Centre for Advanced Histology & Microscopy (CAHM)

The Centre for Advanced Histology and Microscopy (CAHM) underpins a multitude of cancer research projects and houses four core platforms:

  1. Histology.
  2. Optical Microscopy, which houses a suite of state-of-the-art high-end optical microscopes, including laser scanning confocal microscopes, a multimodal super resolution microscope and multiphoton microscope, a dual laser multiphoton microscope, and a laser capture microscope.
  3. Electron Microscopy, inclusive of both transmission and scanning electron microscopy.
  4. Image Analysis.

Importantly, researchers utilising CAHM receive support, training and advice from expert technical scientists.

In addition to being head of CAHM, A/Prof Sarah Ellis leads her own independently funded research group, investigating the role of the polarity proteins, Scribble and Par3, in the onset and progression of leukaemia.

Research Focus

Polarity proteins control a multitude of cellular processes, including apical-basal cell polarity, asymmetric cell division, planar cell polarity, migration, cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. We are investigating the role of two different polarity proteins, Scribble and Par3, in steady-state blood production (haemopoiesis) and leukaemia. Recent studies have revealed that Scribble and Par3 act in a context-dependent manner as either tumour suppressors or tumour promoters in various epithelial cancers, but the roles of these proteins in blood production and blood malignancies are largely unknown.

Using inducible Scribble and Par3 knockout models in conjunction with in vivo models that mimic human leukaemia, we are investigating how loss of these proteins affect the proliferation and differentiation of haemopoietic stem and progenitor cells, as well as their more differentiated progeny. Our studies will provide a detailed understanding of the role of Scribble and Par3 in both normal and aberrant blood production, and will advance current knowledge of the molecular mechanisms driving the onset and severity of leukaemia. Understanding how these proteins affect leukaemia has the potential to lead to novel therapeutic targets.

Facility use

Use of the facility is available to all VCCC members and external users, subject to availability.

For further information about accessing the Centre for Advanced Histology and Microscopy, please contact A/Prof Sarah Ellis on (03) 8559 7822.

Research Staff


A/Prof Sarah Ellis

Research Assistants

Leah Adolph

Judy Borg

Dr Jill Danne

Alysha Dew

Hanadi Hoblos

Dr Metta Jana

Dr Rejhan Idrizi

Dhanya Menon

Basia Przybylowski

Cameron Skinner


Thomas Collins - Honours 2019

John Portwood - Honours 2019

Zera Bose - Masters commenced 2019

Funding Acknowledgements

  • Australian Cancer Research Foundation
  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Australian Research Council
  • ARC-LIEF grant
  • CASS Foundation
  • Jack Brockhoff Foundation
  • William Buckland Foundation
  • Philip Bushell Foundation
  • ANZ Charitable Trust
  • Ramaciotti Foundation
  • Permanent Trustee
  • Eric Ormond Baker Charitable Fund
  • State Trustees
  • Perpetual Trustees
  • Collier Charitable Fund
  • Trust Company of Australia Ltd
  • William Angliss Charitable Fund
  • The Syd and Ann Wellard Perpetual Trust
  • Marian and E.H. Flack Trust
  • Firefighters Charity Fund

More Information


A/Prof Sarah Ellis

Phone: (03) 8559 7822

Email: [email protected]

Head: Centre For Advanced Histology And Microscopy (CAHM)