Dr Mitchell Stark

BappSc (Hons), PhD

Group Leader/ Senior Research Fellow


About me

Dr Mitchell Stark is a molecular biologist and Group Leader/Senior Research Fellow from the Dermatology Research Centre (DRC), The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute (UQDI). His group has extensive experience in microRNA biology and biomarker discovery, next-generation sequencing, bioinformatics, and functional analysis for a variety of applications. The Stark Lab’s major research streams include: miRNA biomarkers for melanoma progression and the development a Genomics Atlas of pre-skin cancer lesions, which aim to provide insight into the early progression of melanoma and keratinocyte cancer, to aid in preventing invasive skin cancer formation and offer increased precision to the clinical management of patients.

Dr Stark completed his PhD (2015) in melanoma microRNA biomarkers at The Queensland University of Technology based at the QIMR Berghofer (QIMRB) Medical Research Institute. Prior to commencing his PhD, he worked as Senior Research Assistant (since 1999) and was trained and mentored in the Hayward lab (QIMRB) where he contributed to and led some seminal findings in the melanoma genetics/genomics field. Dr Stark joined the DRC (UQDI) in 2015 and in 2016 he was awarded a prestigious NHMRC Peter Doherty Early Career Fellowship (2016-2019) to lead a pre-melanoma genomics program. Currently he is a UQ Amplify Research Fellow (2020-2021). Dr Stark has a career total of 71 publications (h-index 35) including 1 patent and has published in respected journals such as Nature, Nature Genetics, Cancer Research, and Journal of Investigative Dermatology.


Research Interests

MicroRNA Biomarkers

Current projects relate to melanoma progression microRNA biomarkers to aid in increased diagnostic precision of “ambiguous” melanocytic lesions as well as “real-time” monitoring of melanoma disease progression using a “liquid biopsy.”

Genomics Atlas of pre-skin cancer lesions

Current projects involve using overlapping genomics datasets (e.g. exome, mRNA and miRNA transcriptome, methylation) as well as Spatial Profiling to greater understand the early hallmarks of pre-skin cancer development.

Research fields

Melanoma, Naevi, MicroRNA, Biomarkers


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