Understand the processes that protect our genetic code from damage and determine how these processes change with age and disease.
Dr Emma BoldersonDr Emma Bolderson is the leader of the Molecular Biology of Ageing group at QUT. Dr Bolderson gained her PhD in cancer cell biology from the University of Sheffield, UK in 2005. Dr Bolderson’s team strives to identify the cellular mechanisms that drive the ageing process and ageing-related diseases, such as cancer. The teams expertise are diverse, encompassing the mechanisms by which our cells detect and repair DNA damage, DNA structure, cell metabolism, drug design and development. The team collaborates with Australian and international researchers to increase our knowledge and understanding of how our cells degenerate as we get older, enabling us to identify pathways that can be targeted to prevent or alleviate the diseases that are prevalent in ageing humans to increase our health lifespan. View Dr Emma Bolderson’s staff profile
Professor Derek Richard
Professor Derek Richard is the Scientific Director of the Cancer & Ageing Research Program at QUT. Prof Richard gained his PhD in 1999 at the University of Dundee in Scotland. His research interests lie in how proteins function with DNA to maintain genetic stability. His research has covered all three domains of life as well as viruses. His team seek to understand how mutations occur and how these mutations link to the ageing process and diseases associated with ageing. Prof Richard takes this knowledge and utilises it to develop novel therapeutics. His work has resulted in two spin out companies and in 2020 will initiate two first in human clinical trials of drugs developed by his team at QUT. View Professor Derek Richard’s profile
The Genomic Instability and Disease Research Program seeks to understand the processes that protect our genetic code from damage and determine how these processes change with age and disease. This program employs a genuinely multidisciplinary approach to answer the critical questions of how do we age and what drives the initiation of ageing diseases. The programs technological and intellectual capabilities include structural biology, biophysics, molecular and cellular biology, proteomics, genomics, drug discovery, medicinal chemistry, preclinical models of disease and clinical studies.
The program encompasses a multidisciplinary cohort of highly skilled researchers who seek to understand genomic instability through several complementary health research areas linked to age:
- Understanding the functional and physiological consequences of genetic mutations in rare genetic paediatric diseases. In this regard, this research has recently started to develop strengths in next-generation whole genome sequencing and the bioinformatics associated with the diagnosis of these paediatric genetic diseases.
- Developing the capacity to drive a robust indigenous genetics program that seeks to understand the role mutagenesis plays in their ageing genome, with the ultimate goal of reducing the health disparity indigenous Australians suffer.
- Finally, within the clinic, work focuses on identifying and developing biomarkers that will predict response to therapeutics that function through the modulation of genomic integrity and in the development of drugs to enhance DNA repair in ageing or induce genomic instability in cancer. Researchers work with international and local pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies to deliver clinical trials in the area of interest.