Andrew Deans (Unit head) Andrew studied for his PhD at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, where he developed an interest in how the cell cycle and DNA repair are involved in the development of breast cancer. In 2006, he moved to the UK to work with Steve West at the London Research Institute (now the Francis Crick Institute). In 2012, he returned to Australia to head the Genome Stability Unit at St Vincent's Institute. He is an expert on the genetic disorder Fanconi Anaemia, as well as familial breast cancer predisposition - both of which are associated with deficiencies in the repair of DNA damage. His leadership in the field of Fanconi anaemia research was recognised in 2017 as recipient of the David B Frohnmayer award.
Rohan Bythell-Douglas (Postdoctoral scientist) Michael joined the lab in January 2018 after completing a postdoc with Dale Wigley at Imperial College London. Michael is investigating the structure and function of various proteins in the Fanconi anaemia pathway.
Vincent Murphy (Research assistant) Vince is an experienced biochemist who has made a career of protein production at the Ludwig Institute, WEHI, LaTrobe University, AdAlta and now the Genome Stability lab at SVI. He works to purify and crystallise several proteins that are important in maintaining genome stability and suppressing cancer.
Sylvie van Twest (Research assistant) Sylvie has been in the lab from the beginning! Hailing from Canada, Sylvie has a Masters degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Guelph, Ontario. Sylvie is working on biochemical reconstitution of the Fanconi Anaemia DNA repair pathway, and its role in the cancer predisposition syndrome Fanconi Anaemia.
Astrid Glaser (Postdoctoral scientist) Astrid joined the lab after a successful PhD at Murdoch Institute, where she invented the widely-used EGFP to BFP conversion assay. Astrid is working on the application of DNA repair pathways to outcomes of gene editing.
Lu Liu (PhD student) Lu came to the lab, just at the start of the pandemic - what timing! Despite all the obstacles, she is making excellent progress on application of gene editing in bone marrow stem cells, for the potential treatment of Fanconi anemia.
Lara Abbouche (PhD student) Lara completed honours year in the lab, studying the role of FANCM in breast cancer predisposition. She stayed on as a research assistant, and started as a PhD student in June 2022.
Your name here? The genome stability lab is always on the look out for enthusiastic and adventurous honours and PhD students or postdocs. Informal applications are accepted by emailing Andrew Deans.
Charlotte Hodson (Postdoctoral scientist) Charlotte completed a PhD at the London Research Institute, where she solved the structure and mechanism of the FANCL ubiquitin ligase, defective in Fanconi anaemia. She started in the lab in 2014, and worked on mechanisms that control the fidelity of homologous recombination repair, and R-loop metabolism - of great importance in suppression of cancer mutations. She returned to the UK in 2017 to continue her structural biology work at Astex Pharmaceuticals.
Elyse Dunn (Postdoctoral scientist) Elyse joined the lab in July 2017. Her previous experience in the disparate fields of structural biology and human disease epidemiology will be combined, to help us understand how variation in FANCC and FANCM genes contribute to familial breast cancer predisposition. She now works at Bio21 Institute on drug development projects.
Winnie Tan (PhD student) Winnie was in the lab from 2016 until 2020 and made several important discoveries about that ubiquitination plays in the Fanconi Anemia DNA repair pathway. IN particular, she discovered that ubiquitinated FANCD2 forms a clamp on DNA together with ubiquitinated FANCI, and this leads to the formation of arrays of this complex over DNA. For this work, in 2020 she was awarded the TJ Martin medal, for best PhD thesis on the St Vincent's Hospital campus. Since 2021, Winnie is a postdoc at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.
Vanessa Tsui (PhD student) Vanessa has a Masters degree from University of Melbourne. She joined the lab in 2018, to study the role of FANCM in recombination during mouse meiosis. She completed in early 2022 and is now a postdoc at Hudson Institute.
Eiffel Tolentino (Honours student) Eiffel is completing is Bachelor of Biomedical Science at the Australian Catholic University. In 2018 he will work closely with Elyse to investigate variants in DNA repair genes linked to familial breast cancer. His project specifically examines a set of rare FANCM variants that cluster only in women with a family history breast cancer.
Julienne O'Rourke (PhD student) Julienne undertook honours in the lab in 2013 and completed an outstanding thesis : "Inhibition of the Bloom's Syndrome Pathways as a Mechanism of Chemotherapy". Julienne has been awarded a PhD scholarship from the Leukaemia Foundation to continue this project in the lab.
Leon Burgdorf (Visiting Masters Student) Leon is completing a Master of Science at ETHZ Zurich, Switzerland, with a major in biochemistry. He was at SVI, for a 6 month project in 2017-18 investigating the function of the FANCA protein in the Fanconi Anaemia DNA repair pathway.
Fenil Shah (Postdoctoral scientist) Fenil completed a PhD at Griffith University (Brisbane). He started in the lab in 2012, looking at how phosphorylation regulates DNA repair in the Fanconi anaemia DNA repair pathway. He is now in the USA, continuing work in the DNA repair field with Mark R Kelley.
Nikolas Sie (Undergraduate student) Nik spent 4 months with us in 2015, working on several RecQ helicases as part of an undergraduate exchange program from the University of Wuerzburg, Germany.
James Beddoes (Honours students) James is undertaking an honours year via the University of Melbourne . His project is investigating the targeting of DNA repair pathways as a mechanism of treating familial breast cancer.