New joint appointment strengthens collaboration between Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and PeterMac

Professor Kieran Harvey joins Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI), as a joint appointment with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

As the fourth joint appointment between the two research institutes, Professor Harvey’s appointment at the Monash BDI - while continuing with his substantive appointment at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre - will increase the collaboration between the two research entities and is a great example of a partnership that promotes the acceleration of discoveries to the clinic.

Director of the Monash BDI, Professor John Carroll, said the new appointment demonstrates the close collaboration the institute is building with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

“Our institute delivers a foundation of fundamental research which, when combined with the clinical strengths of the Peter Mac, provides the critical mass needed to improve cancer therapeutics and patient outcomes,” Professor Carroll said.

Professor Moira O’Bryan, Deputy Director and Head of the Development and Stem Cells Program also commented on the benefits this strengthened collaboration will bring.

“We are delighted to have Kieran join the Development and Stem Cells program. He is undoubtedly an exceptional researcher and a great example of how high quality basic research has the potential to positively impact human health,” Professor Moira O’Bryan said.

Further strengthening the Institute’s Development & Stem Cell, and Cancer, Discovery Programs, Professor Harvey brings a creative skill set that draws on live organ culture, advanced microscopy techniques and CRISPR genome editing to dissect the roles of genes and their products in the major signalling network “Hippo”, which controls organ development.

Using the humble fruit fly Drosophila as a model organism, Professor Harvey and his team have discovered a large number of important proteins in the evolutionarily conserved Hippo pathway, including the founding pathway members and first transmembrane receptor.

“Unravelling this signalling pathway not only builds knowledge on factors that influence organ size, but also helps us understand how problems in this pathway can lead to human cancers, such as melanoma and mesothelioma,” Professor Harvey said.

“Ultimately, we hope that this knowledge can be used to develop new therapeutics for the treatment of cancers,” he said.

Professor Roger Daly, Head of the Cancer Program, welcomed Professor Harvey’s research expertise.

“Kieran’s research on the Hippo signalling pathway will complement that of other researchers in the Monash BDI Cancer Program working on cellular signalling networks and their alterations in human cancer. This research synergy will accelerate the identification of novel biomarkers and therapeutic strategies,” Professor Roger Daly said.

Professor Harvey was awarded his PhD from Adelaide University in 2000. He held postdoctoral positions at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical Centre in Boston and the University of California at Berkeley, before establishing his own group at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in 2006. He was awarded the 2014 Gottschalk Medal by the Australian Academy of Science for outstanding research in the medical sciences.


About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.