A/Prof Doug Fairlie

Head, Cell Death And Survival Laboratory

I am especially excited about making discoveries in fundamental molecular and cellular processes, and subsequently translating these findings into the development of new treatment strategies which will ultimately benefit cancer patients.

I obtained my PhD in Biochemistry from Monash University in 1994. After a postdoctoral stint in the US at the State University of New York, Buffalo, I returned to Australia in 1996 to work at the Centre for Immunology, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, where I was the lead protein chemist on projects involving TGF-b-related cytokines and a novel intracellular ion channel.

In 2001, I joined the Cancer and Haematology Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) to continue work on cytokines, including IL-6 family members. In 2003, I moved to the Structural Biology Division at WEHI, where I commenced working on cell death and survival mechanisms, and was promoted to a laboratory head in 2010.

Since joining the ONJCRI in 2015, I have focused on understanding how the cell death pathway is regulated and how it can be targeted, in a range of cancers, including melanoma, mesothelioma, and biliary tract cancer. Our group also has a strong interest in the autophagy cell survival pathway, especially its role in the maintenance of normal gut function. We also work with biotech and pharma companies to provide information on their drugs mechanism of action.  My work has been funded through grants from NHMRC, the Australian Research Council, Cancer Council Victoria, and Worldwide Cancer Research, UK.