Prof Marco Herold

Chief Executive Officer, ONJCRI
Head, Genome Engineering and Cancer Modelling Program
Head, Blood Cancer and Immunotherapy Lab
Head, La Trobe University’s School of Cancer Medicine

My vision at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute is to improve treatments and outcomes for cancer patients.

I am excited to lead our staff and students and ensure our people are collaboratively striving to make ground-breaking discoveries that can be translated into the clinic that will benefit cancer patients and deliver maximum benefit to the community.

I am a NHMRC L2 Investigator, an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and a former Broomhead Centenary Fellow.

I completed my PhD and first postdoctoral studies at the University of Würzburg, Germany, where I trained in cell death research and mouse genetics. During this time, I worked with the German Pharma Company Taconic Artemis developing methods to establish novel pre-clinical models of disease.

In 2008, I moved to Australia and joined the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) where I served as a Laboratory Head in the Blood Cells and Blood Cancer Division and Head of the Melbourne Genome Editing Centre (MAGEC). My research team specialised in applying CRISPR gene editing techniques to identify critical gene targets required for the development and sustained growth of cancer cells. Recent findings identified DNA repair as fundamental for TP53-mediated tumour suppression (Janic et al., Nature Medicine 2018).

My current research is focused on using advanced genome wide CRISPR screening, including gene activation and base editing in vitro and in vivo (Deng et al., Nature Communications, 2022). At ONJCRI we use these research techniques to amplify the research conducted within all our labs to discover drug resistance factors and targets that enhance immune therapies.

Since joining ONJCRI in 2023, my primary role as CEO of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (ONJCRI) is to steer our Institute towards a new phase of growth and impact by achieving our strategic priorities. This includes fostering collaborations both within ONJCRI and with external entities while capitalising on existing strengths, assets, and successes of ONJCRI.