Associate Professor Marie-Liesse Asselin-Labat PharmD, PhD, Viertel Senior Medical Research Fellow, is Joint-Head of the Personalised Oncology division. She completed her PhD at the University Paris XI in 2004 and pursued post-doctoral work at WEHI before starting her independent research program in 2011.
Her lab focuses on studying the interactions between the immune micro-environment and tumour cells in lung cancer. Using spatial multi-omics approaches, she aims to identify targetable pathways to increase antitumour immunity in non-small lung cancer. Her team has shown that the immune environment in which a tumour arises is an important driver of immune evasion mechanisms (Cancer Cell 2023).
Drawing on her expertise in lung cancer biology, the analysis of clinical samples, immune evasion, the spatial analysis of the tumour microenvironment and functional screens, her research aims to increase our understanding of the evolutionary interactions driving immune evasion in lung cancer, and exploit these interactions as therapeutic targets.
France, Paris XI, PhD
France, Paris XI, DEA (eq. Honours)
France, University of Nantes, PharmaD
2018 Australian Academy of Science Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science
2012 Eureka Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher
2011 Lawrence Creative Prize, Centenary Institute
2010 Scientific Visits to Europe Award, Australian Academy of Science
2010 L’Oreal for Women in Science Fellowship
2023 Cancer Council Victoria Venture Grant
2023 US Department of Defense, Concept Award
2019 National Health and Medical Research Council Ideas Grant
2016 Viertel Foundation Senior Medical Researcher Fellowship
Weeden, C. E., Gayevskiy, V., Marceaux, C., …, Mackay L., Speed, T. P., Gray, D. H*., ASSELIN-LABAT ML*.
(2023) Early immune pressure imposed by tissue resident memory T cells sculpts tumour evolution in non-small cell lung cancer.
Available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4187262 or biorxiv: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.20.440373
Cancer Cell in Press
Pennycuick A, Teixeira VH, AbdulJabbar K, Raza SEA, Lund T, Akarca AU, Rosenthal R, Kalinke L, Chandrasekharan DP, Pipinikas CP, Lee-Six H, Hynds RE, Gowers KHC, Henry JY, Millar FR, Hagos YB, Denais C, Falzon M, Moore DA, Antoniou S, Durrenberger PF, Furness AJ, Carroll B, Marceaux C, Asselin-Labat ML, Larson W, Betts C, Coussens LM, Thakrar RM, George J, Swanton C, Thirlwell C, Campbell PJ, Marafioti T, Yuan Y, Quezada SA, McGranahan N, Janes SM. Immune Surveillance in Clinical Regression of Preinvasive Squamous Cell Lung Cancer. Cancer Discov. 2020 Oct;10(10):1489-1499. PMID: 32690541
Leong TL, Gayevskiy V, Steinfort DP, De Massy, MR, Gonzalez-Rajal, A, Marini KD, Stone E, Chin V, Havryk A, Plit M, Irving LB, Jennings BR, McCloy RA, Jayesekara WSN, Alamgeer M, Bolell V, Field A, Russell PA, Kumar B, Gough DJ, Szczepny A, Ganju V, Rossello FJ, Cian E, Pappenfuss AT, Asselin-Labat ML*, Cowley MJ*, Watkins DN*. Deep multi-region whole-genome sequencing reveals heterogeneity and gene-by-environment interactions in treatment-naive metastatic lung cancer. 2019 Oncogene, March 01; 38(10):1661-1675. PMID: 30348992
Iglesias-Bartolome R, Abusleme L, Molinolo AA, Uchiyama A, Brooks SR, Callejas-Valera JL, Moutsopoulos N, Edwards D, Asselin-Labat ML, Onaitis M, Doci C, Gutkind JS, Morasso M. Unique transcriptional signature primes oral mucosa for rapid wound healing in humans. Science Transl Med, 2018 Jul 25;10(451) PMID: 30045979
Weeden CE, Ah-Cann C, Holik AZ, Pasquet J, Garnier JM, Merino D, Lessene G, Asselin-Labat ML. Dual inhibition of BCL-XL and MCL-1 is required to induce tumour regression in lung squamous cell carcinomas sensitive to FGFR inhibition. Oncogene, 2018 Aug ;37(32) :4475-4488 PMID: 29743589
Weeden CE, Holik AZ, Young RJ, Ma SB, Garnier JM, Fox SB, Antippa P, Irving LB, Steinfort DP, Wright GM, Russell PA, Ritchie ME, Burns CJ, Solomon B, Asselin-Labat ML. Cisplatin increases sensitivity to FGFR inhibition in patient-derived xenograft models of lung squamous cell carcinoma. Mol Cancer Ther. 2017 Aug; 16(8):1610-1622. PMID: 28611104
Weeden CE, Chen Y, Ma SB, Hu Y, Ramm G, Sutherland KD, Smyth GK, Asselin-Labat ML. Lung Basal Stem Cells Rapidly Repair DNA Damage Using the Error-Prone Nonhomologous End-Joining Pathway. PLoS Biol 2017 Jan 26 15(1):e2000731. PMID: 28125611
Holik AZ, Filby CE, Pasquet J, Viitaniemi K, Ciciulla J, Sutherland KD and Asselin-Labat ML. The LIM-domain only protein 4 contributes to lung epithelial cell proliferation but is not essential for tumor progression. Respir Res. 2015 Jun 7; 16:67. PMID: 26048572
Galvis L, Holik AZ, Short KM, Pasquet J, Lun AL, Blewitt ME, Smyth IM, Ritchie ME, Asselin-Labat ML. Repression of Igf1 expression by Ezh2 prevents basal cell differentiation in the developing lung. Development, 2015 Apr 15;142(8):1458-69. PMID: 25790853
Asselin-Labat ML, Vaillant F, Sheridan JM, Pal B, Wu D, Simpson ER, Yasuda H, Smyth GK, Martin TJ, Lindeman GJ, Visvader JE. Control of mammary stem cell function by steroid hormone signalling. Nature. 2010 Jun 10;465(7299):798-802. PMID: 20383121
Asselin-Labat ML, Sutherland KD, Barker H, Thomas R, Shackleton M, Forrest NC, Hartley L, Robb L, Grosveld FG, van der Wees J, Lindeman GJ, Visvader JE. Gata-3 is an essential regulator of mammary-gland morphogenesis and luminal-cell differentiation. Nat Cell Biol. 2007 Feb;9(2):201-9. PMID: 17187062
Using human lung tissue samples, we aim to identify recurrent neoantigens present by tumour cells to the immune system. This project uses proteomic and transcriptomic approaches to identify neoantigens and in vitro assay to determine their immunogenicity.
Mechanisms of resistance to immunotherapy include tumour intrinsic and extrinsic factors mediated by the tumour microenvironment. The project aims to characterise the interactions between immune cells and tumour cells in NSCLC to understand resistance mechanisms and propose new targets for the development of therapy.
The project combines spatial molecular profiling and in situ imaging analysis with genetic studies in preclinical models of NSCLC and in clinical samples.
Silencing the antigen presentation machinery is a known mechanism invoked by tumour cells to evade the immune system. Using CRISPR/Cas9 screening approaches, we aim to identify pathways regulating the antigen presentation machinery in lung cancer. Our goal is to identify targets that could be exploited therapeutically to increase tumour cell visibility.