Provide a pathway for defining and characterising genomic discoveries from each of the Research Programs with the aim of fuelling the pipeline for discovery of genomics targeted therapeutics.
Professor Ken O’Byrne
Professor Ken O’Byrne is the Clinical Director of the Cancer and Ageing Research Program (CARP) at QUT and a consultant Medical Oncologist at Princess Alexandra Hospital. He qualified from University College, Dublin (UCD) in 1984, completed his higher professional oncology training at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford 1997 and subsequently worked at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and University of Leicester until returning to Dublin in November ’03. He has a Doctorate Degree in Medicine from UCD and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Ireland. His research includes biomarker identification in solid and liquid biopsies, drug resistance linked to cancer 'stemness' and genomic instability. He has ongoing global collaborative projects on drug resistance, DNA repair and genomic instability, and whole genome and exome sequencing. As clinical director of the oncology clinical trials unit within CARP, he has expanded the portfolio of trials to include the first comprehensive cancer phase I clinical trials team in Queensland. View Professor Ken O’Byrne’s profile
Dr Neha GandhiDr Neha S. Gandhi holds Bachelor’s in Engineering, and MPhil & PhD from Curtin University. She is a computational structural biologist and chemist focusing on the structure and function of biomolecules to probe and/or inhibit drug-protein interactions involved in disease processes. Through the lens of high-performance computing, her research team test millions of drug-like chemicals against a biological target for treating ageing related diseases (e.g. diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer) and discover ‘hits’. She collaborates with various experimental groups in India, France, the UK and Queensland institutions and pharmaceutical industry to guide the progression of a single drug into pre-clinical trials. View Dr Neha Gandhi’s profile
Dr Joshua Burgess
Dr Joshua Burgess completed his PhD at QUT in 2016, with a focus on DNA damage repair and cancer. Following his PhD, he was awarded an Advance Queensland Early Career Fellowship and project funding from the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Dr Burgess work has focused on the development of a novel PARP inhibitor biomarker to improve patient treatment and outcomes. He has established collaborations with Australian and international clinicians and researchers to translate basic research findings into to patient care. In addition to his research role, Dr Burgess manages a large high throughput equipment facility (TCIQ) at the translational research institute. View Dr Joshua Burgess’s profile
Personalised therapies are those that focus on the specific genes or proteins that, through one of various forms of genomic mutation, are driving disease in an individual. To be effective in a clinical application these therapies require an understanding of the individual’s underlying genetic change and rely on genetic diagnostics.
The Personalised Therapies Research Program aims to understand the genetic mechanisms of disease and their consequences for drug action and thereby dramatically improve success rate for discovering new medicines. The program makes use of computer-aided drug design platform by which researchers can perform in-depth in silico simulations prior to labour-extensive wet-lab validation. Access to the state-of-the-art techniques for protein modelling, hit identification (e.g. molecular docking, focused library design, fragment-based design, compound libraries such as DrugBank, Enamine, ChemDiv, ZINC, etc.), and hit optimisation are available. In addition, the High-Performance Computing infrastructure allows the study of diverse functional roles of biomolecules featuring important functions such as ion and molecule transport, post-translational modifications, effect of the lipid mono and bi-layers, aggregation etc. Complementary to in silico studies, our early-phase drug discovery expertise includes synthesis of analogue libraries and intermediates and in vitro and in vivo drug screens.