I carried out my PhD at Johnson and Johnson Research with Greg Arndt and Ian Dawes and received my award from The University of New South Wales in 2006. During my PhD we used long dsRNA as a potential tool to regulate genes in mammalian cells. Further to this, we developed a dual promoter cassette to express siRNAs in mammalian cells.
I left Johnson and Johnson Research after my PhD and spent 7 years undertaking post-doctoral research at University of Sydney and The Centenary Institute. During my postdoc at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Sydney University, working with Prof Chris O’Brien and A/Prof. Barbara Rose, we publish several studies on miRNAs in head and neck cancer. In a subsequent study we further showed that miRNAs were dysregulated in salivary tumors and the PLAG1 gene was susceptible to miRNA regulation. I started my own independent team at The Center of Health Technologies, UTS.
The lab is focused on several aspects of miRNA research. The first is to understand the expression and role of miRNAs in the development of head and neck cancer. We are developing a suite of serum miRNAs bio-markers for the early detection of oral SCCs and other subtypes of head and neck cancers. Secondly, we are also investigating how these miRNAs regulate genes important to the progression of head and neck cancer. More recently, we have moved into profiling the ncRNA contents of exosomes derived from prostate cancer cells.