Peter Mac provides a world-class research education program at a leading Australian cancer research institution for students from Australian and international universities.
The Peter Mac research education program provides opportunities for students to develop knowledge and expertise in their chosen research area, as well as developing professional skills that will help them fulfil their career ambitions. Read more information about our postgraduate program.
Our 2022 Virtual Research Student Open Day was on 7 September 2022.
For more information see 2022 Virtual Student Open Day
Available Student Projects: 2023 Student Project Book
Hear directly from some of our supervisors about their research projects on offer below
The Brown lab investigates the ways in which aberrant cellular metabolism contributes to malignant transformation, tumour progression and therapy resistance in cancer. This knowledge is applied to the pre-clinical development of novel and more effective interventions for cancer therapy. Read more about the Brown laboratory
Human head and neck cancer is a devastating disease with poor survival rates. We have recently discovered the genetic defects that trigger head and neck cancer development. The Darido lab is currently exploring novel treatment strategies aimed at targeting the genetic defects, and we expect that our findings will lead to new personalised therapies for head and neck cancer patients that are likely to improve their outcomes. Read more information about the Darido laboratory
Epigenetics helps define current cell states, yet also shapes how cells respond to external cues such as differentiation or stress. Our lab uses insights from developmental epigenetics to understand how the normal tight control of epigenetic plasticity is hijacked by cancers, using single-cell epigenomic, CRISPR and molecular cell biology technologies. Read more about the Eckersley-Maslin laboratory
In the Goel laboratory, we study the cell cycle machinery and how it influences breast cancer biology in both cancer cells and stromal cells. We aim to leverage our discoveries to design new drug therapies for breast cancer. Read more about the Goel laboratory
The Johnstone Lab performs fundamental and pre-clinical research aimed at defining the molecular and biological processes underpinning the regulation of gene expression, tumorigenesis, anti-cancer drug activity and drug resistance. Read more about the Johnstone laboratory
In the Kats laboratory, we are interested in developing new therapeutic strategies for aggressive blood cancers. Read more about the Kats laboratory
The McArthur laboratory investigates oncogenes as therapeutic targets for cancer. By targeting oncogenic signalling in cancer and understanding the impact of this therapy on both the tumour cell and its microenvironment, we aim to develop novel treatment strategies that are durable and prevent therapy resistance. The McArthur laboratory has a specific interest in melanoma, but also investigates pancreatic and oesophageal cancer. Read more about the McArthur laboratory
Researchers in the Pearson laboratory investigate the molecular basis of the regulation of signalling pathways and their control of cell growth. We aim to understand how deregulation of this process contributes to cancer and how it can be targeted to treat the disease. Read more about the Pearson laboratory
The Wickramasinghe laboratory uses cutting-edge cell biology, molecular biology and genetic approaches to understand a critical step in gene expression, messenger RNA export. Nuclear export of mRNA to the cytoplasm is required for gene expression and is deregulated in cancer. Our ultimate goal is to use these fundamental biological insights to develop novel first-in-class inhibitors to treat cancer. Read more about the Wickramasinghe laboratory
The Beavis laboratory has a focus on developing novel immune-based therapies for Cancer. We employ innovative approaches and technologies to enhance the effectiveness of both conventional immunotherapies and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells in the treatment of solid cancers such as breast cancer and melanoma. Read more about the Beavis laboratory.
The Darcy laboratory is involved in developing novel strategies for effectively harnessing the immune system against cancer. The goal of our laboratory is to develop effective immunotherapies for cancer. There is considerable power in the many billions of circulating blood cells that comprise the immune system. We seek to turn this disease-fighting capacity against cancer cells by using anti-cancer genes to endow immune cells with the ability to recognize and destroy tumour cells. Read more about the Darcy laboratory
The Lalaoui laboratory uses a range of cellular, molecular techniques and mouse models to investigate the causes and consequences of immunogenic cell death programs activated by innate immune ligands. We apply this fundamental knowledge to design new therapeutic strategies for cancer and inflammatory diseases and to understand the impact of iimmunogenic cell death in cancer immunity and cancer progression. Read more about the Lalaoui laboratory
The Parker laboratory explores interactions in the cancer microenvironment that prevent or support tumour invasion and spread (metastasis) to other tissues, including bone. Our overall objective is to uncover new biomarkers (genes/proteins) that predict risk of cancer metastasis and response to therapy and uncover novel precision therapeutic strategies to target the most lethal stages of solid cancer progression at an individual patient level. Our investigations integrate innovative science and pre-clinical research to inform the translation of agents into clinical trial. Read more about the Parker laboratory
We explore how blood cell signalling influences fate decisions during development and immune responses. This will help to improve immunotherapies for cancer and infectious diseases, and to understand how leukaemia occurs when development goes wrong. Key for our research approach is to develop and apply new imaging and computational approaches; for this reason, the lab is partly located in the Centre for Micro-Photonics, Swinburne University. Read more about the Russell laboratory
We investigate immune mechanisms of defence against viral pathogens and cancerous (transformed) cells. The Trapani laboratory has a long-standing interest in elucidating the mechanisms and regulation of Cytotoxic lymphocytes (CL) activity, with the major focus of our studies being key cytotoxic molecules: pro-apoptotic proteases, granzymes and a pore-forming protein, perforin (PRF). Read more about the Trapani laboratory
Voskoboinik Killer Cell Biology Laboratory
In the Voskoboinik Killer Cell Biology Laboratory, researchers investigate the regulation and function of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) and natural killer (NK) cells, which play a key role in the surveillance of virus-infected and cancer cells. Clarifying the biology of CTL and NK cells is critical to help understand the fundamental principles of immunity, predisposition to paediatric blood cancers and immune deficiency. We take a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses immunology, biochemistry, structural biology, cell biology and genetics. Read more about the Voskoboinik laboratory
The Goode laboratory combines bioinformatics, genomics, molecular evolution and population genetics to study the evolutionary forces governing the formation of tumours and their responses to therapy, with an emphasis on the roles of genomic instability and transcriptional plasticity as drivers of drug resistance in cancer. Our work centres mainly on prostate cancer and brain cancer, though our approaches are applicable to a range of solid tumours. Read more about the Goode laboratory
The Oshlack Lab bioinformatics research group uses computational and statistical techniques to analyse and explore the transcriptome and genome. The group has a diverse and complementary skill set that includes statistics, computer science, genetics, software engineering, molecular biology and physics. We work on a range of projects from developing basic data analysis tools and statistical methods through to collaborative analysis of biological systems. We have major applications in cancer, kidney development and rare disease genomics. Read more about the Oshlack laboratory
The Neeson Laboratory explores the human immune system responses to tumour development and to immunotherapy. We do this using patient samples from cohort studies or clinical trials. Having made observations in these samples, we then explore immunotherapy drug combination mechanism of action in model systems to provide new information for rational use of these drugs in the clinic. Read more about the Neeson laboratory
Drosophila lab studying organ size control, organ crosstalk and metabolism. We use the fruit fly Drosophila to study how organ size is maintained and how metabolism can shape organ growth. Read more about the Cheng laboratory
In the Cox laboratory, we use zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model system to study the metabolic regulation of growth during embryonic development, regeneration and cancer. Read more about the Cox laboratory
In the Harvey laboratory, we study mechanisms that control organ size during development and how deregulation of these processes contributes to human cancer. More specifically, we:
- Investigate developmental organ size control in the vinegar fly Drosophila.
- Characterise the function of the Hippo pathway in Drosophila.
- Investigate the role of the Hippo pathway in human cancer
The Risbridger laboratory works closely with clinicians to develop a better understanding of the mechanisms that drive prostate cancer and benign disease, with the ultimate goal of providing better diagnosis and treatment for patients. Read more about the Risbridger laboratory
The Haupt laboratory explores novel regulatory pathways governing tumour suppressors. Our research aims to answer the following questions:
- Can we therapeutically restore tumour suppression by targeting strategic oncogenic E3 ligases?
- What are the key determinants of cancer sex-disparity?
- Which are the main regulatory pathways driving oncogenic mutant p53 in cancer?
- What is the role of p53 in determining cancer immune profile and the response to cancer immunotherapy?
Radiation Oncology at Peter Mac is the largest and most academically active radiotherapy treatment centre in Australia. Our research aims to provide the most up-to date and effective evidence-based treatment for patients who require radiotherapy. For more information see Radiation Oncology page
The Stacker laboratory has an interest in the growth factors, growth factor receptors and signalling pathways that control cells in the tumour microenvironment, in particular those of the blood vessels, lymphatic vessels and stroma. Read more about the Stacker laboratory
The Bowtell laboratory has a major focus on the genomic characterisation of ovarian cancer, seeking to understand the biology of treatment response and resistance, and to translate these findings into new treatment approaches. Read more about the Bowtell laboratory
In the Britt laboratory, researchers are interested in understanding what mediates breast cancer risk to develop novel treatments and preventatives. Read more about the Britt laboratory
The major focus of the Campbell Laboratory is the identification of genes involved in the predisposition, initiation and progression of breast and ovarian cancer. Read more about the Campbell laboratory
The Gorringe lab focuses on cancer precision medicine: applying genomics to clinical questions in breast and ovarian cancers. Read more about the Gorringe laboratory