Lorne Cancer Conference 2019

Professor Mark Dawson

Professor Dawson is a clinician-scientist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. He is the program head of the Translational Haematology Program, Group leader of the Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory and Consultant Haematologist in the Department of Haematology. His research interest is studying epigenetic regulation in normal and malignant haematopoiesis. He is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. After completing his clinical training in Melbourne, Australia he was awarded the prestigious General Sir John Monash Fellowship and Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Fellowship, which he used to complete his PhD at the University of Cambridge. During his PhD, he described one of the first examples of how a signaling kinase can directly influence transcription by acting as a histone-modifying enzyme. Following his PhD, he was the top ranked applicant for a career development fellowship in the UK and was awarded the inaugural Wellcome Trust Beit Prize Fellowship to pursue his research into epigenetic regulation of leukaemia stem cells. This research identified a new therapeutic strategy for acute myeloid leukaemia by targeting the BET bromodomain proteins that function as epigenetic readers. This work helped set the platform for clinical trials with this first in class epigenetic therapy. His research has been published in world leading journals including Nature, Cell, Science and New England Journal of Medicine. He is currently a Professor in the Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology and Centre of Cancer Research at the University of Melbourne. He is currently the Senior Research Fellow for the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Research Scholar.