Sunlight and Cancer Group

Skin cancer is highly prevalent in Australia, with two in three people being diagnosed by the age of 70. More cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, than that of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined. Whilst non-melanoma skin cancers (squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas) are more common, melanoma is responsible for the majority of deaths related to skin cancer. The main etiological agent in the formation of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

Banner of scientists and cells

Work in this laboratory involves the investigation of the molecular mechanisms of ultraviolet radiation-induced skin carcinogenesis, as well as the inhibition of the growth and metastasis of melanoma. Interests outside of skin cancer include investigation of cell signalling pathways in cancer, with an emphasis on identification and targeting of tumour suppressor genes.

Novel findings by our laboratory have shown one such tumour suppressor protein to be suppressed following UV exposure. This, in combination with an increase in UV-induced DNA damage and a loss of repair enzymes, may ultimately lead to the development of non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancer.

The Sunlight and Cancer Group is a fun and energetic group, with a strong focus on development of its members, thinking outside of the box and enjoying the research we do. If you have any questions or interest in our work or want to enquire about future research opportunities, please don’t hesitate to contact us or come into the laboratory and say hello.