Defining the Role of Transcriptional Stress Pathways in Cancer Cell Resistance Towards Anti-Cancer Therapeutics

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Masters by Research
Department / Centre
Western Health
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/prof John Price Personal web page

Summary De novo and acquired resistance of cancer cells towards chemotherapeutics, hormonal treatments, as well as recently developed targeted therapeutics such as those that inhibit the actions of EGF-R family members like HER2, has become a major clinical issue. Almost always co-associated with the emergence of an aggressive and often highly metastatic cancer phenotype, drug resistance is intimately linked with cancer recurrence and in most cases precedes poor patient health, the escalation of disease progression ultimately leading to the death of the patient.

Project Details

Although substantial insight has been gained in the molecular pathology of many cancer types such as breast, lung, prostate and melanoma, still our knowledge of resistance mechanisms or more importantly its translation to the clinical scenario to combat the emergence of drug resistance is greatly needed. Findings from our laboratory have identified that many anti-cancer drugs stimulate transcriptional pathways in cancer cells that mediate the cytosolic stress, ER stress and genomic stress responses that may enable cancer cells to counteract the actions of the anti-cancer drugs. This project will examine the role of stress transcription factors such as Heat Shock Factor 1 (HSF1) and a number of its downstream targets and their role in anti-cancer drug resistance in breast, lung and melanoma cancer cells towards traditional chemotherapeutics as well as recently clinically relevant targeted therapeutics. This project will utilise molecular, cellular, pharmacological and biochemical approaches to determine the role of these molecules in both de novo and acquired drug resistance. It is expected that this project will contribute to identifying the role of stress responses in drug resistance mechanisms, provide novel biomarkers for predicting drug responsivity in differing cancer types and contribute to the training of the candidate in molecular, cellular, pharmacological and biochemical approaches in cancer research.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer in Medicine

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Masters by Research
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre


Research Node

Western Health

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.