Dr Conor J Kearney

Head, Molecular Immunology Laboratory

My lab uses cutting-edge technologies including genome-wide genetic screens (CRISPR/Cas) to study tumour-lymphocyte interactions with the ultimate goal of identifying new and improved cancer immunotherapy approaches.

I am a Victorian Cancer Agency (VCA) fellow and Head of the Molecular Immunology Laboratory at ONJCRI. I hold honorary appointments at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University. After obtaining my PhD in Molecular Biology at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Ireland, I took up postdoctoral studies at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, where I studied genetic, transcriptional and epigenetic determinants of anti-tumor immune responses. During my postdoctoral appointments I made several important discoveries relating to mechanisms of tumour immune evasion, tumour cell death and T cell differentiation trajectories in cancer (e.g Kearney et al 2021, Science Advances; Kearney et al 2018, Science Immunology; Lelliott et al 2021, Cancer Discovery; Freeman et al 2019, Cell Reports; Kearney et al 2017, Cell Death & Differentiation.

My newly established laboratory (2022) uses a range of cutting-edge, molecular immunology, cell biology and genome-wide drug and genetic screening approaches to identify tumour cell vulnerabilities to cytotoxic lymphocytes for the identification of new cancer immunotherapies.