Dr Sarah Best

Dr Sarah Best



Dr Sarah Best photographed at WEHI



BSc (Hons) PhD Melbourne

Laboratory Head, The Brain Cancer Centre

Lab focus: Pre-clinical models for brain cancer research

Every five hours an Australian is diagnosed with brain cancer, a devastating illness that kills more children in Australia than any other disease and more people under 40 than any other cancer.

Currently, we lack effective treatments for many brain cancers, making this a terminal diagnosis for many patients. The major challenge is that resistance to treatment always occurs and is poorly understood.

In the Brain Cancer Research Laboratory, Dr Jim Whittle, Dr Saskia Freytag, and Dr Sarah Best are working to improve the diagnosis of brain cancer using advanced diagnostics, as well as developing new models to understand resistance, and investigating novel ways to treat brain cancer.

Research interest

My research interest is in developing personalized therapies for brain cancer, through the advanced investigation of the molecular features of cancer. This expertise, together with Dr Jim Whittle (clinical) and Dr Saskia Freytag (bioinformatics) provides the multidisciplinary foundations of the Brain Cancer Research Laboratory. 

The research interests of the lab include:  

  • Research that is patient-centred and informed by consumers  
  • Integrating advanced diagnostics together with clinical data to discover new biomarkers  
  • Applying deep learning to identify prognostic biomarkers  
  • Developing new pre-clinical models of brain cancer  
  • Dissecting glioma heterogeneity and its microenvironment  
  • Identifying existing drugs for repurposing in brain cancer 
  • Establishing innovative clinical trial design strategies to progress new treatments and combinations for patients  
  • Support and collaboration across brain cancer research fields 
The Brain Cancer Centre logo

Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer and WEHI have partnered to establish The Brain Cancer Centre.  

The Brain Cancer Centre will bring together Australia’s brightest medical research minds to end brain cancer as a terminal illness.