Dr Mitchell Stark

BappSc (Hons), PhD

Research Fellow


About me

Dr Mitchell Stark is a NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow from the University of Queensland Dermatology Research Centre. Dr Stark has a strong background in melanoma genomics research and has actively been working towards understanding the aetiology of melanoma for >18years; studying gene dysregulation during tumour progression along with predisposition to melanoma in families with high risk for melanoma development. More recently, his research focus involves identifying ‘melanoma-specific’ microRNAs that may be useful for clinical management of disease. In addition to miRNA signatures, one of his ongoing projects is studying the molecular hallmarks of growing and involuting naevi – the key to early detection of primary and invasive melanoma.


Selected Publications Since 2011:

1. Stark MS, Bonazzi VF, Boyle GM, Palmer JM, Symmons J, Lanagan CM, Schmidt CW, Herington AC, Ballotti R, Pollock PM, Hayward NK. miR-514a regulates the tumour suppressor NF1 and modulates BRAFi sensitivity in melanoma. Oncotarget. 2015 Jul 10;6(19):17753-63.

2. Stark MS, Klein K, Weide B, Haydu LE, Pflugfelder A, Tang YH, Palmer JM, Whiteman DC, Scolyer RA, Mann GJ, Thompson JF, Long GV, Barbour AP, Soyer HP, Garbe C, Herington A, Pollock PM, Hayward NK. The prognostic and predictive value of melanoma-related microRNAs using tissue and serum: a microRNA expression analysis. EBioMedicine. 2015 May 12;2(7):671-80. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2015.05.011. eCollection 2015 Jul. 

3. Tembe V*, Schramm S*, Stark MS*, Patrick E, Jayaswal V, Tang YH, Barbour A, Hayward NK, Thompson JF, Scolyer RA, Yang YH, Mann GJ. MicroRNA and mRNA expression profiling in metastatic melanoma reveal associations with BRAF mutation and patient prognosis. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2014 Dec 9. doi: 10.1111/pcmr.12343. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25490969 *co-author. 

4. Stark MS. miRNAs: back seat drivers no more. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2014 Apr 1. doi: 10.1111/pcmr.12247. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24690411.

5. Aoude LG, Pritchard AL, Robles-Espinoza CD, Wadt K, Harland M, Choi J, Gartside M, Quesada V, Johansson P, Palmer JM, Ramsay AJ, Zhang X, Jones K, Symmons J, Holland EA, Schmid H, Bonazzi V, Woods S, Dutton-Regester K, Stark MS, Snowden H, van Doorn R, Montgomery GW, Martin NG, Keane TM, López-Otín C, Gerdes AM, Olsson H, Ingvar C, Borg A, Gruis NA, Trent JM, Jönsson G, Bishop DT, Mann GJ, Newton-Bishop JA, Brown KM, Adams DJ, Hayward NK. Nonsense mutations in the shelterin complex genes ACD and TERF2IP in familial melanoma. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014 Dec 13;107(2). PMID: 25505254

6. Robles-Espinoza CD, Harland M, Ramsay AJ, Aoude LG, Quesada V, Ding Z, Pooley KA, Pritchard AL, Tiffen JC, Petljak M, Palmer JM, Symmons J, Johansson P, Stark MS, Gartside MG, Snowden H, Montgomery GW, Martin NG, Liu JZ, Choi J, Makowski M, Brown KM, Dunning AM, Keane TM, López-Otín C, Gruis NA, Hayward NK, Bishop DT, Newton-Bishop JA, Adams DJ. POT1 loss-of-function variants predispose to familial melanoma. Nat Genet. 2014 Mar 30. doi: 10.1038/ng.2947. [Epub ahead of print]PubMed PMID: 24686849.

7. Brooks K, Chia KM, Spoerri L, Mukhopadhyay P, Wigan M, Stark M, Pavey S, Gabrielli B. Defective decatenation checkpoint function is a common feature of melanoma. J Invest Dermatol. 2014 Jan;134(1):150-8. doi: 10.1038/jid.2013.264. Epub 2013 Jun 13. PubMed PMID: 23842115. Times Cited: 6

8. Dutton-Regester K, Kakavand H, Aoude LG, Stark MS, Gartside MG, Johansson P,O'Connor L, Lanagan C, Tembe V, Pupo GM, Haydu LE, Schmidt CW, Mann GJ, Thompson JF, Scolyer RA, Hayward NK. Melanomas of unknown primary have a mutation profile consistent with cutaneous sun-exposed melanoma. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2013Nov;26(6):852-60. doi:10.1111/pcmr.12153. Epub 2013 Aug 23. PubMed PMID:23890154.

9. Dutton-Regester K, Aoude LG, Nancarrow DJ, Stark MS, O'Connor L, Lanagan C, Pupo GM, Tembe V, Carter CD, O'Rourke M, Scolyer RA, Mann GJ, Schmidt CW, Herington A, Hayward NK. Identification of TFG (TRK-fused gene) as a putative metastatic melanoma tumor suppressor gene. Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2012 May;51(5):452-61. doi: 10.1002/gcc.21932. Epub 2012 Jan 17. PubMed PMID: 22250051.

10. Bonazzi VF, Stark MS, Hayward NK. MicroRNA regulation of melanoma progression. Melanoma Res. 2012 Apr;22(2):101-13. PubMed PMID: 22209751.

11. Stark MS, Woods SL, Gartside MG, Bonazzi VF, Dutton-Regester K, Aoude LG, Chow D, Sereduk C, Niemi NM, Tang N, Ellis JJ, Reid J, Zismann V, Tyagi S, Muzny D, Newsham I, Wu Y, Palmer JM, Pollak T, Youngkin D, Brooks BR, Lanagan C, Schmidt CW, Kobe B, MacKeigan JP, Yin H, Brown KM, Gibbs R, Trent J, Hayward NK. Frequent somatic mutations in MAP3K5 and MAP3K9 in metastatic melanoma identified by exome sequencing. Nat Genet. 2011 Dec 25;44(2):165-9. doi: 10.1038/ng.1041. PubMed PMID: 22197930; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3267896.

12. Yokoyama S, Woods SL, Boyle GM, Aoude LG, MacGregor S, Zismann V, Gartside M, Cust AE, Haq R, Harland M, Taylor JC, Duffy DL, Holohan K, Dutton-Regester K, Palmer JM, Bonazzi V, Stark MS, Symmons J, Law MH, Schmidt C, Lanagan C, O'Connor L, Holland EA, Schmid H, Maskiell JA, Jetann J, Ferguson M, Jenkins MA, Kefford RF, Giles GG, Armstrong BK, Aitken JF, Hopper JL, Whiteman DC, Pharoah PD, Easton DF, Dunning AM, Newton-Bishop JA, Montgomery GW, Martin NG, Mann GJ, Bishop DT, Tsao H, Trent JM, Fisher DE, Hayward NK, Brown KM. A novel recurrent mutation in MITF predisposes to familial and sporadic melanoma. Nature. 2011 Nov 13;480(7375):99-103. doi: 10.1038/nature10630. PubMed PMID: 22080950; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3266855.

13. Macgregor S, Montgomery GW, Liu JZ, Zhao ZZ, Henders AK, Stark M, Schmid H, Holland EA, Duffy DL, Zhang M, Painter JN, Nyholt DR, Maskiell JA, Jetann J, Ferguson M, Cust AE, Jenkins MA, Whiteman DC, Olsson H, Puig S, Bianchi-Scarrà G, Hansson J, Demenais F, Landi MT, Dębniak T, Mackie R, Azizi E, Bressac-de Paillerets B, Goldstein AM, Kanetsky PA, Gruis NA, Elder DE, Newton-Bishop JA, Bishop DT, Iles MM, Helsing P, Amos CI, Wei Q, Wang LE, Lee JE, Qureshi AA, Kefford RF, Giles GG, Armstrong BK, Aitken JF, Han J, Hopper JL, Trent JM, Brown KM, Martin NG, Mann GJ, Hayward NK. Genome-wide association study identifies a new melanoma susceptibility locus at 1q21.3. Nat Genet. 2011 Oct 9;43(11):1114-8. doi: 10.1038/ng.958. PubMed PMID: 21983785; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3227560.

14. Boyle GM, Woods SL, Bonazzi VF, Stark MS, Hacker E, Aoude LG, Dutton-Regester K, Cook AL, Sturm RA, Hayward NK. Melanoma cell invasiveness is regulated by miR-211 suppression of the BRN2 transcription factor. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2011 Jun;24(3):525-537. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-148X.2011.00849.x. Epub 2011 Apr 7. PubMed PMID: 21435193. 

Selected Publications Before 2011.

1. Stark MS, Tyagi S, Nancarrow DJ, Boyle GM, Cook AL, Whiteman DC, Parsons PG, Schmidt C, Sturm RA, Hayward NK. Characterization of the Melanoma miRNAome by Deep Sequencing. PLoS One. 2010 Mar 12;5(3):e9685. PubMed PMID: 20300190; PubMedCentral PMCID: PMC2837346.

2. Brown KM, Macgregor S, Montgomery GW, Craig DW, Zhao ZZ, Iyadurai K, Henders AK, Homer N, Campbell MJ, Stark M, Thomas S, Schmid H, Holland EA, Gillanders EM, Duffy DL, Maskiell JA, Jetann J, Ferguson M, Stephan DA, Cust AE, Whiteman D, Green A, Olsson H, Puig S, Ghiorzo P, Hansson J, Demenais F, Goldstein AM, Gruis NA, Elder DE, Bishop JN, Kefford RF, Giles GG, Armstrong BK, Aitken JF, Hopper JL, Martin NG, Trent JM, Mann GJ, Hayward NK. Common sequence variants on 20q11.22 confer melanoma susceptibility. Nat Genet. 2008 Jul;40(7):838-40. Epub 2008 May 18. PubMed PMID: 18488026; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2755512.

3. Sturm RA, Duffy DL, Zhao ZZ, Leite FP, Stark MS, Hayward NK, Martin NG, Montgomery GW. A single SNP in an evolutionary conserved region within intron 86 of the HERC2 gene determines human blue-brown eye color. Am J Hum Genet. 2008 Feb;82(2):424-31. Epub 2008 Jan 24. PubMed PMID: 18252222; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2427173.

4. Stark M, Hayward N. Genome-wide loss of heterozygosity and copy number analysis in melanoma using high-density single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays. Cancer Res. 2007 Mar 15;67(6):2632-42. PubMed PMID: 17363583.

5. Curtin JA*, Stark MS*, Pinkel D, Hayward NK, Bastian BC. PI3-kinase subunits are infrequent somatic targets in melanoma. J Invest Dermatol. 2006 Jul;126(7):1660-3. Epub 2006 Apr 13. PubMed PMID: 16614723.*co-author

6. Pavey S, Johansson P, Packer L, Taylor J, Stark M, Pollock PM, Walker GJ, Boyle GM, Harper U, Cozzi SJ, Hansen K, Yudt L, Schmidt C, Hersey P, Ellem KA, O'Rourke MG, Parsons PG, Meltzer P, Ringnér M, Hayward NK. Microarray expression profiling in melanoma reveals a BRAF mutation signature. Oncogene. 2004 May 20;23(23):4060-7. PubMed PMID: 15048078.

7. Gillanders E, Juo SH, Holland EA, Jones M, Nancarrow D, Freas-Lutz D, Sood R, Park N, Faruque M, Markey C, Kefford RF, Palmer J, Bergman W, Bishop DT, Tucker MA, Bressac-de Paillerets B, Hansson J, Stark M, Gruis N, Bishop JN, Goldstein AM, Bailey-Wilson JE, Mann GJ, Hayward N, Trent J; Lund Melanoma Study Group; Melanoma Genetics Consortium. Localization of a novel melanoma susceptibility locus to 1p22. Am J Hum Genet. 2003 Aug;73(2):301-13. Epub 2003 Jul 3. PubMed PMID: 12844286; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1180369.

8. Pollock PM, Harper UL, Hansen KS, Yudt LM, Stark M, Robbins CM, Moses TY, Hostetter G, Wagner U, Kakareka J, Salem G, Pohida T, Heenan P, Duray P, Kallioniemi O, Hayward NK, Trent JM, Meltzer PS. High frequency of BRAF mutations in nevi. Nat Genet. 2003 Jan;33(1):19-20. Epub 2002 Nov 25. PubMed PMID: 12447372.

Research fields

Melanoma, Naevi, MicroRNA, Biomarkers