Researcher

Dr Caroline Atkinson

Field of Research (FoR)

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Biography

Originally from Queensland, I am an early career, post-doctoral researcher at the Children's Cancer Institute. My PhD, completed at Griffith University and QIMR Berghofer, focused on delineating a role for cellular prion protein in colorectal and breast cancer chemotherapeutic resistance. After completing my PhD in 2016, I joined Mater Research Institute where I assessed the functional consequences of a variant in ATM on DNA damage response...view more

Originally from Queensland, I am an early career, post-doctoral researcher at the Children's Cancer Institute. My PhD, completed at Griffith University and QIMR Berghofer, focused on delineating a role for cellular prion protein in colorectal and breast cancer chemotherapeutic resistance. After completing my PhD in 2016, I joined Mater Research Institute where I assessed the functional consequences of a variant in ATM on DNA damage response signalling in melanoma. In 2017, I moved to Sydney to take a position at Children's Cancer Institute where I am currently involved in several projects aimed at improving the outcome of patients with high-risk neuroblastoma.  

Sample Publications:

  • Kamili, A., Atkinson, C., Trahair, T., Fletcher, J. Mouse Models of High-Risk Neuroblastoma (2020) Cancer and Metastasis Reviews. Doi: 10.1007/s10555-020-9855-0
  • Atkinson, C., Kawamata, F., Liu, C., Ham, S., Gyorffy, B., Munn, AL., Wei, M.Q., Moller A., Whitehall, V., Wiegmans, AP. EGFR and Prion protein (PrP) promote signalling via FOXO3a-KLF5 resulting in clinical resistance to platinum agents in colorectal cancer. (2018) Molecular Oncology. DOI: 10.1002/1878-0261.12411
  • Wiegmans, A.P., Saunas, J., Ham, S., Lobb, R., Kutasovic, J., Dalley A., Miranda, M., Atkinson, C., Foliak S., Ferguson, k., Niland, C., Johnstone, C., Lewis, V., Collins, S., Lakhani, S., Al-Ejeh, F., Moller, A. Chelation by the octorepeart domain of Prion protein induces anthracycline resistance. (2019) JCI insight. 10.1172/jci.insight.124092
  • Atkinson, C., Zhang, K., Wiegmans, A., Munn, A., Wei, MQ. Prion protein scrapie and the normal cellular prion protein. (2015) Prion. 0. doi: 10.1080/19336896.2015.1110293

My Grants

CIB - NHMRC New Ideas Grant “Improving induction therapy for high-risk neuroblastoma through bypass or inhibition of P-glycoprotein”, 2020-2021 (CIA Dr Jamie Fletcher, CIC Dr Alvin Kamili). 


My Qualifications

  • Doctorate of philosophy, Griffith University, 2016.
  • Master of Medical research, Griffith University, 2011.
  • Bachelor of Biomedical Science, Griffith University, 2008

My Research Activities

Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid malignancy in children, comprising 8-10% of all childhood cancers and 15% of cancer related deaths. High-risk (aggressive) neuroblastoma patients account for 40% of those diagnosed and have only a 50% event-free survival rate. Currently, I am involved in several projects, with the aim of improving the survival of children with high-risk neuroblastoma. This includes defining the functional consequences of a recurrent MYCN mutation Pro44Leu, hypothesised to be a gain of function mutation, equivalent to MYCN amplification. I am also delineating the role of P-glycoprotein, a multi-drug transporter, in the resistance of high-risk neuroblastoma to standard of care chemotherapies. To continue this research, I (CIB) alongside Dr Jamie Fletcher (CIA) and Dr Alvin Kamili (CIC), were recently awarded the NHMRC Ideas Grant beginning 2020. This grant, entitled “Improving induction therapy for high-risk neuroblastoma through bypass or inhibition of P-glycoprotein”, will allow us to determine the feasibility and efficacy of combining P-gp inhibitors with induction therapies. 


My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

Our team is currently offering projects suitable for Honours or PhD students.

Project 1: Targeting BCL2 family proteins in high-risk neuroblastoma. 

Suitable for honours or PhD. Supervised by Dr Alvin Kamili, Dr Caroline Atkinson and Dr Jamie Fletcher. 

Project 2: Improving therapy for high-risk neuroblastoma through bypass or inhibition of P-glycoprotein.

Suitable for honours. Supervised by Dr Caroline Atkinson, Dr Alvin Kamili and Dr Jamie Fletcher.

Project 3: Developing mouse models for high-risk neuroblastoma metastasis. 

Suitable for honours or PhD. Supervised by Dr MoonSun Jung and Dr Caroline Atkinson.

Please email for more information. 

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Location

Lvl 1- Lowy Cancer Research Centre
UNSW