Discovering new approaches to prevent metastasis of breast, colon and liver cancers

Supervisors: Dr Bhupinder Pal, Prof John Mariadason and A/Prof Naiyang Fu (WEHI)

Laboratories: Cancer Single Cell Genomics Laboratory

Colorectal cancer claims the lives of over 5000 Australian’s each year.  Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are routinely used to treat these tumours, however not all patients respond to these treatments. This PhD project will seek to develop new ways to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation therapy by testing new therapeutics in cell line, organoid and mouse models of this disease, and investigating their underlying mechanisms of action. It also involves the use of genetic screens such as CRISPR/Cas9 to discover new drivers of drug resistance.

The project will provide the candidate with extensive knowledge of cancer biology, and the transcriptional and signaling pathways which drive the response to drug treatment. The candidate will also gain expertise into the use of cutting-edge discovery tools such as molecular profiling, CRISPR screening and drug screening, and the use of mouse models and clinical samples to address critical questions that can improve outcomes for cancer patients.