<b>Professor Brandon Wainwright</b><br>
IMB Director and Laboratory Head, Genomics of Development and Disease Division<br><p>
P: +61 7 3346 2110<br>
E: b.wainwright@imb.uq.edu.au<p>
<b>Keywords</b><br>
- skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma)<br>
- brain tumours (medulloblastoma and glioblastoma)<br>
- medical research<br>
- scientific leadership
Professor Brandon Wainwright
IMB Director and Laboratory Head, Genomics of Development and Disease Division

P: +61 7 3346 2110
E: b.wainwright@imb.uq.edu.au

Keywords
- skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma)
- brain tumours (medulloblastoma and glioblastoma)
- medical research
- scientific leadership

Cancer and cell signalling

Skin cancer is a major public health issue in Australia, with the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer costing our community more than $264 million each year. Moreover, brain tumours remain the most common cause of cancer-related death in children and of these, medulloblastoma is the most commonly diagnosed.

Our laboratory has made great progress in understanding the genetic pathways behind the most common form of skin cancer in Australia, Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), and medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumour that occurs predominantly in children.
Having mapped and isolated the Naevoid Basel Cell Carcinoma Syndrome (NBCCS) gene called Patched, which is the driver for a medical condition where affected individuals have a predisposition for developing BCC and medulloblastoma, we were able to identify the Patched gene as a controller of a molecular signalling pathway called the Hedgehog pathway.

The Hedgehog pathway is a set of genetic mutations that contribute to the development of a wide range of tumour types, including lung, pancreatic and ovarian cancer. By examining this pathway and how it interacts with other genetic pathways, our scientists have gained a better understanding of the normal development of the skin and cerebellum, a part of the brain that controls motor functions.

By manipulating the strength of the Hedgehog pathway we believe stem cell populations can be expanded or can be induced to become cancerous.

During the past 12 months we identified the core genetic components that lead to the development of medulloblastoma. This work will enable the therapeutic targeting of every medulloblastoma, not just a subset, leading to more powerful clinical trials and ultimately more effective treatment options. 

Make a difference to Professor Wainwright's research by donating today.

Research in the news

6 November - Health report: Brain cancer research revolution, 7 News Brisbane

28 October - New hope for kids in cancer fightThe Courier-Mail

Research training opportunities 

Please see IMB's postgraduate website for more information. 

Key publications

View more publications by Professor Wainwright via PubMed and via UQ Researchers

Thomas, W.D., Chen, J., Gao, Y.R., Cheung, B., Koach, J., Sekyere, E., Norris, M.D., Haber, M., Ellis, T., Wainwright, B., and Marshall, G.M. (2009). Patched1 deletion increases N-Myc protein stability as a mechanism of medulloblastoma initiation and progression. Oncogene 28: 1605-1615.

Ingram, W.J., McCue, K.I., Tran, T.H., Hallahan, A.R., and Wainwright, B. (2008). Sonic Hedgehog regulates Hes1 through a novel mechanism that is independent of canonical Notch pathway signalling. Oncogene 27: 1489-1500.

Yang, Z.J., Ellis, T., Markant, S.L., Read, T.A., Kessler, J.D., Bourboulas, M., Schüller, U., Machold, R., Fishell, G., Rowitch, D.H., Wainwright, B.J., and Wechsler-Reya, R.J. (2008). Medulloblastoma can be initiated by deletion of Patched in lineage-restricted progenitors or stem cells. Cancer Cell 14: 135-145.

Adolphe, C., Hetherington, R., Ellis, T., and Wainwright, B. (2006). Patched1 functions as a gatekeeper by promoting cell cycle progression. Cancer Research 66: 2081-2088.

Lab contacts

Dr Christelle Adolphe
Research staff
+61 7 334 62051
+61 7 334 62342
c.adolphe@imb.uq.edu.au
Ms Marija Kojic
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62342
+61 7 334 62345
m.kojic@imb.uq.edu.au
Professor Brandon Wainwright
Laboratory head
+61 7 334 62110
+61 7 334 62342
b.wainwright@imb.uq.edu.au
Dr Laura Genovesi
Research staff
+61 7 334 62051
+61 7 334 62342
l.genovesi@imb.uq.edu.au
Dr Alex Koon
Research staff
+61 7 334 62051
+61 7 334 62342
a.koon@imb.uq.edu.au
Mr Han-Chung Yee
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62342
+61 7 334 62345
p.yee@imb.uq.edu.au
Mr Pengxiang Ji
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62342
+61 7 334 62345
pengxiang.ji@uqconnect.edu.au
  Ms Kerstin Zoidl
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62342
+61 7 334 62345
k.zoidl@imb.uq.edu.au