Dr Alex Swarbrick, Senior Research Officer,Tumour Progession Group, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, NSW.
Clustering breast cancers by their transcriptome into ‘molecular subtypes’ identifies a number of groups with unique histopathology and clinical behaviour. These distinct patterns of gene expression are the product of gene expression networks controlled by transcription factors, epigenetic modifications and RNA regulatory molecules such as microRNAs. In this presentation, I will describe recent data from our lab identifying transcriptional regulators controlling lineage commitment during breast development, breastcancer malignancy and therapeutic responsiveness.
Alex joined Garvan In January 2007 after undertaking postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate J. Michael Bishop at the University of California, San Francisco. His lab investigates the protein coding genes and microRNAs controlling the self renewal, differentiation and metastasis of cancer cells.
He aims to expand the basic understanding of cancer progression to allow the development of better therapeutic strategies for hard-to-treat cancers. His lab uses a range of model systems, including 2D and 3D cell culture, animal models and human tissues. They also collaborate closely with colleagues in the Cancer Research Program who bring expertise in signal transduction, anatomical pathology, tissue banking and developmental biology.