Researcher

Dr Maria Tsoli

Keywords

Fields of Research (FoR)

Paediatrics, Cancer Cell Biology, Oncology and Carcinogenesis, Cell Metabolism, Central Nervous System, Chemotherapy, Cancer Therapy (excl. Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy)

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Biography

Dr Tsoli has a PhD in Cancer Cell Biology and Molecular Modelling, in which she examined the anticancer potential of gold-based nanoparticles. She subsequently accepted postdoctoral positions at the ANZAC Research Institute/USYD and Sanford-Burnham Institute/USA where she focused on elucidating signalling pathways involved in the development of cancer cachexia syndrome (CCS) and paediatric bone disorder hypophosphatasia. She is currently...view more

Dr Tsoli has a PhD in Cancer Cell Biology and Molecular Modelling, in which she examined the anticancer potential of gold-based nanoparticles. She subsequently accepted postdoctoral positions at the ANZAC Research Institute/USYD and Sanford-Burnham Institute/USA where she focused on elucidating signalling pathways involved in the development of cancer cachexia syndrome (CCS) and paediatric bone disorder hypophosphatasia. She is currently leading the Brain Tumour Group at the Children’s Cancer Institute (CCI) under the mentorship of A/Prof Ziegler. She is the lead scientist responsible for establishing state of the art techniques for research in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPG) and the development of glioma PDX models as part of the national PRecISion Medicine for Children with Cancer trial (PRISM). Key achievements include the (a) establishment of primary brain tumour neurospheres (DIPG, glioblastoma, medulloblastoma) and orthotopic animal models from paediatric overseas and Australian patient’s biopsies/ autopsies; and (b) establishment of single-agent and combination high-throughput screening performed on primary DIPG neurosphere-forming cells. Dr Tsoli is also responsible for the research direction of multiple DIPG projects, laboratory management, and is committed to developing the expertise and careers of junior research staff in the program exhibited by her supervision of research staff (currently 1 PhD student, 5 research assistants and 3 postdocs).


My Grants

Current Funding:

  • 2019-2021: Cure Brain Cancer Foundation Innovation Grant: Tsoli M (CIA), New therapeutic strategies for DIPG-understanding the role of super BBB in brainstem and ways to overcome it. 
  • 2019-2020: DIPG Collaborative: Tsoli M (CIA), Developing new epigenetic combination treatments against DIPG. 
  • 2019-2022: Cancer Australia: Tsoli M (CIC), Targeting Polo-like kinase 1 as a novel therapeutic opportunity for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas. 
  • 2018-2019: DIPG Collaborative: Tsoli M & Ziegler DS, Polyamine pathway metabolism as a novel therapeutic option for DIPG. 
  • 2017 – 2020 Cancer Australia: Tsoli M (CID), Synthetic retinoid therapy for DIPG. 

Previous Funding:

  • 2017-2018: Tour De Cure Pioneering grant: Tsoli M (CIA), A trojan horse strategy against DIPG. 
  • 2015-2016 The Cure Starts Now: Tsoli M & Ziegler DS, Fenretinide, a novel agent targeting RTK/PI3K/AKT network for the treatment of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, 
  • 2014-2015 The Cure Starts Now: Tsoli M & Ziegler DS, Facilitates Chromatin Transcription Complex (FACT): A novel therapeutic target against Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, 
  • 2014-2015 Cure Brain Cancer Foundation: Tsoli M & Ziegler DS, Novel targeted chemotherapeutic agents against Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPG), 

My Qualifications

  • BSc (Honours Microbiology & Immunology) 1999, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • PhD Cancer Biology & Molecular Modelling, 2004, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

My Awards

2020: Senior Lecturer (Conjoint) 

2019: Levi Wheeler Fellow

2016: Organisation of Hellene and Hellene-Cypriot Women of Australia

2013: Children's Cancer Institute Quarterly Staff award

 


My Research Activities

1. Levi's Project: A future for kids with DIPG. Development of a preclinical multimodal therapy protocol for Diffuse Midline Gliomas

2. Evaluation of the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) function in the presence of high-grade gliomas and development of approaches to influence it's permeability.

3. Development of personalised therapies and paediatric brain tumour PDX models from biopsies and autopsies.

4. Targeting the polyamine pathway as a therapeutic approach for the treatment of aggressive paediatric brain tumours.

5. High throughput drug screening approaches to find new treatments for Diffuse Midline Gliomas.


My Research Supervision


Areas of supervision

1. Modulation of brain environment to increase uptake of chemotherapeutics and targeted agents.

2. Targeting the polyamine pathway as a therapeutic approach for the treatment of paediatric brain tumours

3. Development of personalised therapies and paediatric brain tumour PDX models from biopsies and autopsies

4. High throughput drug screening approaches to find new treatments for Diffuse Midline Gliomas

 

 

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Location

Children's Cancer Institute
Lowy Cancer Research Centre, UNSW Australia
PO Box 81 Randwick 2031 Australia
http://ccia.org.au

Contact

02 938 52146