Prof Matthias Ernst

Director, ONJCRI
Head, Cancer and Inflammation Program
Head, Cancer and Inflammation Laboratory
Head, School of Cancer Medicine, La Trobe University

Conducting research in close proximity to clinicians provides my group with an opportunity to use our scientific curiosity to address the most urgent needs of cancer patients.

After gaining my PhD at the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland, I received postdoctoral training at the Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories in Pennsylvania in the area of bone biology.

With the aim of extending my studies into the molecular mechanisms which underpin the growth of cancer cells, I joined Prof Ashley Dunn’s laboratory at the Melbourne-Parkville Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR).

In 1996, I returned to Switzerland, to join Novartis as the Deputy Head for Bone Biology Research Department. I was invited back to LICR in 1998 as Group Leader and was appointed Acting Director in 2009.

In 2012, I moved to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, where I continued to explore state-of-the-art molecular biology and genetic tools to understand mechanisms which corrupt the normal renewal of the lining of the bowel and stomach, resulting in tumour formation. I  joined ONJCRI in late 2014 and my laboratory team explores novel strategies to target mechanisms by which tumour cells and normal cells communicate and develop new treatments for gastrointestinal cancers.