Professor Marco Herold

Professor Marco Herold



Professor Marco Herold in the laboratory



Dip Biol PhD Würzburg

Laboratory Head

Lab focus: Identifying cancer drivers using CRISPR

My laboratory aims to identify how cancer cell survival is controlled. Human cancers frequently express high levels of pro-survival proteins. They also harbour defects in processes that inhibit tumour growth, so-called tumour suppressor genes. Importantly, these abnormalities render the tumour cells resistant to many standard chemotherapeutics. 

The ultimate goal of my research is to develop drugs that kill chemo-resistant tumour cells to improve outcomes for cancer patients.

Research interest

Our laboratory is interested in the molecular regulation of cell death in general, and how this contributes to the development and growth of cancer cells in particular.

One focus of our research is the BH3 mimetic drugs which inhibit pro-survival Bcl-2 family proteins. We are collaborating with industry colleagues to develop new BH3 mimetic drugs that target pro-survival proteins. 

Our laboratory aims to identify novel genes involved in the development of normal and malignant haematopoiesis. We are using in vivo CRISPR approaches to systematically identify new candidate genes, with the ultimate goal of using these targets as novel anti-cancer therapies. 

We are also developing new CRISPR models and methodologies, such as activating and base editing tools to more accurately resemble human disease. Additionally, we are implementing CRISPR as a diagnostic tool to ultimately use it for detection of infectious disease or cancer.

We work with Phenomics Australia to help develop preclinical models used in various studies, including most recently for COVID-19 research.

Three researchers in a laboratory with model diagnostic device

Institute researchers have developed a fast, new test for infections and infectious diseases that could transform Australia’s ability to provide targeted clinical care and respond to pandemics and biosecurity threats. 

Three researchers standing outside a building

Researchers have genetically engineered a laboratory model for testing the effectiveness of new anti-cancer drugs called MCL-1 inhibitors.

DNA graphic

Dr Marco Herold speaks to ABC TV’s Catalyst program about new ways to fight cancer with CRISPR and Cas9