Staff profile

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Dr Michael Cater

Position: Lecturer In Molecular Genetics
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env
Department: School of Life & Env. Sciences
Campus: Melbourne Burwood Campus
Phone: +61 3 92517388 +61 3 92517388



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.


Honorary, Department of Pathology, The University of Melbourne.


Research grants

2008 CIA - NHMRC Peter Doherty Training Fellowship (Grant ID# 520345)
2010 CIA - CASS Foundation Medical/Science Grant
2010 CASS Foundation Travel Grant
2011 CIA - NHMRC Project Grant (Grant ID#APP1027125)
2012 CASS Foundation Travel Grant
2012  AI - Cancer of Prostate Translational Research In Victoria (CAPTIV) Collaboration, Victorian Cancer Agency.
2012 CIA – Movember Young Investigator Grant / Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (Grant ID#YI0712)
2013 CIA – Research Equipment Support Scheme (RESS), Deakin University
2014 CIA - CASS Foundation Medical/Science Grant

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