My laboratory generates preclinical models of lung cancer and employs diverse disciplines such as molecular biology, clinical oncology, immunology and metabolomics to prioritise clinically relevant questions.

One major interest is the development of novel preclinical models that closely resemble human lung cancer. Genetic alterations found in human lung cancer patients can be replicated in our models using Cre-LoxP recombination and CRISPR/Cas9 technology. We also have the ability to direct cancer-associated mutations to specific lung epithelial cell populations, which enables us to interrogate potential cells-of-origin.

Through flow cytometric studies we have developed methods to interrogate the immune microenvironment of lung cancer. We are interested in understanding mechanisms of immunosurveillance with the aim of exploiting this knowledge to harness the immune system to treat lung cancer.

We are also interested in tumour heterogeneity and how this heterogeneity influences metastatic dissemination in lung cancer. We have developed sophisticated preclinical models that mimic the metastatic behaviour of the human disease. Current efforts are focused on testing novel treatment strategies to control cancer spread.


Selected publications from Prof Kate Sutherland

Best SA*, Hess JB*, Souza-Fonseca-Guimaraes F, Cursons J, Kersbergen A, Dong X, Rautela J, Hyslop SR, Ritchie ME, Davis MJ, Leong TL, Irving TL, Steinfort D, Huntington ND & Sutherland KD. (2020). Harnessing Nature Killer Immunity in Metastatic SCLC. J Thorac Oncol. 15(9):1507-1521 PMID: 32470639

Burr ML, Sparbier CE, Chan, KL, Chan Y, Kersbergen A, Lam EYN, Azidis-Yates E, Vassiliadis D, Bell CC, Gilan O, Jackson S, Tan L, Wong S, Hollizek S, Michalak EM, Siddle H, McCabe MT, Prinjha RK, Solomon BJ, Sandhu S, Dawson SJ, Beavis PA, Tothill R, Cullinane C, Lehner PJ, Sutherland KD and Dawson MA. (2018). An evolutionarily conserved function of polycomb silences the MHC class I antigen presentation pathway and enables immune evasion in cancer. Cancer Cell. 2019 Sep 24. PMID: 31564637

Best SA, Ding S, Kersbergen A, Dong X, Song JY, Xie Y, Reljic B, Li K, Vince JE, Rathi V, Wright GM, Ritchie ME and Sutherland KD. (2019). Distinct initiating events underpin the immune and metabolic heterogeneity of KRAS-mutant lung adenocarcinoma. Nat Commun. 2019 Sep 13;10(1):4190. PMID: 31519898

Best SA*, Harapas C*, Kersbergen A, Rathi V, Asselin-Labat ML and Sutherland KD. (2018). FGFR3-TACC3 is an oncogenic fusion protein in respiratory epithelium. Oncogene 37(46):6096-6104. *Joint-first authors. PMID: 29991799

Best SA, De Souza DP, Kersbergen A, Policheni AN, Dayalan S, Tull D, Rathi V, Gray DH, Ritchie ME, McConville MJ and Sutherland KD. (2018). Synergy between the KEAP1/NRF2 and PI3K pathway drives non-small cell lung cancer with an altered immune microenvironment. Cell Metab. 2018 Apr 3;27(4):935-943.e4. PMID: 29526543

Ferone G, Song JY, Sutherland KD, Bhaskaran R, Monkhorst K, Lambooij JP, Proost N, Gargiulo G and Berns A. (2016). SOX2 is the determining oncogenic switch in promoting lung squamous cell carcinoma from different cells of origin. Cancer Cell 30(4):519-532. PMID: 27728803

Sutherland KD, Song J-Y, Kwon MC, Proost N, Zevenhoven J, Berns A. Multiple cells-of-origin of mutant K-Ras–induced mouse lung adenocarcinoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Apr 1;111(13):4952-7. PMID: 24586047

Sutherland K, Proost N, Brouns I, Adriaensen D, Song JY, Berns A. Cell of origin of small cell lung cancer: Inactivation of Trp53 and Rb1 in distinct cell types of adult mouse lung. Cancer Cell. 2011;19(6):754-64. PMID: 21665149

Sutherland KD and Berns A. Cell of origin of lung cancer. Molecular Oncology. 2010;4(5):397-403. PMID: 20594926

Lab research projects

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