The role of STAT3-mediated Cancer Progression and Resistance to Current Therapies

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Masters by Research
Department / Centre
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Rodney Luwor Personal web page

Summary This project will investigate the critical role of STAT3 in mediating cancer progression.

Project Details

During physiological processes the intracellular protein Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3) is activated by many growth factors and cytokines (e.g. EGF, IL-6, IL-11…etc) resulting in transcription of many genes involved in a multitude of cellular processes. However, uncontrolled or un-attenuated STAT3 phosphorylation and activation results in cancer initiation, progression and metastasis of many tumour types. Therefore, understanding how STAT3 is regulated or controlled within the cell is pivotal for cancer biology and may allow greater scope for therapeutic intervention into STAT3-driven tumourigenesis. In addition, several groups including ours have demonstrated that tumour cells employ a STAT3-dependent mechanism to resist currently used therapeutics, leading to lack of efficacy and poor clinical outcomes.

Our research program explores many aspects of STAT3 signaling outlined above. Our Honours/Masters program offers students a choice of projects within our STAT3 signalling research. The student’s project may include (but is not restricted to):

  1. Exploring the role of STAT3 in the nucleus of tumour cells and how nuclear localisation mediates tumour proliferation and progression.
  2. Exploring the role of STAT3 signaling in tumour cell migration and invasion
  3. Exploring the role of STAT3 signaling in tumour resistance to current standard and/or targeted therapies.
  4. Targeting STAT3 as a potential therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment.

Furthermore, this project has the scope to evolve into a PhD project pending the ability of the incumbent student.

Skills acquisition: Cell biology techniques including Cell transfections, western blotting, immunofluorescence staining and confocal microscopy, luciferase reporter assays, RT-PCR and potentially animal handling and injecting.

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

Royal Melbourne Hospital

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