Professor Steven Stacker is Head of the Receptor Biology Laboratory in the Tumor Angiogenesis Program at Peter Mac. Previously he worked for two decades at the Melbourne branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research where he was Associate Director and co-Head of the Angiogenesis Laboratory. He received his PhD from The University of Melbourne on work characterising mucins associated with breast cancer and subsequently developing serum markers for the diagnosis of breast cancer. He undertook postdoctoral training with Professor Timothy Springer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Centre for Blood Research, Harvard Medical School, Boston, from 1988€“1991.
Professor Stacker has published more than 100 articles and 20 patents in the area of vascular biology, cell adhesion and tumour detection. He is recognised internationally for his work on identifying and characterising new members of the VEGF family. Significantly, he demonstrated that the tumour lymphangiogenic properties of VEGF-D result in lymphatic metastasis and their inhibition blocked tumour metastasis. His work has contributed to the formation of three companies, Integrated Medical Technologies, Lymphatix Ltd and Vegenics Ltd. which focused on developing therapeutics and biomarkers for vascular disease and cancer. His current work is directed towards understanding the unique signalling pathways in lymphatic endothelial cells with the aim of identifying new targets for therapeutics in vascular disease and cancer. His interests therefore extend from basic cell and molecular biology to systems biology approaches to understand the signalling networks utilised by endothelial cells during angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. Professor Stacker's research is supported by an NHMRC Program Grant, commencing in 2014.