As head of the Growth Control Laboratory, Professor Ross Hannan's work focuses on the molecular analysis of major pro-malignant transcription factor networks that operate in cancer cells using an integrated approach that combines cell biology, genomics, proteomics, biochemistry, genetics, bioinformatics and strong interactions with oncologists in the clinic. Through this molecular understanding, he hopes to identify key therapeutic nodes to impede the progression of aggressive cancers. The availability of ribosomes is a fundamental rate-limiting step for tumour cell proliferation. He is examining the genetic and epigenetic processes by which ribosomal RNA gene transcription, is regulated by RNA Polymerase I, and how this process is dysregulated during cancer.
Professor Hannan, who is also Head of the Oncogenic Signalling and Growth Control Program, has developed the world’s first selective inhibitors of Pol I transcription (Bywater et al. Cancer Cell 2012), which are currently in clinical trials at Peter Mac for the treatment of haematological malignancies. A second area of research focuses on how bidirectional communication between cytosolic signaling networks and chromatin-associated protein complexes regulate RNA Polymerase II gene expression programs driving cellular traits associated with high-grade malignancies. Key cancer streams studied are haematological, melanoma, colorectal, ovarian and prostate.In the news
- Peter Mac research findings set stage for world-first blood cancer clinical trials.