Researcher biography

Regulation and function of cancer susceptibility genes

Melissa Brown completed her PhD at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne in 1993, on the structure and regulation of genes encoding colony-stimulating factor receptors in human leukaemia.

She then undertook postdoctoral training at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) in London, funded firstly by an EMBO and then by an ICRF postdoctoral fellowship, working on the isolation and characterization of the first breast cancer susceptibility gene, BRCA1.

She joined The University of Queensland in 2000 as a Lecturer and is now an Associate Professor and Research Group Leader. In 2005 she undertook a six-month sabbatical at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology at The University of Oxford. The focus of her research continues to be cancer genetics, in particular understanding the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of several breast cancer associated genes, including BRCA1, and examining their role in mammary development and early breast tumourigenesis.

Melissa’s lab currently consists of four postdocs, three PhD students , one Masters student, and one RA and is currently funded by grants from the NHMRC, the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Australian Research Council.