Clinical Associate Professor James Guy Lyons

Clinical Associate Professor
Dermatology, Central Clinical School

D06 - Blackburn Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

T: +61 2 9036 6314
F: 9036 5130
W: Projects with this supervisor

Research interests

Dr Lyons' research aims to determine the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes contribute to the formation of squamous cell carcinomas of the skin and of the head and neck region, two of the most common sites for cancer. We are interested in the mechanisms involved in the progression from benign tumours, which are non-invasive and usually easily treated, to malignant tumours, which spread invasively from the site of origin and are difficult to treat successfully.

Cancer is a disease of mutating genes, and evolutionary principles apply to it. We are investigating the roles of genes in the ecology of tumours: those that regulate the interactions of cancer cells with each other, with non-malignant stromal cells and with the extracellular matrix. We are particularly interested in the genetic basis of symbiotic relationships between tumour clones that drive invasion and metastasis. In collaboration with investigators at the NIH, University of Queensland and University of Sydney, we have developed novel in silico, in vitro and in vivo models for exploring the nature of clonal evolution during carcinoma development and the evolutionary consequences of expressing particular classes of cancer associated genes.

This research encompasses a broad range of molecular and cell biological methods and analyses, including cell culture, plasmid and virus vector construction, gene expression analysis, small animal handling, live-cell imaging and intravital microscopy.

Current national competitive grants*


Interactions between genes that cause cancer
Lyons G, Halliday G
NHMRC Project Grants ($536,010 over 3 years)

* Grants administered through the University of Sydney


Genetic processes; Head and neck cancer; Cell biology; Invasion and metastasis; Skin cancer

International links

United States. (National Institutes of Health) Mechanisms of head and neck cancer progression.


2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009


  • Di Girolamo, N., Bobba, S., Raviraj, V., Delic, N., Slapetova, I., Nicovich, P., Halliday, G., Wakefield, D., Whan, R., Lyons, G. (2015), Tracing the fate of limbal epithelial progenitor cells in the murine cornea. Stem Cells. 33(1), 57-69. [Abstract]


  • Hassan, N., Painter, N., Howlett, C., Farrell, A., Di Girolamo, N., Lyons, J., Halliday, G. (2014), Brm Inhibits the Proliferative Response of Keratinocytes and Corneal Epithelial Cells to Ultraviolet Radiation-Induced Damage. PloS One. 9(9), e107931. [Abstract]


  • Jung, M., Lord, M., Cheng, B., Lyons, J., Alkhouri, H., Hughes, J., McCarthy, S., Iozzo, R., Whitelock, J. (2013), Mast cells produce novel shorter forms of perlecan that contain functional endorepellin: A role in angiogenesis and wound healing. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 288(5), 3289-3304. [Abstract]
  • Tian, X., Zhang, J., Tan, T., Lyons, J., Zhao, H., Niu, B., Lee, S., Tsatralis, T., Zhao, Y., Wang, Y., Cao, Q., Wang, C., Wang, Y., Lee, V., Kahn, M., Zheng, G., Harris, D. (2013), Association of β-catenin with P-Smad3 but not LEF-1 dissociates in vitro profibrotic from anti-inflammatory effects of TGF-β1. Journal of Cell Science. 126(Pt 1), 67-76. [Abstract]


  • Halliday, G., Zhou, Y., Sou, P., Huang, X., Rana, S., Bugeja, M., Painter, N., Scolyer, R., Muchardt, C., Di Girolamo, N., Guy Lyons, J. (2012), The absence of Brm exacerbates photocarcinogenesis. Experimental Dermatology. 21(8), 599-604. [Abstract]
  • Raviraj, V., Fok, S., Zhao, J., Chien, H., Lyons, J., Thompson, E., Soon, L. (2012), Regulation of ROCK1 via Notch1 during breast cancer cell migration into dense matrices. BMC Cell Biology. 13, 12. [Abstract]


  • Javeri, A., Lyons, J., Huang, X., Halliday, G. (2011), Downregulation of cockayne syndrome B protein reduces human 8-oxoguanine DNA glycostlase-1 expression and repair of ultraviolet radiation-induced 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanine. Cancer science. 102(9), 1651-8. [Abstract]
  • Bock, V., Lyons, J., Huang, X., Jones, A., McDonald, L., Scolyer, R., Moloney, F., Barnetson, R., Halliday, G. (2011), BRM and BRG1 subunits of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodelling complex are downregulated upon progression of benign skin lesions into invasive tumours. The British journal of dermatology. 164(6), 1221-7. [Abstract]
  • Pang, E., Delic, N., Hong, A., Zhang, M., Rose, B., Lyons, J. (2011), Radiosensitization of Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells by Human Papillomavirus 16 Oncoprotein E6*I. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics. 79(3), 860-5. [Abstract]
  • Farrell, A., Halliday, G., Lyons, J. (2011), Chromatin Structure Following UV-Induced DNA Damage-Repair or Death?. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 12(11), 8063-8085. [Abstract]


  • Sou, P., Delic, N., Halliday, G., Lyons, J. (2010), Snail transcription factors in keratinocytes: enough to make your skin crawl. The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology. 42(12), 1940-4. [Abstract]


  • Min, D., Lyons, J., Bonner, J., Twigg, S., Yue, D., McLennan, S. (2009), Mesangial cell-derived factors alter monocyte activation and function through inflammatory pathways: possible pathogenic role in diabetic nephropathy. American Journal of Physiology: Renal Physiology. 297(5), F1229-F1237. [Abstract]
  • Zheng, G., Lyons, J., Tan, T., Wang, Y., Hsu, T., Min, D., Succar, L., Rangan, G., Hu, M., Henderson, B., Alexander, S., Harris, D. (2009), Disruption of E-Cadherin by Matrix Metalloproteinase Directly Mediates Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition Downstream of Transforming Growth Factor-{beta}1 in Renal Tubular Epithelial Cells. The American journal of pathology. 175(2), 580-91. [Abstract]
  • Moloney, F., Lyons, J., Bock, V., Huang, X., Bugeja, M., Halliday, G. (2009), Hotspot Mutation of Brahma in Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer. The Journal of investigative dermatology. 129(0), 1012-5. [Abstract]
  • Halliday, G., Bock, V., Moloney, F., Lyons, J. (2009), SWI/SNF: A chromatin-remodelling complex with a role in carcinogenesis. The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology. 41(0), 725-8. [Abstract]