Senior Research Fellow in the Dept of Anatomy & Physiology
Melanie is a Laboratory Head in Development and Cancer Epigenetics in the Department of Anatomy & Physiology with a joint appointment at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center. She trained as a molecular biologist in Sydney, New York and Cambridge UK before returning to Australia 2 years ago to set up my laboratory. Her research focuses on what gives cells their identity, and how disrupting cell identity can contribute to diseases such as cancer. The first cells to form in the embryo are unique in their ability to become any cell type found in the adult, while healthy adult cells suppress this ability through control mechanisms. When these mechanisms fail, adult cells can acquire new identities reminiscent of the rapidly growing early embryo, ultimately leading to cancer. This novel way of viewing cancer has the potential to open new therapeutic avenues. In her role she leads a group of 7 researchers including students and staff scientists, trains new researchers, writes grants and publications, and shares their research findings with other scientists and the public.
Find out more about the e-Meet a Biomedical Scientist program and participating researchers here.