Professor and Laboratory Head, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

I am a clinician scientist studying bowel cancer. My research group has collected tissue samples and data collected from many thousands of patients with bowel cancer. This unique resource allows us to investigate how cancers develop and spread, and better ways to treat them. By working with multiple local and international clinical and laboratory collaborators, we aim to:

Develop better screening tests for colorectal cancer.
Personalise the treatment for people with established cancers by tailoring the treatment to specific patient and tumour characteristics.
Develop new anti-cancer agents.
Research interest
Working from a clinical perspective, we aim to identify and validate multiple predictive and prognostic biomarkers for colorectal cancer. This research is largely based on a resource of tissue samples and data now collected from many thousands of colorectal cancer patients.

We collaborate with clinicians at multiple Melbourne hospitals who manage patients according to standard protocols and collect comprehensive, prospective data related to patient and tumour characteristics, multidisciplinary care and early and late outcomes.

Together with the Vogelstein laboratory we are exploring circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) as a biomarker for cancer screening, as a marker of residual disease following colorectal and pancreatic cancer surgery, and as an early marker of treatment response in the adjuvant and advanced disease settings.

We are also interested in understanding the local and systemic immune response to colorectal cancer. We are investigating whether this could be used to better define patient prognosis and optimise treatment.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor and Laboratory Head, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute