About the lab

My laboratory investigates how cancer develops and how the disease changes over time. I am particularly interested in how patterns of DNA damage shape the biology of cancer.

Our genome is vulnerable to many types of damage and it exists in a constant state of repair. We use a variety of discovery systems to study DNA repair. This includes working with rare individuals in which DNA repair mechanisms break down, as they help us understand the connection between DNA damage and disease.

We model DNA damage processes in the laboratory to investigate fundamental blue sky research questions, such as, how does DNA damage contribute to ageing? We also look to apply our research, by investigating new ways to target cancers with altered DNA repair capacity. Most recently our group has been investigating how common drugs used to treat cancer or viral infections impact on our genome.

Our mission

Our mission is to understand how DNA damage impacts our health. We aim to leverage this knowledge to improve outcomes for cancer patients, by providing new ways to aid detection and by delivering treatments to short-circuit the disease process.

Our major disease focus is on leukaemia, a cancer of the blood system. We are defining genes that contribute to the development of leukaemia, and studying factors that influence a patient’s response to therapy.


My research team has used genomics to reveal the cause of familial cancer syndromes, identify novel fusion oncogenes and define therapy response biomarkers. Our group develops analytical tools to explore how cancers change over time in response to treatment.

Lab research projects

Lab team

Our laboratory has expertise that spans genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, haematology and cancer biology. We collaborate broadly and assemble expert teams to attack challenging questions.

5 members
Julie Connan
Visiting International Bachelors Student
Dr Christoffer Flensburg
Computational Scientist
Dr Zhen Xu
Research Officer
Senior Research Officer
Interested in supporting our research?

Your support will help WEHI’s researchers make discoveries and find treatments to ensure healthier, longer lives for you and your loved ones.

Contact our friendly team to find out how you can help.