The Hannan Group - Cancer Therapeutics

This group focus on targeting the ribosome to treat disease including cancer and bone marrow disorders.

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Research themes

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About

The Cancer Therapeutics Group, led by Professor Ross Hannan and Senior Research Fellows Dr Nadine Hein and Dr Rita Ferreira, focuses on two areas relating to defects in ribosome biogenesis and disease: molecular analysis of major pro-malignant alteration in ribosome biogenesis operating in cancer cells and defects in ribosome biogenesis that contribute to bone narrow failure.

The availability of ribosomes is a fundamental rate-limiting step for tumour cell proliferation. The Hannan group uses complementary approaches that combine cell biology, genomics, epigenomics, proteomics, biochemistry and in vivo models of disease to understand the processes by which ribosomal RNA gene transcription is regulated by RNA Polymerase I, and how this process is dysregulated during cancer progression. By understanding these fundamental processes, the research group aims to identify key therapeutic nodes to impede the progression of aggressive cancers. Professor Hannan and his group have progressed this fundamental research a step closer to treating patients and changing clinical practice by developing the world’s first selective inhibitor of Pol I transcription that received FDA approval for the treatment of solid tumours with BRCA1/2, PALB2 and other homologous recombination gene mutations. Currently the Hannan group is developing second-generation RNA Polymerase I inhibitors and evaluating their effectiveness in haematological as well as solid cancers with the lead compound PMR-116 commencing a multicentre Phase I clinical trial for the treatment of solid cancers.

Reduced numbers of ribosomes due to defects in ribosome biogeneisis lead to the development of Ribosomopathies, are a group of inherited diseases including Diamond Blackfan Anaemia and Myelodysplastic Syndrome, associated with bone marrow failure. Professor Hannan, in collaboration with Associate Professor Aimee George (Pharmacogenomic Technologies) aim to understand the mechanisms mediating these diseases in order to identify novel approaches for their treatment.

Enquiries are welcome from potential Honours or PhD students. A variety of projects are available within all of the areas of research undertaken by this Group.

 

Professor Hannan presenting at Life Science Across the Globe (LSAG):

Projects

This study aims to identify and understand mechanisms of intrinsic and acquired resistance to RNA Polymerase I (Pol I) inhibition in cancer, with the goal of developing strategies to overcome resistance to Pol I inhibitors.

Student intake

Open for Honours, Masters, PhD students

People

Theme

Phenogenomics

This study explores how dynamic changes in ribosomal DNA (rDNA) chromatin contribute to cancer development, aiming to uncover mechanisms of malignant transformation and potential therapeutic targets.

Student intake

Open for Honours, Masters, PhD students

People

Theme

Phenogenomics

This study aims to develop effective combination therapies using RNA Polymerase I (Pol I) inhibitors to enhance therapeutic efficacy and combat resistance in cancer treatment through synergistic effects with other drugs or treatments.

Student intake

Open for Honours, Masters, PhD students

People

Theme

Phenogenomics

This study evaluates UBF (Upstream Binding Factor) as a potential target for cancer therapy by investigating its role in cancer cell growth and survival.

Student intake

Open for Honours, Masters, PhD students

People

Theme

Cancer

This study identifies new cancer therapeutic targets within the RNA Polymerase I-specific transcription factor network to uncover potential innovative treatments.

Student intake

Open for Honours, Masters, PhD students

People

Theme

Phenogenomics

This study identifies ribosomal DNA sequence variations and analyzes their functional consequences.

Student intake

Open for Honours, Masters, PhD students

People

Theme

Phenogenomics

Members

Leader

Ross Hannan

Group Leader
Deputy Dean, Research, CHM
NHMRC Principle Res. Fellow

Senior Fellow

Rita Ferreira

Senior Fellow

Nadine Hein

Senior Fellow

Researcher

Karagh Loring-White

Research Technician
Postdoctoral fellow

Zaka (Wing Sze) Yuen

Postdoctoral Fellow

Technician

No photo provided

Research Assistant

Perlita Poh

Senior Research Assistant

Research support officer

Mitchell Dwyer

Research Assistant

Vrinda Johri

Research Assistant

Collaborator

Eduardo Eyras

EMBL Group Leader

Professor Elizabeth Gardiner

Director JCSMR
Professor

Amee George

Associate Professor in Pharmacogenomic Technologies
Lead, ANU Centre for Therapeutic Discovery (ACTD)
Group Leader

Thomas Preiss SDCRI RNA

Centre Director, The Shine-Dalgarno Centre for RNA Innovation
Group Leader
Professor

Nikolay Shirokikh

NHMRC Investigator Grant

News

Tom Gibbs

The University has proudly celebrated the outstanding contributions of its alumni community at the 2023 ANU Alumni Awards.

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