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Translational Genomics and Epigenomics Laboratory

Laboratory overview

Our aim is to develop cost-effective accurate diagnostic tools to implement effective patient management. With the availability of precise and timely information, clinicians and patients will be able to make better treatment decisions sooner. 

We integrate research, development and diagnostics to improve patient management not only for patients here, but also globally. A/Prof. Alexander Dobrovic, Head, Translational Genomics & Epigenomics Laboratory
180315 ONJCRI TGEG 0021 180315 ONJCRI TGEG 0130 180315 ONJCRI TGEG 0072

Our focus

Every cancer patient responds to treatment differently because every person is unique and each cancer is unique. In particular, the changes in a tumour are key not only in determining the treatment but also in enabling us to determine the effectiveness of the treatment.

Within the Translational Genomics and Epigenomics Laboratory, our focus is on developing research in several carefully chosen frontier areas:

  1. Diagnostics based on plasma DNA to enable monitoring of patients following cancer therapy.
  2. Developing robust epigenetic biomarkers for the clinic.
  3. Developing biomarkers for immunotherapy.

Quick facts

What is plasma?

Plasma is the liquid portion of blood that remains after red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and other cellular components are removed. This will still contain proteins and some DNA.

What is a liquid biopsy?

A liquid biopsy is a non-invasive blood test that detects circulating tumour cells and fragments of tumour DNA which are in the plasma.

  1. Constitutional methylation of the BRCA1 promoter is specifically associated with BRCA1-like pathology in early-onset breast cancer. Wong EM, Southey MC, Fox SB, Brown MA, Dowty J, Jenkins Mark A, Giles GG, Hopper JLDobrovic A.Cancer Prev. Res. 2011 4:23-33
  2. Monitoring response to therapy in melanoma by quantifying circulating tumour DNA with droplet digital PCR for BRAF and NRAS mutations. Tsao SC, Weiss J, Hudson C, Christophi C, Cebon J, Behren A, Dobrovic A. Sci Rep. 2015 Jun 22;5:11198. doi: 10.1038/srep11198.
  3. Dramatic reduction of sequence artefacts from DNA isolated from formalin-fixed cancer biopsies by treatment with uracil-DNA glycosylase. Do H,Dobrovic A.Oncotarget 2012 3:546-558
  4. Methylation profiling of normal individuals reveals mosaic promoter methylation of cancer-associated genes. Kristensen LS, Raynor M, Candiloro IL, Dobrovic A. Oncotarget 2012 3:450-461
  5. DNA methylation biomarkers in cancer: progress towards clinical implementation. Mikeska T, Bock C, Do H, Dobrovic A. Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics2012 12:473-487
  6. Targeted-capture massively-parallel sequencing enables robust detection of clinically informative mutations from formalin-fixed tumours. Wong SQ, Li J, Salemi R, Sheppard KE, Do H, Tothill RW, McArthur GA, Dobrovic A. Scientific Reports 2013 3:3494
  7. Mapping of actionable mutations to histological subtype domains in lung adenocarcinoma: implications for precision medicine. Wright GM, Do H, Weiss J, Alam NZ, Rathi V, Walkiewicz M, John T, Russell PA, Dobrovic A.Oncotarget 2014 5:2107-2115
  8. Whole exome sequencing identifies a recurrent RQCD1 P131L mutation in cutaneous melanoma. Wong SQ, Behren A, Mar VJ, Woods K, Li J, Martin C, Sheppard KE, Wolfe R, Kelly J, Cebon J, Dobrovic A,McArthur GA. Oncotarget 2015 Jan 20;6(2):1115-27.
  9. Sequence artifacts in DNA from formalin-fixed tissues: causes and strategies for minimization. Do H, Dobrovic A.  Clin Chem. 2015 Jan;61(1):64-71. doi: 10.1373/clinchem.2014.223040. Epub 2014 Nov 24. Review.

For a complete list of Alexander Dobrovic’s publications, click here

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