The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital

  • Research Groups

    Current Projects

    • Elizabeth Vincan Project A

      Infection of liver cells with HBV can ultimately lead to liver cancer. The vast majority of HBV related liver cancers also harbour abnormally active Wnt signalling. However, our understanding of the interplay between these two oncogenic drivers of liver cancer is not well understood. This is primarily because HBV only infects normal human liver cells (hepatocytes). Thus, the study of HBV entry into, and natural infection of, human hepatocytes has been hampered by a lack of suitable models. Elizabeth’s group recently established an in vitro mini-liver organoid culture system that supports HBV infection and investigates the oncogenic interplay with Wnt.

    • Elizabeth Vincan Project B

      Adult stem cells are the cell-of-origin of cancer. Stem cells are absolutely dependent on tightly controlled Wnt signalling, however, these cells initiate cancer if the Wnt pathway is abnormally switched on. Elizabeth’s research shows that the level of Wnt activity in the cancer cells is critical to cancer growth and that this level is modulated by additional signalling from the Wnt receptor complex. Using mini-gut and mini-stomach organoid technology developed by her collaborators, Professors Hans Clevers and Nick Barker, her group demonstrated potent anti-tumour effects by blocking Wnt receptors. This is being developed as targeted therapy for gastrointestinal cancers. 


    Lab Team

    Vincan Group


    Clinical Research

    Now recruiting volunteers

    There are currently no Now recruiting volunteers

    Current projects

    • Hepatitis HIV

      A surveillance program for the detection of hepatitis B virus (HBV) resistance to tenofovir (TDF) in HIV-HBV co-infected patient

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    • Hepatitis

      Characterising Hepatitis B in northern Australia through Molecular epidemiology - longitudinal cohort study

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    • Hepatitis

      Liver Cancer Prevention: linking viral hepatitis diagnosis, treatment and outcomes

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    • Hepatitis HIV

      Long-term persistence of HIV in the liver and the clinical impact on HIV-HBV co-infection (CHHANEL)

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    • Hepatitis HIV

      Towards a Functional cure for HBV: exploiting lessons from HBV-HIV co-infection

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