Fields of Research (FoR)Genome structure and regulation, Epigenetics (incl. genome methylation and epigenomics), Cancer cell biology
Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka’s research focuses on investigating the role of the 3D epigenome in cancer, particularly in driving tumour progression and treatment resistance in breast and prostate cancer. Joanna completed her PhD at the University of Tuebingen, Germany, investigating microRNA signatures as predictive biomarkers for breast cancer treatment outcome. Following her PhD, Joanna joined the laboratory of Prof Susan Clark at the Garvan...view more
Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka’s research focuses on investigating the role of the 3D epigenome in cancer, particularly in driving tumour progression and treatment resistance in breast and prostate cancer. Joanna completed her PhD at the University of Tuebingen, Germany, investigating microRNA signatures as predictive biomarkers for breast cancer treatment outcome. Following her PhD, Joanna joined the laboratory of Prof Susan Clark at the Garvan Institute, where she established cutting-edge experimental and computational approaches to study the 3D genome organization during development and progression of cancer.
|Title of Project and Chief Investigators||Role in Project||Funding Organisation||Start Date||Duration||Total Grant Amount|
3D EPIGENOME AS A TARGET FOR EPIGENETIC THERAPIES IN ENDOCRINE-RESISTANT BREAST CANCER
|PI||National Breast Cancer Foundation Investigator Grant (IIRS)||2021||3 years||$366,000|
Targeting the Three-Dimensional Epigenome in Endocrine Resistant Breast Cancer
|CIA||Cancer Council NSW Project Grant||2020||3 years||$434,000|
Decoding 3D genome architecture in individual single-cells to establish molecular mechanisms of gene regulation in cancer (Achinger-Kawecka J, Clark S, Schmitt A, Rokny H)
|PI||UNSW Cellular Genomics Futures Institute Seed Grant||2020||1 year||$99,000|
Single-Cell Hi-C: A Novel Tool to Identify Key Epigenetic Drivers of Endocrine Resistant Breast Cancer
|PI||Estee Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Campaign||2019||1 year||
Genetic perturbations to the 3D genome architecture: Implications for endocrine resistance in breast cancer (Clark S, Achinger-Kawecka J)
|Co-I||National Breast Cancer Foundation||2017||1 year||
PhD in Pharmacogenomics 2014 (University of Tuebingen, Germany)
Masters of Biotechnology 2011 (Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland)
Bachelor of Science 2009 (Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland)
2019 - Best Selected Speaker Prize, 2019 Post-Doc Symposium, Garvan Institute
2018 - CASS Foundation Travel Grant
2017 - The Ian Potter Foundation Travel Grant
2016 - Best Postdoc Prize, 24th St Vincent’s Campus Research Symposium
2016 - Heliflite Young Explorer Award
2015 - Best Oral Presentation Prize, 23rd St Vincent’s Campus Research Symposium
2011 – EU FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network “Fighting Drug Failure” Fellowship
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
PhD positions available.
Project: Uncovering the 3D Genome Architecture in Cancer
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Prof Susan Clark & Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka
Project commencement: Variable
Summary: The three-dimensional (3D) genome organisation regulates gene expression by bringing distal regulatory elements, such as enhancers, to gene promoters in close spatial proximity. However, the link between 3D genome organization and the development and progression of cancer remains elusive.
Our group has shown that 3D genome structure is deregulated in cancer and occurs coincident with epigenetic remodelling, revealing an important link between altered DNA methylation, 3D chromatin interactions and deregulation of key genes in cancer.
This project will employ cutting-edge experimental and computational approaches to (1) create 3D genome architecture maps in single cells, (2) integrate 3D architecture maps with epigenome and gene expression maps (3) functionally validate identified mechanisms using genome-editing. Together, this research will systematically dissect the underlying mechanisms of 3D epigenome remodelling in cancer and provide vital mechanistic insights for novel treatment strategies in cancer.
We are currently recruiting enthusiastic students who are interested in using cutting-edge molecular techniques for epigenomics (Hi-C, RNA-seq, ChIP-seq) and single-cell technologies to establish the fundamental mechanisms of cancer progression, which will allow for the development of novel targeted treatment strategies for recurrent disease.
Contact: Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka (email@example.com)