Dr Marie-Liesse Asselin-Labat

Dr Marie-Liesse Asselin-Labat



Dr Marie-Liesse Asselin-Labat in the lab



PharmaD Nantes DEA PhD Paris XI

Laboratory Head

My laboratory is identifying how lung development is controlled. This is a precise process that is essential for breathing. Defects in this process can result in respiratory failure at birth. The goal of our research is to understand how lung developmental disorders occur.

Our research is also revealing how lung cancer develops. We are developing new laboratory models of lung cancer that allow us to assess new treatments. We hope in the long term to improve the outcomes for people with lung cancer.


3D image of embryonic lung
3D OPT imaging showing Keratin 5 expression in Ezh2 cKO embryonic lung

Research interest

We are interested in studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying lung development and lung cancer formation.

Research on lung development in the past decades has identified the key transcription regulators and signalling pathways mediating embryonic lung formation. We are interested in the contribution of epigenetic mechanisms in modulating the plasticity and specificity of early lung tissue-specific progenitor cells. We are specifically interested in long non-coding RNAs and chromatin remodelling factors, which control gene expression and cell fate maintenance of other organs.

We aim to define the contribution of epigenetic modifiers in the transcriptional and structural changes required for embryonic lung formation. This will provide insights into how lung diseases develop, and will identify potential new therapeutic targets.

We also study molecular and cellular events driving lung cancer formation. We have developed preclinical models of lung cancer that are now revealing the mechanisms of drug resistance. They are also enabling the in depth analysis of the response of tumours to therapy. This will identify novel biomarkers predictive of drug response. 

Dr Kate Sutherland in the lab

Lung Foundation Australia's Shine a Light on Lung Cancer raises awareness of the challenges and inequities faced daily by people living with lung cancer.