A/Prof Parker leads the Microenvironmental Crosstalk and Therapeutics laboratory in the Cancer Immunology and Therapeutics programs at Peter Mac. She is a Victorian Cancer Agency Mid-Career Fellow, and previously an ARC Future Fellow. After postdoctoral training in the Department of Oncology at Johns Hopkins University, USA, in 2002 and at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, where she became Team Leader in 2012. Dr Parker moved to La Trobe University into a group leader role (2013-2019), where she was co-leader of the Cancer Theme and headed the Cancer Microenvironment and Immunology laboratory. Dr Parker’s team focuses on tumour cell crosstalk with the microenvironment, with a particular interest in tumour cell-inherent type I IFN signaling, and the potential of IFN regulators as biomarkers and targets for precision immunotherapeutic strategies in early stage cancer, triple negative breast cancer and bone metastasis in a wide range of malignancies. Her group was the first to identify that loss of tumour-intrinsic type I IFN signals is a key contributor to cancer progression and metastasis. Based on her expertise in this field, Dr Parker has secured commercial collaborations to lead investigator-initiated trials of IFN-inducing agents in breast and prostate cancer that are about to be underway.
2017-2021 VCA Mid-Career Fellowship
2015 Joseph Sambrook Award for Research Excellence (Peter Mac)
2014-2017 ARC Future Fellowship
2013 La Trobe Research Excellence Award
2009-2013 NHMRC Career Development Award Level 1 (CDA1)
2007 Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation New Investigator Award