My research interest is in developing personalized therapies for brain cancer, through the advanced investigation of the molecular features of cancer.
The research interests of the lab include:
The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
2020, Corcoran Award, WEHI
2018, Basic Science Scholar, The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
2016, MSD Hubert Stuerzl Memorial Education Award
2021 – 2024, Neurofibromatosis: “Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumour Genomics in Neurofibromatosis 1 (MaGeN)”, MRFF
2021 – 2024, Brain Cancer Suvivorship: “Responding to need: Technology enhanced brain cancer survivorship”, MRFF
2021, Research Establishment Fellowship: “Circulating tumour DNA as a non-invasive biomarker of recurrence in low grade glioma”, Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)
2020, Postdoctoral Fellowship: “Targeting cell survival pathways in breast cancer”, Cancer Council Victoria (CCV)
Management Committee, Cooperative Group for Neuro Oncology (COGNO), 2020 – present
Chair, Outreach and Education Committee, Cooperative Group for Neuro Oncology (COGNO), 2020 – present
Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC), Accelerate Novel Therapies Committee, 2020 – present
Chair, Young Oncologists Group of Australia, 2017 – 2019
1. Mweempwa, A., Rosenthal, M, A., Dimou, J., Drummond, K, J., & WHITTLE, J, R. Perioperative clinical trials for glioma: raising the bar. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. 2021. *Senior and corresponding author. PMID: 34119258
2. WHITTLE, J, R., Vaillant, F., Surgeon, E., Policheni, A., Giner, G., Capaldo, B, D., Chen, H., Liu, H, K., Dekkers, J, F., Sachs, N., Clevers, H., Fellowes, A., Green, T., Xu, H., Fox, S, B., Herold, M, J., Smyth, G, K., Gray, D, H, D., Visvader, J, E., and Lindeman, G, J. Dual targeting of CDK4/6 and BCL2 pathways augments tumor response in estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. Clinical Cancer Research. 2020. PMID: 32245900
3. Dekkers, J, F.,* WHITTLE, J, R.,* Vaillant, F., Chen, H., Dawson, C., Liu, K., Geurts, M, H., Herold, M, J., Clevers, H., Lindeman, G, J., and Visvader J, E. Modelling breast cancer using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated engineering of human breast organoids. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2020. 112(5), 540 – 544. *Equal contribution. PMID: 31589320
4. Lok, S, W.,* WHITTLE, J, R.,* Vaillant, F., Teh, C., Lo, L, L., Policheni, A, N., Bergin, A, R, T., Desai, J., Ftouni, S., Gandolfo, L, C., Liew, D., Liu, H, K., Mann, G, B., Moodie, K., Murugasu, A., Pal, B., Roberts, A, W., Rosenthal, M, A., Shacleton, K., Silva, M, J., Siow, Z, R., Smyth, G, K., Taylor, L., Travers, A., Yeo, B., Yeung, M, M., Bujak, A, Z., Dawson, S, J., Gray, D, H, D., Visvader, J, E., and Lindeman, G, J. A phase Ib dose-escalation and expansion study of the BCL2 inhibitor venetoclax combined with tamoxifen in ER and BCL2–positive metastatic breast cancer. Cancer Discovery. 2019. 9(3), 354 – 369. *Equal contribution. PMID: 30518523
5. Merino, D.*, WHITTLE, J, R.,* Vaillant, F.,* Serrano, A., Gong, J., Giner, G., Maragno, A, L., Scheider, E., Pal, B., Li, X., Dewson, G., Grasel, J., Liu, K., Lalaoui, N., Segal, D., Herold, M., Huang, D., Smyth, G., Geneste, O., Lessene, G., Visvader, J, E., and Lindeman, G, J. Synergistic action of the MCL-1 inhibitor S63845 with current therapies in preclinical models of triple- negative and HER2-amplified breast cancer. Science Translational Medicine. 2017. 9(401). *Equal contribution. PMID: 28768804
6. WHITTLE, J, R. Lickliter, J, D., Gan, H, K., Scott, A, M., Simes, J… and Rosenthal, M. First in human nanotechnology doxorubicin delivery system to target epidermal growth factor receptors in recurrent glioblastoma. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. 2015. 22(12): 1889 – 94. PMID: 26279503
We use a variety of spatial technologies to investigate the tumour microenvironment, including transcriptomics and metabolomics, to better understand the architecture of glioma.
Venture Grant funding: ‘Brightest cancer researchers’: WEHI teams awarded new funding grants
Team members: Jurgen Kriel, Joel Moffet, Lutz Freytag, Tianyao Lu
The lab uses a variety of genomic techniques with a strong focus on technologies that can resolve cellular complexity, such as single cell transcriptomics, spatial transcriptomics, Nanostring and MIBIscope.
Project resource: GLIMMER funding
Team members: Oluwaseun Fatunla, Montana Spiteri
Our lab is developing a strong foundation of pre-clinical models to study glioma development in immune-competent systems with an intact blood brain barrier.
Team member: Shannon Oliver
Our lab generates patient derived models (eg. neuropshere, and patient derived xenografts) to test new anti-cancer agents and combinations.
Team members: Adam Valkovic, Zac Moore, Montana Spiteri
Our lab is intimately involved with the Australia-first perioperative clinical trial program for brain cancer, and is leading the translational research for these studies.
Team member: Rob Tobler
Correct brain development is critically dependent on genetic and environmental cues and signals. When the process goes wrong it can result in malformations of cortical development and cause severe epilepsy, often requiring surgical resection of the affected brain regions. Exploiting technologies that allow the characterization of individual cells, Saskia, and her collaborators at MCRI are investigating how epilepsy arises.