Research into cancer, cell biology & development

Theme Leader: Des Richardson

splash images cancer, cell biolgy and development

Investigators in this theme are using cell biological and other methods to investigate the mechanisms that regulate cell proliferation and differentiation. This general approach is applied to understanding basic cell physiology, cancer biology, developmental biology and the pathogenesis of infectious diseases.

There are a number of areas of particular research strengths within the Research Theme. These include: (i) hormonal control of cell function, including the role of hormones in promoting the growth of breast and prostate cancers, (ii) the regulation of gene expression and its importance in determining embryonic development, tumour progression and tissue differentiation, (iii) intracellular signalling systems, and (iv) the diagnosis and treatment of malignancies. There is considerable interaction between individual laboratories in those areas. For example, Murphy and O'Neill collaborate on increasing fertility. The laboratories of Cook and Day recently have been co-localised so as to further their joint work on the roles of ion channels in epithelia and in mammalian development.

Over the next triennium it is planned to increase interactions of all the members of this Research Theme. In particular, closer links between the basic and clinical leukaemia and cancer researchers are proposed. Coordinated use of existing technologies and major equipment facilities will underpin greatly improved translational research outputs. The special expertise of the Cook laboratory in signal transduction and siRNA technology will be disseminated within the Research Theme during the next three years, initially through collaborations with Grau and Hunt.

There are many existing and potential interactions between the members of the Cancer, Cell Biology and Development Theme and the other Research Themes. The groups studying hormonal regulation of cell function, for example, share many common interests and techniques with Dr Stephen Twigg, who is interested in the actions of insulin and Nick Hunt who is interested in the actions of cytokines. Similarly, Cook's work on the role of ion channels in cell function and on intracellular signalling mechanisms has already led to collaborative studies with Hunt and Grau on the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria and of the pulmonary oedema observed in malaria. This activity will be expanded during the triennium through an NHMRC Program Grant application in collaboration with Professor Warwick Britton of the Centenary Institute; tuberculosis, malaria and respiratory viruses will be the core of that collaboration.

Stem cell biology is an area that will be developed within the "Organ & tissue replacement" Research Theme over the triennium, linked with existing interests in the "Cancer, cell biology & development" Research Theme.

Desired impact on knowledge and/or practice

  • Basic Sciences: To develop a detailed understanding of (i) the causation, initiating factors and mechanisms of malignant transformation, (ii) control of development and reproduction, and (iii) epithelial function in health and disease.
  • Innovation: To facilitate invention of innovative research techniques by scientifically "cross-cultural" collaboration, enabled by (1) links generated within the Research Theme and (2) links generated with members of other Research Themes.
  • Translation: To enable (1) an informed approach to the clinical abrogation, treatment or palliation of cancer and some infectious diseases, (2) new diagnostic methods for earlier reliable detection of disease and its associated pathology, (3) new methods of ensuring normal, uncomplicated reproduction, based on our findings in this Research Theme.

Laboratory Heads & Senior Researchers

Contact details Laboratory
Dr Stephen Assinder 
Publications 
E: stephen.assinder@sydney.edu.au
T: +61 2 9036 3614
F: +61 2 9351 8400
Andrology Research Group
Bosch Prostate Cancer Focus Group (BPCFG)
Dr Kellie Charles 
Publications
E: kslaviero@usyd.edu.au
T: +61 2 9036 5239
Cancer Therapeutics Research Group
Professor Richard Christopherson
Publications 
E: richard.christopherson@sydney.edu.au
T: +61 2 9351 6031
F: +61 2 9351 4726
Cancer Proteomics Laboratory

Professor Arthur Conigrave
Publications
E: arthur.conigrave@sydney.edu.au
T: +61 2 9351 3883
F: +61 2 9351 5858

Molecular Nutrition Laboratory
Professor David I Cook 
Publications
E: david.cook@bosch.org.au
T: +61 2 9036 3314
F: +61 2 9036 3316
Epithelial Transport Laboratory
Dr Katie Dixon
Publications
E: katie.dixon@sydney.edu.au
T: +61 2 9351 6526
F: +61 2 9351 2813
 Sunlight and Cancer Group
Associate Professor Qihan Dong 
Publications
E: qihan.dong@bosch.org.au
T: +61 2 9515 5186
F: +61 2 9516 1273
Cancer Genetics Group
Bosch Prostate Cancer Focus Group (BPCFG)
Dr Stuart Fraser 
Publications
E: stuart.fraser@sydney.edu.au
T: +61 2 9036 3313
F: +61 2 9036 3316
Blood Cell Development Lab
Clinical Associate Professor John Gibson 
Publications
E: john.gibson@bosch.org.au
T: +61 2 9515 8031
F: +61 2 9515 8474
Blood Stem Cell Transplantation Unit
Professor Gary Halliday 
Publications
E: gary.halliday@sydney.edu.au
T: +61 2 9515 6762
F: +61 2 90365130
Dermatology Research Laboratory
Clinical Associate Professor Joy Ho 
Publications
E: J.Ho@centenary.usyd.edu.au
T: +61 2 9515 8031
F: +61 2 9515 8474
Molecular Pathogenesis Group

Dr Andrew Hoy 
Publications
E: andrew.hoy@sydney.edu.au
T: +61 2 9351 2514

Lipid Metabolism Laboratory
Clinical Associate Professor Harry Iland 
Publications
E: harry@email.cs.nsw.gov.au
T: +61 2 9515 7655
F: +61 2 9515 6698
Molecular & Cellular Biology of Leukaemia Unit
Professor Douglas Joshua 
Publications
E: Douglas.Joshua@sswahs.nsw.gov.au
T: +61 2 9515 8038
F: +61 2 9515 6698
Multiple Myeloma Research Group
Clinical Professor Cheok Soon Lee 
Publications
E: soon.lee@uws.edu.au
T: +61 2 9515 8451
F: +61 2 9515 8405
Cancer Pathology Laboratory
Professor Frank Lovicu
Publications
E: frank.lovicu@sydney.edu.au
T: +61 2 9351 5170
F: +61 2 9351 2588
Lens Research Laboratory
Professor Rebecca S Mason 
Publications
E: rebecca.mason@bosch.org.au
T: +61 2 9351 2561 +61 2 9351 6524
F: +61 2 9351 2058
Bone & Skin Laboratory
Dr Lenka Munoz
Publications
E: lenka.munoz@sydney.edu.au
T: +61 2 9351 2315
F: +61 2 9351 3686
Molecular Innovations in Kinase Therapeutics
Professor Chris Murphy 
Publications
E: histology@anatomy.usyd.edu.au
T: +61 2 9351 4128
F: +61 2 9351 2813
Cell & Reproductive Biology Laboratory
Bosch Prostate Cancer Focus Group (BPCFG)
Associate Professor Chris O'Neill 
Publications
E: chris.oneill@bosch.org.au
T: +61 2 9926 4870
F: +61 2 9926 6343
Human Reproduction Unit
Professor Des Richardson 
Publications
E: des.richardson@bosch.org.au
T: +61 2 9036 6548
F: +61 2 9351 3429
Iron Metabolism & Chelation Program
Bosch Prostate Cancer Focus Group (BPCFG)
Professor Bill Webster 
Publications
E: billweb@anatomy.usyd.edu.au
T: +61 2 9351 2498
F: +61 2 9351 2813
Reproductive Toxicology