Stephin completed his PhD at Utrecht University in the Netherlands in 2015 studying transcriptional regulation in breast cancer. After completing his degree he joined the lab of Professor Ricky Johnstone at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia. Here he developed his own independent research lines investigating fundamental mechanisms of RNA Polymerase II mediated gene regulation and the targeting thereof in cancer.
At the start of 2022, Stephin started his own lab at WEHI in Melbourne in the Epigenetics and Development division.
His work is supported by two prestigious fellowships from the Snow Medical Research Foundation and CSL.
The Netherlands, Utrecht University, BSc, 2007
The Netherlands, Utrecht University, MSc, 2009
The Netherlands, Utrecht University, PhD, 2015
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (honorary)
The University of Melbourne
2022, Joseph Sambrook Award (for best publication in the last 2 years from Peter Mac) Peter MacCallum Cancer Research Centre
– 2022 SNOW Medical Fellowship 2023, 8 years (8M AUD)
– 2021 CSL Centernary Fellowship 2021, 5 years (1.25M AUD)
– 2021 CIB CCV Grant-in-Aid. P300/CBP targeting (300K AUD)
– 2019 NHMRC Early Leadership fellowship 5-years (647K AUD). Fellowship on the Therapeutic Targeting and Molecular Characterization of RNAPII transcription cycles in cancer. This has resulted in a Cell and Science Advances paper.
– 2016 Rubicon Postdoctoral Fellowship (2.5 years, 250K AUD) Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
(NWO). Prestigious Fellowship from the Netherlands (C.J. Martin equivalent) which enables researchers to perform their postdoctoral studies at world-leading institutes abroad.
Vervoort SJ, Devlin JR, Kwiatkowski N, Teng M, Gray NS, Johnstone RW. Targeting transcription cycles in cancer. Nat Rev Cancer. 2022 Jan;22(1):5-24. doi: 10.1038/s41568-021-00411-8. Epub 2021 Oct 21. PMID: 34675395 Review.
SJ Vervoort*a, SA Welsh*, JR Devlin, E Barbieri, DA Knight, M Costacurta I Todorovski, CJ Kearney, J Sandow, S Bjelosevic, Z Fan, J Visser, K Pavic, B Martin, G Gregory, SJ Hogg, M Kelly, A Newbold, K Simpson, O Kauko, K Harvey, M Ohlmeyer, J Westermarck, N Gray, A Gardinia, R.W. Johnstone. The PP2A-Integrator-CDK9 axis fine tunes transcription and can be targeted therapeutically in cancer. Cell 2021. PMID: 34004147 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.04.022. *Co-corresponding and first author.
Simon J. Hogg, Olga Motorna, Leonie A. Cluse, Timmothy M. Johanson, Hannah D. Coughlan, Ramya Raviram, Robert M. Myers, Matteo Costacurta, Izabela Todorovski, Lizzy Pijpers, Stefan Bjelosevic, Tobias Williams, Shannon N. Huskins, Conor J. Kearney, Jennifer R. Devlin, Zheng Fan, Jafar S. Jabbari, Ben P. Martin, Mohamed Fareh, Madison J. Kelly, Daphné Dupéré-Richer, Jarrod J. Sandow, Breon Feran, Deborah Knight, Tiffany Khong, Andrew Spencer, Simon J. Harrison, Gareth Gregory, Vihandha O. Wickramasinghe, Andrew I. Webb, Phillippa C. Taberlay, Kenneth D. Bromberg, Albert Lai, Anthony T. Papenfuss, Gordon K. Smyth, Rhys S. Allan, Jonathan D. Licht, Dan A. Landau, Omar Abdel-Wahab, Jake Shortt, Stephin J. Vervoort†*, Ricky W. Johnstone†*. Targeting P300/CBP reveals discrete regulation of transcription and chromatin accessibility by histone acetylation. Molecular Cell 2021. DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2021.04.015. *Co-senior and Co-corresponding authors
Kearney CJ*, Vervoort SJ*, Ramsbottom KM, Todorovski I, Lelliott EJ, Zethoven M, Pijpers L, Martin BP, Semple T, Martelotto L, Trapani JA, Parish IA, Scott NE, Oliaro J, Johnstone RW. SUGAR-seq enables simultaneous detection of glycans, epitopes, and the transcriptome in single cells. Science Advances. 2021 Feb 19;7(8):eabe3610. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abe3610. PMID: 33608275; PMCID: PMC7895430. *Co-first author
Emily J Lelliott, Isabella Y Kong, Magnus Zethoven, Kelly M Ramsbottom, Luciano G. Martelotto, Deborah Meyran, Joe Jiang Zhu, Matteo Costacurta, Laura Kirby, Jarrod J Sandow, Lydia Lim, Pilar M Dominguez, Izabela Todorovski, Nicole M Haynes, Paul A. Beavis, Paul J Neeson, Edwin D Hawkins, Grant A McArthur, Ian A Parish, Ricky W. Johnstone, Jane Oliaro, Karen E Sheppard*, Conor J Kearney* and Stephin J Vervoort*. CDK4/6 inhibition promotes anti-tumor immunity through the induction of T cell memory. Cancer Discovery 2021. PMID: 33990344 Doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-20-1554. *Co-senior and corresponding
Kong IY, Rimes JS, Light A, Todorovski I, Jones S, Morand E, Knight DA, Bergman YE, Hogg SJ, Falk H, Monahan BJ, Stupple PA, Street IP, Heinzel S, Bouillet P, Johnstone RW, Hodgkin PD, Vervoort SJ*, Hawkins ED*. Temporal Analysis of Brd4 Displacement in the Control of B Cell Survival, Proliferation, and Differentiation. Cell Rep. 2020 Oct 20;33(3):108290. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108290. PMID: 33086063. *Co-senior and corresponding author
Fan Z, Devlin JR, Hogg SJ, Doyle MA, Harrison PF, Todorovski I, Cluse LA, Knight DA, Sandow JJ, Gregory G, Fox A, Beilharz TH, Kwiatkowski N, Scott NE, Vidakovic AT, Kelly GP, Svejstrup JQ, Geyer M, Gray NS, Vervoort SJ*, Johnstone RW*. CDK13 cooperates with CDK12 to control global RNA polymerase II processivity. Sci Adv. 2020 Apr 29;6(18):eaaz5041. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz5041. PMID: 32917631; PMCID: PMC7190357. *Co-senior and corresponding author
Kelly MJ, So J, Rogers AJ, Gregory G, Li J, Zethoven M, Gearhart MD, Bardwell VJ, Johnstone RW, Vervoort SJ*, Kats LM*. Bcor loss perturbs myeloid differentiation and promotes leukaemogenesis. Nature Communications. 2019 Mar 22;10(1):1347. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09250-6. PMID: 30902969; PMCID: PMC6430802. *Co-senior authors
Vervoort SJ, de Jong OG, Roukens MG, Frederiks CL, Vermeulen JF, Lourenço AR, Bella L, Vidakovic AT, Sandoval JL, Moelans C, van Amersfoort M, Dallman MJ, Bruna A, Caldas C, Nieuwenhuis E, van der Wall E, Derksen P, van Diest P, Verhaar MC, Lam EW, Mokry M, Coffer PJ. Global transcriptional analysis identifies a novel role for SOX4 in tumor-induced angiogenesis. Elife. 2018 Dec 3;7:e27706. doi: 10.7554/eLife.27706. PMID: 30507376; PMCID: PMC6277201.
Kearney CJ*, Vervoort SJ*, Hogg SJ, Ramsbottom KM, Freeman AJ, Lalaoui N, Pijpers L, Michie J, Brown KK, Knight DA, Sutton V, Beavis PA, Voskoboinik I, Darcy PK, Silke J, Trapani JA, Johnstone RW, Oliaro J. Tumor immune evasion arises through loss of TNF sensitivity. Sci Immunol. 2018 May 18;3(23):eaar3451. doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aar3451. PMID: 29776993. *Co-first authors
Vervoort SJ, Lourenço AR, Tufegdzic Vidakovic A, Mocholi E, Sandoval JL, Rueda OM, Frederiks C, Pals C, Peeters JGC, Caldas C, Bruna A, Coffer PJ. SOX4 can redirect TGF-β-mediated SMAD3- transcriptional output in a context-dependent manner to promote tumorigenesis. Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 Oct 12;46(18):9578-9590. doi: 10.1093/nar/gky755. PMID: 30137431; PMCID: PMC6182182.
Tight control of gene expression is critical for normal development and homeostasis. Consequently, many layers of transcriptional regulation have evolved to control RNA Polymerase II (RNAPII) mediated RNA synthesis. When transcriptional control is lost, the ensuing dysregulation of gene-expression networks invariably results in human disease, including cancer. This notion has spurred the development of novel therapies that target transcriptional complexes.
In recent work we have combined genome-wide CRISPR-screening approaches with state-of-the-art genomics and molecular biological approaches to discover, characterise and target new transcriptional regulatory complexes (Vervoort et al. Cell 2021).
This project will combine unbiased screening approaches, with innovative bio-sensors and CRISPR-Cas9 genome-engineering to uncover novel coding and non-coding regulators of transcription and carefully delineate their molecular role through structural, molecular and genomics technologies.