Dr Sarah Best is a Laboratory Head and fundamental biology lead in the Brain Cancer Research Lab. In this position, Sarah brings her expertise from multiple solid tumours to tackle the challenges of brain cancer.

After completing her PhD on breast cancer at WEHI, Sarah moved to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston to study tumour suppressor genes in squamous non-melanoma skin cancer. In 2016, Sarah returned to WEHI to work on precision therapies for KEAP1-mutant lung cancer. In 2018, Sarah was awarded the Griffith University Discovery Award (Research Australia) for her work on biomarkers for KEAP1-mutant lung cancer.

In 2021, Sarah was appointed to Laboratory Head, co-leading the Brain Cancer Research Laboratory with Dr Jim Whittle (clinical lead) and Dr Saskia Freytag (bioinformatics lead) in the newly established Brain Cancer Centre at WEHI.

Sarah has been supported by Carrie’s Beanies for Brain Cancer (CB4BC), the Victorian Cancer Agency, Cancer Australia, Cancer Council Victoria, MRFF and NHMRC.

Her interest lies in the genetics of solid tumours, with a focus on the design of personalised therapeutics for patients.


Selected publications from Dr Sarah Best

1. S. Best, P. Gubser, S. Sethumadhavan, A. Kersbergen, Y. Negrón Abril, J. Goldford, K. Sellers, W. Abeysekera, A. Garnham, J. McDonald, C. Weeden, D. Anderson, D. Pirman, T. Roddy, D. Creek, A. Kallies, G. Kingsbury, K. Sutherland. Glutaminase inhibition impairs CD8 T cell activation in STK11/Lkb1 deficient lung cancer. Cell Metab. 2022. *Co-corresponding author. PMID: 35504291

2. J. Hess, K. Sutherland and S. Best. Exploring natural killer cell immunology as a therapeutic strategy in lung cancer. Transl Lung Cancer Res. 2021. 10(6) 2788-2805. *Senior and co-corresponding author. PMID: 34295678

3. S. Best, C. Vandenberg, E. Abad, L. Whitehead, L. Guiu, S. Ding, M. Brennan, A. Strasser, M. Herold, K. Sutherland, A. Janic. Consequences of Zmat3 loss in C-MYC and mutant KRAS-driven tumorigenesis. Cell Death Dis. 2020. 11(10):877. PMID: 33082333

4. S. Best*, J. Hess*, F. Souza-Fonseca-Guimaraes, J. Cursons, A. Kersbergen, X. Dong, J. Rautela, S. Hyslop, M. Ritchie, M. Davis, T. Leong, L. Irving, D. Steinfort, N. Huntington, K. Sutherland. Harnessing natural killer immunity in metastatic small cell lung cancer. J Thorac Oncol. 2020. 15(9):1507-1521. *Equal contribution. PMID: 32470639

5. S. Best, S. Ding, A. Kersbergen, X. Dong, J.Y. Song, Y. Xie, B. Reljic, K. Li, J. Vince, V. Rathi, G. Wright, M. Ritchie, K. Sutherland. Distinct initiating events underpin the immune and metabolic heterogeneity of KRAS-mutant lung adenocarcinoma. Nat Commun. 2019. 10(1):4190. PMID: 31519898

6. S. Best*, C. Harapas*, A. Kersbergen, V. Rathi, M.L. Asselin-Labat, K. Sutherland. FGFR3-TACC3 is an oncogenic fusion protein in respiratory epithelium. Oncogene. 2018. 37(46):6096-6104. *Equal contribution. PMID: 29991799

7. S. Best and K. Sutherland. “KEAPing” a lid on lung cancer: the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway. Cell Cycle. 2018. 17(14):1696-1707. PMID: 30009666

8. S. Best, D. DeSouza, A. Kersbergen, A. Policheni, S. Dayalan, D. Tull, V. Rathi, D. Gray, M. Ritchie, M. McConville, K. Sutherland. Synergy between the KEAP1/NRF2 and PI3K pathway drives non-small cell lung cancer with an altered immune microenvironment. Cell Metab. 2018. 27(4):935-943.e4. PMID: 29526543

9. S. Best, A. Kersbergen, M.L Asselin-Labat, K. Sutherland. Combining cell type-restricted adenoviral targeting with immunostaining and flow cytometry to identify cells-of-origin of lung cancer. Methods Mol Biol. 2018. 1725:15-29. PMID: 29322405

10. S. Best, A. Nwaobasi, C. Schmults, M. Ramsey. CCAR2 is required for proliferation and tumour maintenance in human Squamous Cell Carcinoma. J Invest Dermatol. 2017. 137(2):506-512. PMID: 27725203

Lab research projects

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