Identifying cancer-causing genetic mutations

Professor Matt Brown is working to develop treatments, for cancer and immune-related diseases, based on a knowledge of genetic mutations and variants. 

Head Researcher

Professor Matt Brown

Team Members
  • A/Prof Paul Leo
  • Professor Emma Duncan
  • Dr Tony Kenna
  • Others
Body Part The whole body
Equipment Used

Sequencing and genotyping equipment

Research Areas


Disease Cancer, Autoimmune, Infectious, and Neurological diseases
Commercial Partnerships Novartis, Abbvie, UCB, Clementia, Regeneron
Institutions Queensland University of Technology, Princess Alexandra Hospital

About the Project

The Australian Translational Genomics Centre (ATGC) will enable around 2,000 Queenslanders a year access to DNA sequencing technology to identify cancer-causing genetic mutations.  It will also enable significant research into cancer causation, helping bridge the gap between genomic science and clinical care for cancer patients.  Researchers and clinicians will be able to identify the mutations which cause individual cancers, and which affect response to treatments like immunotherapies and chemotherapy. 

Headed by Professor Matthew Brown and based at Princess Alexandra Hospital, the Centre is a partnership between the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Queensland Health; and is an affiliated laboratory of the Translational Research Institute (TRI).

Professor Matt Brown is also Chief Scientist of a new Centre for Precision Medicine at First Affiliated Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, China.    It was the alma mater of Professor Zhou Jian, co-inventor of the Gardasil HPV vaccine with Professor Ian Frazer.  The Centre for Precision Medicine is a collaboration between Wenzhou Medical University and QUT.  The Wenzhou Centre for Precision Medicine will for the first time bring modern genomics to the clinic for Wenzhou’s cancer patients.

In other translational research, Professor Brown leads the global effort to identify genes involved in the common immune-mediated disease, ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and to determine how they cause the disease.

This has had a significant international effect on AS research and has led to successful trials of new therapeutics, and spurred the introduction of new drugs for the disease which are now in clinical practice.

They have also pioneered studies of the role of the gut microbiome in driving AS, leading to global research programs investigating how bacteria carried in the gut drive the disease, and how manipulating the gut bacteria may be therapeutic or preventative for the condition.

Brown and his colleagues also run a specialist service for AS patients at the PA Hospital which allows them to provide excellent clinical service and, in turn, this direct access means they are one of very few groups worldwide able to do functional research directly in AS patients.

Professor Brown and his team have also made major contributions in identifying genes which cause other human diseases including motor neurone disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and different forms of cancer.  They have been key developers of the use of DNA sequencing to identify single gene disorders, methods that are now in routine clinical use in clinical genetics.

Professor brown's Research is a T4

> For further information on the commercial development or donating to this project contact Professor Matt Brown email [email protected]

Professor Matt Brown