue engineering technologies, to study bone biology and bone metastases. One of the research goals in Dr Bock’s lab includes the development of in vitro preclinical models for personalised drug testing in prostate and breast cancer. Dr Bock has expertise in controlled drug delivery, biofabrication, hydrogels and fibre-based scaffolds, bone tissue engineering, 4D imaging and bone cancer biology.

Date: Thursday 1 October

Time: 9am - 10am

Zoom ID: 83560212942

Dr Camille Guillerey and Dr Seth Cheetham

"Developing new tools to investigate Natural Killer cell responses to Childhood Leukaemia" Presented by Dr Camille Guillerey

"Nanopore sequencing enables comprehensive profiling of transposable element insertions and epigenetic states in cancer" Presented by Dr Seth Cheetham

Dr Camille Guillerey is a Senior Research Officer in the Cancer Immunotherapies Group at Mater Research. She leads a small team of 3 researchers and students.
Through her first postdoc at QIMR Berghofer, Camille has made integral contributions to improve knowledge on immune responses to blood cancers. She identified the immune molecules TIGIT and CD137 as promising targets in immune multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer. Camille joined A/Prof Kristen Radford’s group in late 2018. Camille’s research is currently focused on Natural Killer cells, a population of immune cells that recognise and kill cancer cells. She aims to identify mechanisms that may prevent Natural Killer cells from eliminating cancer cells and apply these findings to develop new treatments for childhood leukemia.

Dr Seth Cheetham is an NHMRC Early Career Fellow in Professor Geoffrey Faulkner’s Group at Mater Research Institute-UQ. Seth conducted his Honours project with Professor John Mattick at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at UQ, focussed on differentiating human protein-coding and noncoding RNA transcripts. For his PhD, he joined the group of Professor Andrea Brand at the University of Cambridge to study the functions of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in neural development and the mechanisms through which they act. Dr Cheetham’s current research focuses on deciphering the functions of repetitive elements in cancer using novel tools including third generation sequencing platforms and DamID-based approaches.  

Date: Thursday 3 September

Time: 9am - 10am

Zoom ID: 83560212942

Dr Arun Everest-Dass and A/Prof Daniel Kolarich

"Painting Sweet Pictures: Glycomics using Mass Spectrometry" presented by Dr Arun Everest Dass

"Deciphering the Glyco-Language of Diseases" presented by A/Prof Daniel Kolarich

Dr Arun Everest-Dass is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Glycomics (Griffith University). He is the mass-spectrometry imaging lead at the Institute and is developing novel techniques to image and map glycans from tissues and cells. Dr Everest-Dass is furthering this field of study through the development of novel mass-spectrometry methods for glycomics, proteomics, and glycoproteomics. In his presentation, he will show several examples demonstrating the application of imaging mass spectrometry to study cellular glycosylation changes in diseases, such as cancer, in sub-typing and delineation of highly heterogeneous tissues.

Dr Daniel Kolarich is a research leader at the Institute for Glycomics (Griffith University). He was awarded an ARC future fellowship in late 2016 and joined the Institute for Glycomics at Griffith University in January 2017 continuing his research in disease and evolutionary glycomics and glycoproteomics. In his presentation, he will present the latest technical advances how glycan can be sequenced, and how this information can be used to better understand molecular interactions and disease pathogenesis.

Date: Thursday 20 August

Time: 9am - 10am

Zoom ID: 83560212942

Mitchell Stark and Mark Adams 

“Mutational signatures in benign neoplasms of the skin”presented by Mitchell Stark 

"Enhancing chemotherapy response in non-small cell lung cancers" presented by Mark Adams

Dr Stark is currently a University of Queensland (UQ) Amplify Research Fellow based in the Dermatology Research Centre, at The UQ Diamantina Institute. He was awarded his PhD in 2015 and has been actively working in the field of melanoma and naevi genomics and biomarker development for 20+ years. Prior to relocating to UQ, he was trained and mentored at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (1999-2015). Over this time Dr Stark has been working towards understanding the aetiology of melanoma, studying gene dysregulation during tumour progression along with predisposition to melanoma in families with high risk for melanoma development. His teams primary research focus is identifying early signs of melanoma progression via ‘melanoma-specific’ microRNAs as well as genomic profiling of precursor skin lesions that may be useful for clinical management of disease. He is the author of 68 scientific publications and one patent (h-index, 34).

Mark Adams is currently a Strategic Research Fellow at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation-Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He completed his PhD at the Mater Research Institute-University of Queensland in 2012 and with the support of an NHMRC Fellowship commenced postdoctoral work at QUT. Dr Adams now leads a team within the Cancer and Ageing Research Program (CARP) at TRI. His research focuses on exploiting genome instability and cell cycle control to identify novel therapeutic avenues and improve chemotherapy response. Dr Adams is currently supported by QUT, the International Lung Cancer Foundation and Cure Cancer Australia.

Date: Thursday 6 August

Time: 9am - 10am

Zoom ID: 83560212942

Prof Maher Gandhi  "The Molecular Landscape of Virally Driven Brain Lymphomas: An Opportunity for Targeted Therapies" 

Professor Maher Gandhi is the Executive Director of Mater Research, a practising haematologist at Princess Alexandra Hospital and former Leukaemia Foundation Chair of Blood Cancer Research at UQ.
His research interest is the immunobiology of lymphoma, with a strong emphasis on translational patient-orientated biomedical research.

He will present his most recent data, in which he led a large international consortium to provide the first large-scale characterisation of an extremely rare and hitherto un-investigated sub-type of a highly aggressive lymphoma. His results led the development of a novel treatment regimen that is currently in undergoing a world-first Australia-wide clinical trial.

Date: Thursday 9 July

Time: 9am - 10am

Zoom ID: 83560212942

A/Prof Theresa Hickey  "Androgen receptor signalling trans-repressses estrogen receptor signalling in breast cancer"

Associate Professor Theresa Hickey is the Scientific Program Leader of the Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories (DRMCRL), Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide and a current National Breast Cancer Foundation Research (NCBF) Fellow.

She is internationally recognised for her research on sex hormone action in female reproductive tissues and disorders, with specific expertise in breast cancer. Theresa has pioneered new treatment strategies for breast cancer and established a patient-derived ex vivo culture methodology as a powerful new pre-clinical tool for drug development. Her group’s innovative work in this area has attracted substantial national and international interest in using the ex vivo culture technique as a pre-clinical model in several different tumour types.

Date: Thursday 11 June

Time: 9am - 10am

Zoom ID: 834 0347 4071

Dr Laura Sormani and Dr Honor Hugo

"CLEC12B : a new player in skin pigmentation and melanoma" presented by Dr Laura Sormani 

"Heparanase promotes Syndecan-1 expression to mediate fibrillar collagen and mammographic density in human breast tissue cultured ex vivo" presented by Dr Honor Hugo

Dr Laura Sormani is a research officer post-doctoral fellow interested in the biology of melanoma genesis and progression. She completed her PhD in 2019 at the Mediterranean Centre for Molecular Medicine (C3M, Côte d’Azur University, Nice, France) under the supervision of Professor Thierry Passeron, a world leading expert in skin pigmentation.  During her PhD she discovered, patented and characterized a novel pigmentation gene CLEC12B demonstrating a key role not only in skin pigmentation but also in melanonagenesis, thereby exerting functions beyond immunity and inflammation. Dr Laura Sormani has recently joined the lab of Professor Kiarash Khosrotehrani at the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute as a postdoctoral fellow to work on the molecular pathways involved in melanoma vascularisation.

Dr Honor Hugo (PhD) joined the School of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology as a Research Officer and Lecturer in 2016 . As an award winning researcher, Dr Hugo and a team of scientists at QUT, who have active and ongoing connections with industry aim to develop alternate ways of detecting breast density without exposing women to ionizing radiation, as occurs in mammography. The other component of her research focuses on understanding the underlying biological mechanism through which mammographically dense breast tissue increases the risk of developing breast cancer, employing a unique mammary tissue explant approach. Her recent publication defines the use of single-sided NMR technology to determine mammographic density change in this explant model, a world first in this field of research. 


Date: Thursday 19 March

Time: 9am-10am

Venue: Seminar Room 2003

A/Prof Fiona Simpson  Endocytosis Inhibition in Humans to Improve Responses to ADCC-Mediating Antibodies

Fiona Simpson leads her cancer research team in the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute and has been working for last 10 years analysing patient and immune responses to monoclonal antibody therapies. Her research program brings together Clinicians, Chemists, Pathologists, cell biologists and immunologists and emphasises the translation of research findings into therapies.  Today she will be discussing her recent high impact manuscript published in Cell.

Date: Thursday 5 March

Seminar: 9am-10am

Venue: Seminar Room 2003

Professor John Hooper (Mater Research Institute) Standing on the outside looking in - models and molecular targets for advanced ovarian and pancreactic cancer

John Hooper leads the Cancer Biology Laboratory at the Mater Research Institute UQ. His research focus is on cancers of the ovary, pancreas, prostate and bowel, studying the molecular drivers of these malignancies and pre-clinical testing of new diagnostic/predictive tools and drug leads. His laboratory works closely with clinical teams involved in the care of cancer patients, and with companies engaged in the translation of biomedical discoveries for clinical use.

Date: Thursday 5 March

Seminar: 9am-10am

Venue: Seminar Room 2003

Dr. Brittney Harrington (NIH, Maryland)

Drugs targeting ovarian cancer tumour-initiating cells enhance oxidative stress and prevent disease recurrence

Dr. Brittney Harrington is a Postdoctoral Fellow performing translational research at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, USA. Dr. Harrington completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Queensland, and Mater Research Institute in Brisbane, Australia. Dr. Harrington's research is focused on the discovery of new targeted therapies for ovarian cancer and using clinically relevant models of the disease. 

Date: Tuesday 20 February 

Seminar: 9am-10am

Venue: Seminar Room 2003

Dr Pascal Dujf Chromosome arm aneuploidies shape tumour evolution and drug response

Dr Pascal Duijf obtained a Bachelor's degree in Biology and a Master's degree in Medical Biology from the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands and was awarded two scholarships that enabled him to gain research experience in cell biology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA in the United States. His research focuses on identifying the causes and consequences of genomic instability in the development of cancer (see also 'Research Interests' below for more details). He aims to translate this knowledge into the development of cancer diagnostic, therapeutic and precision medicine approaches. To achieve this, he uses a broad range of methods, including mouse modelling, genome editing, microscopy, cell and molecular biology, molecular pathology, proteomics and computational systems genomics.