MARK
dawson
Professor Mark Dawson

"A unifying theme in our multidisciplinary research is our primary focus in the field of cancer epigenetics."

Professor Mark Dawson
Professor Mark Dawson

"A unifying theme in our multidisciplinary research is our primary focus in the field of cancer epigenetics."

A unifying theme in our multidisciplinary research is our primary focus in the field of cancer epigenetics. The term epigenetics is often used to describe the study of the molecular events that facilitate transcription, DNA repair and DNA replication. Due to the critical role of epigenetic proteins in regulating access to our DNA template, it is unsurprising that the most common class of mutations found within most cancer genomes are those that perturb the function of epigenetic regulators. This fact underpins our motivation to understand how epigenetics proteins facilitate cancer. Our ambition is to use these insights to develop and trial small molecules that exploit the inherent plasticity of the epigenome and abrogate malignant transcription programs.

Central to the culture of our laboratory is curiosity-based research that aims to make important scientific discoveries that may ultimately be translated into the clinical arena.  Underpinning our research are unbiased genetic screens using RNA interference (RNAi) or gene editing (CRISPR/Cas9) and single cell analytical platforms. These methods have been optimised to function as the engine room of our research strategy. Our research spans several tumour streams including acute myeloid leukaemia, lymphoma, melanoma, breast and lung cancer. We have specifically assembled a diverse research team of clinicians and scientists that have broad expertise spanning biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, genomics, chemical biology, immunology, animal models of disease and bioinformatics. This multidisciplinary approach is critical in helping us pursue our scientific vision.

Key publications

HIV is associated with an increased risk of
age-related clonal hematopoiesis among older adults

HIV is associated with an increased risk
of age-related clonal hematopoiesis
among older adults

HIV is associated with an increased risk of age-related
clonal hematopoiesis among older adults

HIV is associated with an increased risk of age-related clonal hematopoiesis among older adults

Published in Nature Medicine, 7 June 2021
Nature Medicine, 7 June 2021

Selective targeting of BD1 and BD2 of the BET
proteins in cancer and immune-inflammation

Selective targeting of BD1 and BD2
of the BET proteins in cancer
and immune-inflammation

Selective targeting of BD1 and BD2 of the BET
proteins in cancer and immune-inflammation

Selective targeting of BD1 and BD2 of the BET proteins in cancer and immune-inflammation

Published in Science, 24 April 2020
Science, 24 April 2020

HBO1 is required for the maintenance
of leukaemia stem cells

HBO1 is required for the maintenance
of leukaemia stem cells

HBO1 is required for the maintenance of leukaemia stem cells

HBO1 is required for the maintenance of leukaemia stem cells

Published in Nature, January 2020
Nature, January 2020

An evolutionary conserved function of polycomb
silences the MHC Class I antigen presentation
pathway and enables immune evasion in cancer

An evolutionary conserved function of polycomb silences the MHC Class I antigen presentation pathway and enables
immune evasion in cancer

An evolutionary conserved function of polycomb
silences the MHC Class I antigen presentation
pathway and enables immune evasion in cancer

An evolutionary conserved function of polycomb silences the MHC Class I antigen presentation pathway and enables immune evasion in cancer

Published in Cancer Cell, 14 October 2019
Cancer Cell, 14 October 2019

CMTM6 maintains the expression of PD-L1
and regulates anti-tumour immunity

CMTM6 maintains the expression of PD-L1
and regulates anti-tumour immunity

CMTM6 maintains the expression of PD-L1
and regulates anti-tumour immunity

CMTM6 maintains the expression of PD-L1 and regulates anti-tumour immunity

Published in Nature, 7 September 2017
Nature, 7 September 2017

Click chemistry enables preclinical evaluation
of targeted epigenetic therapies

Click chemistry enables preclinical evaluation
of targeted epigenetic therapies

Click chemistry enables preclinical evaluation
of targeted epigenetic therapies

Click chemistry enables preclinical evaluation of targeted epigenetic therapies

Published in Science, 30 June 2017
Science, 30 June 2017

Functional interdependence of BRD4
and DOT1L in MLL leukaemia

Functional interdependence of BRD4
and DOT1L in MLL leukaemia

Functional interdependence of BRD4
and DOT1L in MLL leukaemia

Functional interdependence of BRD4 and DOT1L in MLL leukaemia

Published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology July 2016
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology July 2016

BET inhibitor resistance emerges
from leukaemia stem cells

BET inhibitor resistance emerges
from leukaemia stem cells

BET inhibitor resistance emerges from leukaemia stem cells

BET inhibitor resistance emerges from leukaemia stem cells

Published in Nature, 24 September 2015
Nature, 24 September 2015

Meet the team

Sarah Ftouni

Sarah Ftouni

Laboratory Manager

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Enid Lam

Bioinformatician, Postdoctoral Fellow

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Yih-Chih Chan

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Dane Vassiliadis

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Andrew Guirguis

Haematologist, Postdoctoral Fellow

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Brian Liddicoat

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Laura MacPherson

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Ali Motazedian

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Paul Yeh

Haematologist, Postdoctoral Fellow

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Charles Bell

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Kathy Knezevic

Research Assistant

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Harrison Wood

PhD Student

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Miriam Yeung

Bioinformatics, Research Assistant

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Katie Fennell

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Kah-Lok Chan

Haematologist, PhD Student

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Christina Sparbier

PhD Student

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Vicky Tan

PhD Student

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Jesse Balic

MD, Honorary Postdoctoral Fellow

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Wendy Jia

Research Assistant

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Laure Talarmain

Bioinformatician, Postdoctoral Fellow

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Andrew Das

MD, Postdoctoral Fellow

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Elanor Wainwright

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Laura Scolamiero

MD, Research Assistant

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Oliver Sinclair

PhD Student

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Jamie Kuzich

Haematologist, PhD Student

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Clare Gould

Haematologist, Postdoctoral Fellow

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Laura MacPherson
Postdoctoral fellow
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