Dr Melanie Eckersley-Maslin runs a research group investigating epigenetic plasticity in development and cancer. Her group uses stem cell and cancer models to explore how cell identity is established in embryos yet deregulated in cancers, with the ultimate aim to identify new therapeutic targets.
Melanie studied Advanced Sciences at the University of Sydney before completing her PhD in molecular biology at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s School of Biological Sciences in New York, USA. She then moved to the Babraham Institute, UK to work with Prof. Wolf Reik as a postdoctoral research fellow supported by an EMBO Fellowship, Marie Curie Independent Fellowship and a BBSRC Discovery Grant. Her postdoctoral research focused on the epigenetic control of early embryonic cell fate transitions including zygotic genome activation and gastrulation. This led to the discovery of Dppa2 and Dppa4 as epigenetic priming factors in early development.
Melanie returned to Australia in 2021 as a group leader at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre where her group investigates the concepts of epigenetic plasticity and heterogeneity in development, applying these principles to the study of cancer initiation, metastasis and relapse using single-cell and CRISPR-based technologies. Her lab is supported by the Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Medical Trust and National Stem Cell Foundation.
2020 National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia Metcalf Prize for Stem Cell Research
2020 Sir Michael Berridge prize, Babraham Institute, UK
2020 BBSRC Discovery Fellowship
2016 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions individual fellowship
2015 The European Molecular Biology Organisation long-term fellowship
2015 Sackler Research Fellowship, Christ’s College, The University of Cambridge, UK
2008 George A. and Marjorie H. Anderson Fellowship, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, USA
2007 The University of Sydney Medal