Next generation cancer discoveries initiative


To use state-of-the-art genomics and computational research methods to understand how cancer cells evolve, adapt and influence response to therapy at the single cell level.


The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and the University of Melbourne.

About the program

Cancers are characterised by a complex mixture of cells including cancer cells that differ from each other plus non-cancer cells such as immune cells. Technology has now emerged to allow single-cell gene sequencing and expression analysis. We apply computational methods to understand the resulting complex data, which is critical to improving response to treatment and defeating cancer growth.

In response to the fast‐paced single‐cell field and the mesmerising technological developments that accompany it, we have established a fortnightly Single Cell Research User Meeting (SCRUM). The meeting facilitates access to current and upcoming methodologies, new literature, common and unique experimental designs, open discussions about data, as well as advice from experts. The key aim of the meeting is to foster collaboration between researchers and clinicians from the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and other institutions in Victoria.

The research team

  • Professor Grant McArthur, The Lorenzo Galli Chair in Melanoma and Skin Cancers
  • Professor Alicia Oshlack, Galli Senior Research Fellow
  • Dr Melanie Eckersly-Maslin, Galli Senior Research Fellow
  • Dr Fernando Rossello, Galli Senior Research Fellow
  • Dr Jovana Maksimovic, Galli Research Fellow
  • Dr Timothy Semple, Galli Research Fellow
  • Dr Stefano Mangiola, Galli Senior Research Fellow
  • Dr Ramyar Molania, Galli Research Fellow
  • Professor Sean Grimmond
  • Professor Tony Papenfuss
  • Prachi Bhave
  • Michale Nakai
  • Jennifer Ureta
  • William Hutchison
  • Dr Andreas Halman

Professor Grant McArthur
The Lorenzo Galli Chair in Melanoma and Skin Cancers

Photo of Grant McArthur

Professor Grant McArthur is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and holds a Ph.D. in Medical Biology. He is the Executive Director of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) and is a Senior Principal Research Fellow (NHMRC). He is also Head of the Molecular Oncology Laboratory and of the Cancer Therapeutics Program, Cancer Research, and a Senior Consultant Medical Oncologist, Cancer Medicine at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

In 2014, Professor McArthur was named the inaugural Lorenzo Galli Chair in Melanoma and Skin Cancers at the University of Melbourne. His research areas include discovery of novel drug targets in cancer, targeting oncogenes, immunological effect of targeted therapies, clinical trials of targeted therapeutics, personalised medicine, melanoma, cell cycle control, metabolism and protein synthesis in cancer.

Professor McArthur was the inaugural winner of the Translational Research Award of the Foundation Nelia et Amadeo Barletta and has held the Sir Edward Dunlop Clinical Cancer Research Fellowship of the Cancer Council of Victoria. He was the recipient of the inaugural Martin Lackmann medal for translational research, received the Medical Oncology Group of Australia’s Novartis Oncology Cancer Achievement Award and just recently, was the recipient of the prestigious Tom Reeve Award from Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) for 2018.  He is a national and international study co-chair of a number of clinical trials of targeted therapies.