Dr Michael Cater



Lecturer In Molecular Genetics


Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env


School of Life & Env. Sciences


Melbourne Burwood Campus


+61 3 925 17388


Dr. Michael Cater is a Movember Young Investigator and Heads the Metals in Medicine Laboratory within the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB). Michael’s career focus in metals has expanded into the fields of general physiology, neuroscience and cancer research. Michael completed his Doctoral degree at Deakin University (2005) investigating metal-homeostatic mechanisms in the body, under the supervision of geneticist Professor Julian Mercer. This research focused on determining the molecular basis behind the hepatic copper accumulation seen in Wilson’s disease patients. He continued to pursue metals research into his first post-doc position at the Mental Health Research Institute (MHRI) (University of Melbourne), but in relation to Alzheimer’s disease treatment and neuronal function. This position provided invaluable exposure to pharmacological studies, testing metal-based compounds as an intervention for Alzheimer's disease. While at MHRI, Michael realized the potential for copper-based compounds to be used in the treatment of cancer. He therefore switched research focus to the cancer field and relocated to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (beginning of 2010). Michael was awarded the prestigious NHMRC Biomedical Training Research Fellowship and more recently a CIA led NHMRC Project Grant, a CIA led Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) grant and several philanthropic grants (e.g. CASS). He is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne (Department of Pathology). In 2013, Michael established his research group, the Metals in Medicine Laboratory, which has now grown to include a post-doc, 3 PhD students and one Honours student.

Read more on Michael's profile


Honorary, Department of Pathology, The University of Melbourne.



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Comparative microarray analysis identifies commonalities in neuronal injury: evidence for oxidative stress, dysfunction of calcium signalling, and inhibition of autophagy-lysosomal pathway

Ms Yann Yap, Dr Roxana Llanos, Dr Sharon La Fontaine, Dr Michael Cater, Prof Philip Beart, Dr Steve Cheung

(2016), Vol. 41, pp. 554-567, Neurochemical research, New York, N.Y., C1


Copper as a target for prostate cancer therapeutics: copper-ionophore pharmacology and altering systemic copper distribution

Dr Delphine Denoyer, Helen Pearson, Miss Sharnel Clatworthy, Dr Zoe Smith, Prof Paul Francis, Dr Roxana Llanos, Irene Volitakis, Wayne Phillips, Mr Peter Meggyesy, Mr Shashank Masaldan, Dr Michael Cater

(2016), Vol. 7, pp. 37064-37080, Oncotarget, Albany, N.Y., C1


Ceruloplasmin is regulated by copper and lactational hormones in PMC42-LA mammary epithelial cell culture models

Dr David Freestone, Dr Delphine Denoyer, Mr MATTHEW JAKAB, Prof Leigh Ackland, Dr Michael Cater, Dr Agnes Michalczyk

(2016), Vol. 8, pp. 941-950, Metallomics, Cambridge, Eng., C1


Targeting copper in cancer therapy: ‘copper that cancer’

Dr Delphine Denoyer, Mr Shashank Masaldan, Dr Sharon La Fontaine, Dr Michael Cater

(2015), Vol. 7, pp. 1459-1476, Metallomics, London, Eng., C1


Heterogeneous copper concentrations in cancerous human prostate tissues

Dr Delphine Denoyer, Miss Sharnel Clatworthy, Mr Shashank Masaldan, Mr Peter Meggyesy, Dr Michael Cater

(2015), Vol. 75, pp. 1510-1517, Prostate, London, Eng., C1


Copper and lactational hormones influence the CTR1 copper transporter in PMC42-LA mammary epithelial cell culture models

Dr David Freestone, Dr Michael Cater, Prof Leigh Ackland, David Paterson, Daryl Howard, Martin de Jonge, Dr Agnes Michalczyk

(2014), Vol. 25, pp. 377-387, Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, New York, NY, C1


Increasing intracellular bioavailable copper selectively targets prostate cancer cells

Dr Michael Cater, Helen Pearson, Dr Kamil Wolyniec, Paul Klaver, Maree Bilandzic, Brett M. Paterson, Ashley I Bush, Patrick O Humbert, Dr Sharon La Fontaine, Dr Paul Stephen Donnelly, Ygal Haupt

(2013), Vol. 8, pp. 1621-1631, ACS chemical biology, Washington, D.C., C1


Clusterin and COMMD1 Independently Regulate Degradation of the Mammalian Copper ATPases ATP7A and ATP7B

Ms Stephanie Materia, Dr Michael Cater, Leo W. J. Klomp, Prof Julian Mercer, Dr Sharon La Fontaine

(2012), Vol. 287, pp. 2485-2499, Journal of biological chemistry, Bethesda, Md, United States, C1


An impaired mitochondrial electron transport chain increases retention of the hypoxia imaging agent diacetylbis(4-methylthiosemicarbazonato)copper II

Paul S. Donnelly, Jeffrey R. Liddell, SinChun Lim, Brett M. Paterson, Dr Michael Cater, Maria S. Savva, Alexandra I. Mot, Janine L. James, Ian A. Trounce, Anthony White, Peter J. Crouch

(2012), Vol. 109, pp. 47-52, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Washington, D.C., C1-1


Clusterin (APOJ) : a molecular chaperone that facilitates degradation of the copper-ATPases ATP7A and ATP7B

Ms Stephanie Materia, Dr Michael Cater, Leo W. J. Klomp, Prof Julian Mercer, Dr Sharon La Fontaine

(2011), Vol. 286, pp. 10073-10083, Journal of biological chemistry, Bethesda, Md., C1


Clioquinol induces cytoplasmic clearance of the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP): therapeutic indication for prostate cancer

Dr Michael Cater, Ygal Haupt

(2011), Vol. 436, pp. 481-491, Biochemical journal, London, England, C1-1


Role of glutaredoxin1 and glutathione in regulating the activity of the copper-transporting P-type ATPases, ATP7A and ATP7B

Dr Michael Cater, Wendy R. Winnal, Yu Yu, Des R. Richardson

(2010), Vol. 285, pp. 27111-27121, Journal of biological chemistry, Bethesda, Md., C1


Iron-export ferroxidase activity of β-amyloid protein precursor is inhibited by zinc in Alzheimer's disease

James Duce, Andrew Tsatsanis, Dr Michael Cater, Dr Simon James, Elysia Robb, Krutika Wihke, S L Leong, K Perez, Timothy Johanssen, Mark Greenough, Hyun-Hee Cho, Denise Galatis, Robert Moir, C Masters, Catriona A. McLean, Rudolph Tanzi, R Cappai, Kevin J. Barnham, Giuseppe D. Ciccotosto, Jack Rogers, Ashley I Bush

(2010), Vol. 142, pp. 857-867, Cell, Cambridge, Mass., C1-1


Syntaxin 5 is required for copper homeostasis in drosophila and mammals

Melanie Norgate, Adam G Southon, Mark Greenough, Dr Michael Cater, Ashley Farlow, Philip Batterham, Ashley I Bush, Nathan Subramaniam, Richard Burke, Prof James Camakaris

(2010), Vol. 5, pp. 1-10, PLoS one, San Francisco, Calif., C1-1


Intracellular copper deficiency increases amyloid-beta secretion by diverse mechanisms

Dr Michael Cater, Miss Kelly McInnes, Qiao-Xin Li, Irene Volitakis, Dr Sharon La Fontaine, Prof Julian Mercer, Ashley I Bush

(2008), Vol. 412, pp. 141-152, Biochemical journal, London, England, C1-1


Copper binding to the N-terminal metal-binding sites or the CPC motif is not essential for copper-induced trafficking of the human Wilson Protein (ATP7B)

Dr Michael Cater, Dr Sharon La Fontaine, Prof Julian Mercer

(2007), Vol. 401, pp. 143-153, Biochemical journal, London, England, C1


Copper-dependent interaction of glutaredoxin with the N termini of the copper-ATPases (ATP7A and ATP7B) defective in Menkes and Wilson diseases

Dr Chris Lim, Dr Michael Cater, Prof Julian Mercer, Dr Sharon La Fontaine

(2006), Vol. 348, pp. 428-436, Biochemical and biophysical research communications, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1


Copper-dependent interaction of dynactin subunit p62 with the N terminus of ATP7B but not ATP7A

Dr Chris Lim, Dr Michael Cater, Prof Julian Mercer, Dr Sharon La Fontaine

(2006), Vol. 281, pp. 14006-14014, Journal of biological chemistry, Bethesda, Md, C1


Copper in mammals: mechanisms of homeostasis and pathophysiology

Dr Michael Cater, Prof Julian Mercer

(2006), pp. 101-120, Molecular biology of metal homeostasis and detoxification : from microbes to man, Berlin, Germany, B1


Intracellular trafficking of the human Wilson protein: the role of the six N-terminal metal-binding sites

Dr Michael Cater, John Forbes, Dr Sharon La Fontaine, Diane Cox, Prof Julian Mercer

(2004), Vol. 380, pp. 805-813, Biochemical journal, London, England, C1


Copper-regulated trafficking of the Menkes disease copper ATPase associated with formation of a phosphorylated catalytic intermediate

Dr Michael Petris, Ilia Voskoboinik, Dr Michael Cater, Kathryn Smith, Byung-Eun Kim, Dr Roxana Llanos, Dr Daniel Strausak, Prof James Camakaris, Prof Julian Mercer

(2002), Vol. 277, pp. 46736-46742, Journal of biological chemistry, Baltimore, Md., C1