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.
Professor Elizabeth Vincan
(03) 9342 9348 | [email protected]
- Deputy Section Head of Molecular Microbiology/Head of Molecular Oncology Laboratory
- Hepatitis, Immunology
- Clinical Research, Genomics, Public Health
- The University of Melbourne, Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL)
- Lab Group(s):
- Vincan Group
Professor Elizabeth Vincan is a Senior Medical Scientist and Researcher in the Molecular Research and Development Division at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL). Her role as Medical Scientist is Deputy Section Head of Molecular Microbiology, the diagnostic arm of the Division. Elizabeth is also Head of the Molecular Oncology laboratory. Her team of researchers investigate how normal stem cells become cancer cells and the role viral infection plays in this change. Elizabeth holds an honorary joint appointment in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne. She is an Adjunct Professor within the School of Biomedical Sciences at Curtin University in Western Australia.