Cancer research

Our cancer research aims to improve the survival rate and quality of life for cancer patients. We focus on breast, ovarian, prostate, colorectal and lung cancer, as well as leukaemia and myeloproliferative disorders. We involve senior oncologists to ensure the clinical relevance of our research and the smooth translation of research outcomes into the clinic.

Emerging genetic and molecular technologies are providing new tools to detect and treat cancer in an individualised way.

Professor Wei Duan

Our research areas

We seek to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying tumourigenesis. Our researchers conduct both laboratory-based investigation and clinical studies to translate these advances into novel therapeutics for the oncology clinic. 

Our research areas include:

Cancer epigenetics

We determine the epigenetic predictors of outcome, using both genomic and epigenomic profiling. We also investigate the role of epigenetic changes by targeting epigenetic modifiers with histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi).

Metabolic remodelling

We investigate the molecular basis of metabolic remodelling in cancer using sophisticated metabolic flux analysis in vitro and manipulation of key metabolic regulators either genetically or pharmacologically in vivo.

Metals in cancer

We aim to understand the role of metals and metal transporters in cancer biology and as potential therapeutic targets.

Role of non-tumour cells

Using novel cell/molecular biology techniques, we investigate the role of non-tumour cells, such as inflammatory cells and endothelial progenitor cells, in the development and spread of cancer.

Cytokines in cancer

We investigate the role of cytokine signalling pathways and their disruption in the development of leukaemia and solid tumours, to underpin new approaches to therapy.

Cancer nanomedicine

We are developing novel aptamer-guided cancer diagnostics and therapeutics and locked nucleic acid-modified in vivo miRNA/siRNA-based nanomedicine strategies in both oral and injectable formulations.

Cancer cachexia

We are identifying molecular pathways, including oxidative stress and antioxidant dysfunction. These contribute to the development of cancer cachexia, along with biomarkers for this disease, to guide nutritional and pharmacological treatments.

Cancer theranostics

Professor Jagat Kanwar is investigating the use of orally administered nanocapsules targeting specific cancers for both therapeutic and diagnostic purposes - termed 'theranostics'.

visit professor kanwar's profile

Our team


Joint Theme Leader
Professor David Ashley
Joint Theme Leader
Professor Wei Duan 
Chair In Medical Imaging
Professor Paul Yielder
Associate Head Of School
Professor Alister Ward
Professor In Nanomedicine
Professor Jagat Kanwar
Personal Chair
Professor Leigh Ackland
Associate Professor of Medical Biology
Associate Professor Sean McGee
Associate Professor Paul Lewandowski
Lecturer In Molecular Genetics
Dr Michael Cater
Clinical Senior Lecturer
Dr Mustafa Khasraw
Senior Research Fellow
Dr Rupinder Kanwar
Lecturer In Medical Science
Dr Sarah Shigdar
Senior Lecturer In Diagnostic Imaging - Clinical Studies And Clinical Practice
Dr Giovanni Mandarano
Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dr Phuong Tran

Contact us

Centre for Molecular and Medical Research (C-MMR)
General enquiries
+61 3 5227 2041
Email C-MMR

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Centre for Molecular and Medical Research
School of Medicine
Deakin University
Locked Bag 20000
Geelong VIC 3220