Australian Breast Cancer Conference 2013

Thursday, 7 November 2013 to Friday, 8 November 2013 from 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia

 
International speakers
  • Matthew Ellis
  • Laura Esserman
  • Bill Dougall
  • Daniel Branstetter

Confirmed National speakers
 
Robin Anderson Kristy Brown 
David Callen Ian Campbell
Georgia Chenevix-Trench Dinny Graham
John Forbes Tom Gonda
Ricky Johnstone Kum Kum Khanna
Geoff Lindeman Sherene Loi
Chris Ormandy Belinda Parker
Roger Reddell  Crystobel Saunders
Melissa Southey Alex Swarbrick
Wayne Tilley Jane Visvader
Alpha Yap  
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Matthew J. C. Ellis, MB, BChir, PhD
Professor of Medicine,
Anheuser Busch Endowed Chair of Medical Oncology
Director, Breast cancer program, Siteman Cancer Center

Dr. Matthew James Ellis is a Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine and Director of the Breast Cancer Program at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center. He was educated at the Universities of London and Cambridge and undertaken several fellowships and tenures at institutions including the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, the Lombardi Cancer Research Center at Georgetown University and Duke University Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Ellis' primary research interests include the identification of genes that affect responses and resistance to endocrine therapy in patients with breast cancer using integrated analysis of DNA, RNA and protein. Dr. Ellis is currently co-principal investigator for the NCI funded Proteome Characterization Center and is head of translational medicine for the NSABP.

Dr. Ellis is Ambassador to Brazil for the McDonnell International Scholars Academy at Washington University which provides opportunity for research universities to promote global connectivity and social responsibility through education. Dr. Ellis has published over 120 papers in peer-reviewed journals including Nature, the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA. He is an active member of several National Cancer Institute review panels, journal editorial committees. He is also a Susan G Komen for the Cure Scholar and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the AVON Foundation.

 

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Laura Jean Esserman, MD, MBA
Director, Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center
Professor of Surgery and Radiology, UCSF
University of California, San Francisco


Dr. Esserman is a surgeon and breast cancer oncology specialist, and is the Director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). In 1996, she started the Center of Excellence for Breast Cancer Care at UCSF to integrate clinical care and research, automate tools for the capture of patient and clinical data, and develop systems to tailor care to biology, patient preference, and performance.

Dr. Esserman is nationally and internationally known as a leader in the field of breast cancer and has published over 150 articles. She was a member of a taskforce for President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Working Group on Advancing Innovation in Drug Development and Evaluation which is studying how the federal government can best support science-based innovation in the process of drug development and regulatory evaluation.

She is the Principle Investigator of the I-SPY TRIAL program, a multi-site neoadjuvant clinical trial that has evolved into a model for translational research and innovation in clinical trial design. Dr. Esserman has recently launched a University of California-wide breast cancer initiative called the Athena Breast Health Network, a project designed to follow 150,000 women from screening through treatment and outcomes, incorporating the latest in molecular testing and web-based tools into the course of care.

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Organisation: Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Associate Professor Robin Anderson is a Principal Research Fellow and Head of the Metastasis Research Laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne. She is a Principal Fellow in the Department of Pathology at The University of Melbourne and a Career Fellow of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. She is also Editor-in-Chief of Clinical & Experimental Metastasis. Her research is focussed on the genetic regulation of metastasis, primarily in breast cancer and is aimed at identifying new targets for molecular based therapy for patients with progressive disease.

Dr. Anderson received her PhD from La Trobe University and spent her postdoctoral years at Stanford University in California and at the MRC Cyclotron Unit in London, transitioning from plant biochemistry to hyperthermia therapy for cancer, to the regulation of apoptosis by heat shock proteins before embarking on a study of the mechanisms of metastasis.

She has developed clinically relevant mouse models of metastatic disease that she has used to identify genes, both in the tumour cells and in the tumour microenvironment that regulate the process of metastasis to specific organs such as bone, liver, lung and brain. Some of these genes are potential targets for therapy in patients.

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Organisation: Prince Henry's Institute

Dr Brown is an NHMRC (Australia) Career Development Fellow and Co-Head of the Metabolism & Cancer laboratory at Prince Henry’s Institute, and an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Physiology at Monash University. Dr Brown has over 10 years experience in sex hormone biology, specialising in the study of the regulation of enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of sex hormones. Her research interests are aimed at elucidating the mechanisms whereby dysregulated metabolism leads to the increased risk of breast cancer. Her recent work identified the LKB1/AMPK pathway, central regulator of energy homeostasis, as a modulator of oestrogen production within the breast, thereby providing a molecular link between obesity and breast cancer. Dr. Brown’s current research interests include understanding metabolic signalling pathways which regulate oestrogen production in the breast adipose in the context of obesity and cancer, and to investigate potential therapeutics that target these pathways in the clinical setting. 

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Organisation: The University of Adelaide

Prof Callen is Director of the Centre for Personalised Cancer Medicine at the University of Adelaide and Head of the Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory, which includes the Breast Cancer Genetics Group. He has a continuing interest in breast cancer research originating from his role in the Human Genome Project as chromosome editor of chromosome 16. These studies centred on the long-arm of chromosome 16, the location of frequent loss-of-heterozygosity in breast cancer.
Prof Callen has over 250 peer reviewed publications including those in Science, Nature, Nature Genetics, Cell and The Lancet, and an h-index of 51.
Prof Callen is particularly interested in developing novel cross disciplinary research projects and has current funding for this purpose from a Novel Concept award from the NBCF. His current research includes projects on the gain-of-function of mutant p53 in cancer and investigations into the mechanism of how vitamin D can influence breast cancer risk. 

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Organisation: Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

A/Prof Campbell is an National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia Principal Research Fellow and the focus of his research over the past 20 years has been the molecular genetics of ovarian and breast cancer. He completed his PhD in Microbiology at the University of Western Australia in 1986. From 1988-1993 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Cancer Research UK at Lincoln’s Inn Field, London. From 1993-1999, A/Prof Campbell headed the cancer genetics laboratory in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Southampton, UK. During this period he developed an international reputation in somatic genetics of ovarian cancer. In 1999 A/Prof Campbell returned to Australia to head the Cancer Genetics Laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, where the broad but inter-related themes of his work continued to be the identification of genes involved in the predisposition, initiation and progression of breast and ovarian cancer. Much of A/Prof Campbell's work now involves the use of technology enabling research such as next generation sequencing. 

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Organisation: Queensland Institute of Medical Research

Professor Georgia Chenevix-Trench, PhD
Head, Cancer Genetics Laboratory
Coordinator, Cancer Division
NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow

Professor Georgia Chenevix-Trench, PhD is the head of the Cancer Genetics Laboratory at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. She is the author of more than 290 peer reviewed papers, and has been instrumental in the collection of public resources such as kConFab, the Australian consortium for research into familial breast cancer. She is a founding member of the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Association Consortia, and the leader of the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2. These three consortia recently collaborated in ‘iCOGS’, a large scale genotyping project. Georgia led the functional analysis of SNPs in the TERT gene that are associated with risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and telomere length, and in particularly interested in post-GWAS studies to understand the mechanism by which these risk associated SNPs act, as well as discovering more high and moderate risk variants through exome and candidate gene sequencing.

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Organisation: University of Newcastle

Professor John Forbes, AM, MS, FRACS, FRCS, has been involved in breast cancer research throughout his professional career, in particular, with national and international clinical trials to develop new treatments for all types of breast cancer and ultimately for prevention of breast cancer.

He is Professor of Surgical Oncology at the University of Newcastle; Director, Department of Surgical Oncology at the Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital; and Director of Research for the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group.

He completed his medical studies and surgical training at the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and was awarded the Australian Nuffield Fellowship in Medicine and studied at the Welsh National Medical School, Cardiff,Wales.

On his return to Australia, he was instrumental, together with other clinicians, in establishing the ANZ Breast Cancer Trials Group, and the International Breast Cancer Study Group, formerly known as the Ludwig Breast Cancer Study Group.

Professor Forbes has been invited visiting Professor in many countries, has presented papers at scientific meetings throughout the world, and published over 250 papers on many aspects of breast cancer - in particular on prevention and endocrine treatment of breast cancer. He chairs and co-chairs, or is a member of Steering Committees for national and international breast cancer clinical trials, including ATAC, ATLAS, IBIS I and II, BIG 1-98, and IES.

In 2007 he was recognised as one of the top 10 most highly cited researchers in the world for peer-reviewed publications in 2005-2006. In November 2010 he was awarded the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia’s (COSA) Tom Reeve Oration Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Care and in 2012 he was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), being recognised for service to medicine in the field of breast cancer research, to the development of improved clinical practice standards and service to the community.

His current focus is on discovery of biomarkers in high risk women through translational research and controlled clinical trials.

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Organisation: The University of Queensland

After completing his PhD at the University of Adelaide, Prof Gonda carried out postdoctoral at the University of California, San Francisco with Nobel Laureate Prof J Michael Bishop, where he started his career-long research on the MYB oncogene. He returned to Australia in 1982 to the Ludwig Institute, Melbourne, where he also began working with retroviral vectors. Prof Gonda returned to Adelaide in 1990 as an NHMRC Research Fellow at the Hanson Institute, and expanded his research to include retroviral expression cloning and cytokine receptors. Between 2001 and 2003 he gained experience in the biotechnology industry as Chief Scientist of Bionomics Ltd, Adelaide. Prof Gonda then returned to academia at the University of Queensland, first at the Diamantina Institute and now the School of Pharmacy.

Prof Gonda’s current research focuses on the critical roles of MYB in leukaemia and breast cancer, and on developing strategies to target MYB in these cancers. He has also been heavily involved in genome-wide cancer gene discovery projects involving functional genomics, genetic screens and genomic sequencing.

Prof Gonda has been a member of NHMRC review panels and the ARC College of Experts, and has also been involved in the organisation of a number of scientific conferences including “New Directions in Leukaemia Research” which he co-founded. He has published in Nature, Cell, PNAS, EMBO J, Blood, Leukemia and Nature Reviews Cancer, and has obtained grants from major agencies including the NHMRC, ARC, ACRF, NIH, LFA, AICR and CCQ.

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Organisation: The Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research

Dinny Graham completed her PhD at the University of Sydney, studying the transcriptional targets of progesterone in breast cancer. She then travelled to Denver, Colorado, to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Professor Kathryn Horwitz, where she investigated the role of nuclear receptor coregulators in endocrine resistance. While there she identified a novel mixed agonist-specific progesterone receptor coregulator. She now works with Professor Christine Clarke, where her research focus is on the molecular mechanisms of progesterone receptor transcriptional action in the normal breast and breast cancer.

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Dr Paul James is a Clinical Geneticist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre's Familial Cancer Centre and the Department of Genetic Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is a past recipient of the Nuffield Scholarship and completed a doctorate at St John's College in Oxford, working at the newly formed Oxford Centre for Gene Function. He returned to Melbourne in 2007 and as well as his clinical role, has developed a program of clinical research including discovery and translational projects involving familial disorders, supported by the Victoria Cancer Agency, Cancer Australia, Cancer Council NSW, National Heart Foundation and the NHMRC. In 2008 he initiated and continues to lead a large-scale translational program to investigate the combined effects of variants in breast cancer genes in Victorian Breast and Ovarian cancer families - The Variants in Practice (ViP) Study. This program has generated novel insights into familial breast cancer, and the role of both common variants and rare mutations.

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Organisation: Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Ricky Johnstone completed his BSc (Hons.) degree from the University of Melbourne in 1988 with a double major in Pathology and Immunology. In 1990 he accepted an Australian Postgraduate Award and started work on his PhD at the Austin Research Institute that was completed in 1993. In 1994, he was awarded a C.J. Martin Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) to perform postdoctoral studies in the Department of Pathology at Harvard University Medical School in Boston, USA. He returned to Australia 1996 to take up a position as a Senior Research Officer at The Austin Research Institute and was made an associate of the University of Melbourne. In 1999, he was awarded an R.D. Wright Research Fellowship from the NHMRC and in 2000, won a Welcome Trust Senior International Research Fellowship. He moved to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute (PMCI) in February 2000 and established the Gene Regulation Laboratory within the Cancer Immunology Program.

He is a chief investigator on project grants from the NHMRC and the Cancer Council Victoria and on an NHMRC Program grant awarded in 2003. In 2005 he was appointed as an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow. He has won prestigious scientific prizes including the 2003 AMGEN Prize for Excellence in Translational Medical Research and the 2005 Australian Academy of Science Gottschalk Medal that recognises outstanding research in the medical sciences. He has published over 90 peer-reviewed manuscripts.

In 2008 Dr Johnstone and Dr Grant McArthur established the Cancer Therapeutics Program within the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre to bring together a critical mass of researchers with the aim to translate fundamental research findings into clinical outcomes that will benefit cancer patients. In 2008 Dr Johnstone was appointed as an Assistant Director of Research at the Peter Mac and will play a key role in defining the strategic direction of the research division over the coming years. He has a long-standing interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms of chemotherapeutic drug action and drug resistance with an emphasis on histone deacetylase inhibitors.

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Organisation: Queensland Institute of Medical Research

Prof Kum Kum Khanna, Heads the Signal Transduction Laboratory at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. She is NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow. She graduated with a PhD (1989) from Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, India. Before starting her own laboratory in QIMR, she underwent PostDoc training in QIMR (1991-1996).

Her group is interested in understanding how cells respond to DNA damage and how defects in these pathways can predispose to breast cancer. She is currently researching new DNA repair proteins using a comprehensive approach, including biochemical methods, as well as somatic cell and mouse genetics. This work has implications for both mechanisms of cancer development and development of novel approaches to cancer therapy through sensitisation of tumor cells to irradiation and chemotherapy.

Currently, there are significant shortfalls in our ability to predict outcomes for women with breast cancer and especially for women diagnosed with Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), the subtype with the poorest prognosis. Her work aims to provide novel insights by dissecting the molecular mechanisms that regulate tumor progression and help with the discovery of new effective therapeutic approaches.

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Organisation: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Geoff Lindeman is a clinician-scientist focusing on breast stem cell biology and translational breast cancer research. He is Joint Head of the Stem Cells and Cancer Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Director of the Familial Cancer Centre at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. He also leads the Centre for Translational Breast Cancer Research (TransBCR), enabled by a NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence award.

His laboratory is studying molecular regulators of normal breast development and cancer, with a particular interest in breast stem cells, the breast epithelial cell hierarchy and cancer. Characterisation of the regulators and identification of novel biomarkers could provide novel therapeutic targets for the treatment or prevention of sporadic and hereditary breast cancer.

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Organisation: St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research

T.J. Martin is Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Melbourne and John Holt Fellow, St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research. He was Professor of Chemical Pathology at the University of Sheffield (UK) from 1974 until 1977, then Professor and Chairman of the University of Melbourne Department of Medicine until 1999. He was Director of St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research from 1988 – 2002. His research has been in bone cell biology, the mechanisms of action of hormones that influence bone and calcium metabolism, intercellular communication in bone and the differentiation of bone cells, and the effects of cancers upon the skeleton. A Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Australian Academy of Science, he has been President of the International Bone and Mineral Society and Vice President of the International Cancer and Bone Society. Among awards were the Dale Medal in 1992 (UK), the Chemofux Research Prize in 1988 (Vienna), the William F Neuman Award in 1994 (USA), The Pieter Gaillard Award in 2003, the Ramaciotti Award in 2004, and the Gideon Rodan Award for Excellence in Mentorship, 2007. He has published more than 600 scientific articles and reviews, and 6 books.

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Organisation: The Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Christopher Ormandy is Head of the Development Group of the Cancer Research Program at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. He is a Research Fellow of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and an Associate Professor in the St Vincent’s Hospital Clinical School, University of New South Wales. The Development Group works to discover the genetic program that underlies the normal developmental processes that build a mammary gland and control its function. These genes are targets for mutation or dysregulation during carcinogenesis, perturbing the normal process they control to influence the phenotype of the resulting cancer. These genes provide excellent candidates for development as new therapeutic targets or prognostic markers. The Development Group has recently discovered that the transcription factor Elf5 controls progenitor cell fate decisions during mammary development, and that Elf5 greatly influences aspects of breast cancer phenotype such as sensitivity to estrogens, molecular subtype, epithelial to mesenchymal transition and metastatic activity.

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Organisation: La Trobe University

Dr Parker recently joined the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science (LIMS), as Head of the Cancer Microenvironment laboratory. After completing her PhD studies in 2002, she undertook postdoctoral studies in the Breast Cancer Program at Johns Hopkins University and then in the Metastasis Research Laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, where she became Team leader in 2012. Her research focuses on dissecting the interactions between tumour cells and surrounding “normal cells” that promote cancer invasion and metastasis. The Cancer Microenvironment laboratory utilizes models of breast cancer combined with assessment of human cancers to identify key molecular mechanisms of spread to distant tissues that can be targeted as novel therapeutics to prevent metastasis. A current focus of the laboratory is investigating tumour-induced immune responses that are important in controlling metastatic spread. Based on her work in breast cancer, she has received numerous awards and grants as chief investigator and currently holds a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (CDA1). 

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Organisation: Children's Medical Research Institute

Professor Roger Reddel is the Director of the Children's Medical Research Institute and the Lorimer Dods Professor at the Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. He trained as a medical oncologist at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, obtained a PhD in the cellular biology of breast cancer at the University of Sydney, and undertook post-doctoral training in molecular carcinogenesis at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. His research focusses on the molecular genetics of cellular immortalization, especially the role of telomere length maintenance. He and his team discovered the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) mechanism, and have made major discoveries regarding the enzyme, telomerase. He was awarded the Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research, has received the NSW Premier's Award for Outstanding Cancer Researcher, and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

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Organisation: The University of Western Australia

Christobel is (since 2002) Professor of Surgical Oncology, academic surgeon, cancer researcher and teacher of surgery at the School of Surgery, University of Western Australia. She has been closely involved in strategic planning and management of health cancer services in Australia for the last decade as Board member and Advisory Council member of Cancer Australia, President of the Cancer Council WA, and locally as author of the WA Health Cancer Services Framework and first A/Director State-wide Cancer and Palliative Care Network. She has substantially contributed to many clinical aspects of breast cancer research including clinical trials of new treatments, psychosocial, translational and health services research.

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Organisation: University of Melbourne

Professor Southey, PhD, Grad Dip Law, FHGSA, FFSc (RCPA), has a track record in both molecular diagnostic pathology and molecular genetic research. Her research programs are focused on characterising the genetic and epigenetic factors responsible for cancer predisposition and progression, including familial aggregation of cancers. She leads a large active team of researchers, and in parallel, has numerous national and international productive collaborations. Significant focus is placed on the common cancers (breast, colorectal and prostate cancer) utilising PEDIGREE's mature population-based studies and the application of new genetic technology (in-house). She leads well advanced studies using highly selected multiple-case families that are applying massively parallel sequencing to identify new “high risk” breast and prostate cancer susceptibility genes, has recently led the formation of an international consortium COMPLEXO that aims to pool data to expedite discoveries in this area and has worked to define modes of translation of new genetic information into clinical practice. Her team has substantial activities based on Epigenome-Wide Association Studies (EWASs) utilizing the resources of the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study that are working to identify epigenetic risk factors for cancer. These initiatives are working towards improving the healthcare outcomes for individuals at high risk of cancer and providing the foundation for the emerging "Precision Public Health" era.

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Organisation: The Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Dr Swarbrick is a senior research fellow in the Cancer Research Division and Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Alex undertook postdoctoral training with Nobel Laureate J. Michael Bishop at UC San Francisco, supported by a CJ Martin Travelling Fellowship. In 2007 he returned to the Garvan Institute , where his research has focused on the role of developmental and lineage-commitment pathways in cancer, primarily of the breast. He uses functional and molecular genomics and animal models to dissect the role of microRNAs and transcription factors in driving clinical and cellular heterogeneity in cancer.

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Professor Tilley is Director of the Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories and the Adelaide Prostate Cancer Research Centre at the University of Adelaide. His research program is broadly focussed on hormonal carcinogenesis in breast and prostate cancer, with an emphasis on mechanisms of sex hormone signalling and the emergence of resistance to hormonal therapies used in the treatment of these diseases. His laboratory has highlighted the critical role of the amino-terminal domain of the androgen receptor (AR) in driving receptor function, including evidence for oncogenic potential of the AR in prostate cancer, and pioneered research into understanding the pivotal role of the AR in counteracting the proliferative effects of estrogens in the breast. A large majority of breast cancers display AR immunopositivity and it has become clear that this receptor can exert a tumour suppressive or oncogenic influence depending on context. A major objective of our research is to elucidate the mechanisms that underpin the tumour suppressive or oncogenic activity of AR within breast cancer cells. Another research focus is the development of novel single or combinatorial treatments that better target the AR in prostate cancer that may also be useful in the treatment of certain subtypes of breast cancer.

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Organisation: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Jane Visvader is Joint Head of the Division of Stem Cells and Cancer and the Breast Cancer Laboratory at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. She carried out PhD studies in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Adelaide, and held subsequent positions as a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute, San Diego, and Research Associate and Instructor at the Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston. She was awarded a NHMRC Australia Fellowship in 2011 and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2012. Visvader serves on the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee of the Cancer Council Victoria and the Scientific Advisory Council of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. She is a member of the Editorial Boards of Cell Stem Cell, Cancer Cell, Breast Cancer Research and Molecular Oncology. Her laboratory focuses on understanding the epithelial hierarchy in normal and cancerous breast tissue, as well as identifying genes important for regulating mammary development. 

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Organisation: The University of Queensland

Alpha Yap is a Professor and Head of the Division of Molecular Cell Biology at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland. After training in Internal Medicine and Cell Physiology, he undertook post-doctoral research with Barry Gumbiner at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center before returning to Australia to establish his independent research group. His laboratory studies the cellular mechanisms responsible for cadherin-dependent morphogenesis, notably the mechanisms and principles that coordinate cadherin adhesion with the cytoskeleton. He was Chair of the 2011 Gordon Research Conference on Cell Contact & Adhesion and will chair the 2016 GRC on Signaling by Adhesion Receptors. He currently serves on the editorial boards of several journals, amongst them Molecular Biology of the Cell, Developmental Cell and Current Biology.