Researcher

Professor Edna Hardeman

My Expertise

Cell Biology, Actin Cytoskeleton, Tropomyosin, Intravital Imaging

Keywords

Fields of Research (FoR)

Molecular Medicine, Cancer Cell Biology, Cell Development, Proliferation and Death, Biologically Active Molecules

SEO tags

Biography

Professor Hardeman received her doctorate from the Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University in the field of cholesterol biosynthesis and then took up a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Pharmacology, Stanford Medical School to study muscle determination factors funded by an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship. She established her laboratory, the Muscle Development Unit, at the Children's Medical Research Institute in Sydney,...view more

Professor Hardeman received her doctorate from the Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University in the field of cholesterol biosynthesis and then took up a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Pharmacology, Stanford Medical School to study muscle determination factors funded by an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship. She established her laboratory, the Muscle Development Unit, at the Children's Medical Research Institute in Sydney, and built an international reputation defining mechanisms of muscle gene regulation, generating mouse models for human muscle diseases of actin thin filaments, and trialing therapies as part of an international consortium of the European Neuromuscular Center.

In 2009 she moved to the University of New South Wales to take up a Research Chair in Anatomy and establish the Cellular and Genetic Medicine Unit. In 2018 she became the Head of Cell Biology in the School of Medical Sciences.

Throughout her research career she has studied the physiology of the actin/tropomyosin cytoskeleton and in collaboration with Professor Peter Gunning, identified tropomyosins as the gatekeepers of actin filament function and established the physiological role of the cancer-associated tropomyosin, Tpm3.1. Her laboratory has examined Tpm3.1 as a druggable target for cancer therapy including demonstrating the efficacy of anti-Tpm3.1 drugs to treat the childhood cancer neuroblastoma, in a mouse xenograft model. They have expanded their drug development programs to target additional tropomyosin isoforms in a range of human disease indications.

She was a member of the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Australian Research Council Special Research Centres for the Molecular Genetics of Development (2004-2009) and Functional and Applied Genomics (2006-2009), President of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology (200-2011), Member (2009-2013) and Chair (2013-ongoing) of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Animal Welfare Committee, and Deputy Chair (2010-2013) and Chair (2014-2016) of the National Committee for Biomedical Sciences, the Australian Academy of Science. She was a member of the UNSW Academic Board and Committee on Research (2010-2013).

Current Appointments & Positions Held

  • Professor, Head of Cell Biology, Department of Pathology, School of Medical Sciences
  • Chair, NHMRC Animal Welfare Committee
  • Member, NHMRC Research Quality Steering Committee
  • Committee Member, Australian and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology

Membership in Societies

  • Australian and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Australian Society for Medical Research
  • American Society for Cell Biology

My Grants

  • 2021 TroBio Therapeutics - Drug targeting tropomyosins in human diseases
  • 2021 ARC LIEF - Integrated multimodal system for multiplexed imaging of signal transduction
  • 2018-2020 Dept of Industry, Innovation and Science CRC-P Grant - Targeting tropomyosin as a novel anti-cancer therapy
  • 2018 UNSW RIS - IncuCyte S3 – Long term, dual colour, high throughput live cell analysis system
  • 2016-2020 NHMRC Project Grant - Regulation of ERK driven cell proliferation by the actin cytoskeleton
  • 2016-2018 ARC Discovery Project - Single molecule intracellular intravital imaging of actin dynamics
  • 2016 Diabetes Australia Research Trust - Targeting the actin cytoskeleton in the development of insulin resistance
  • 2016 UNSW RIS - Live cell TIRF microscope for HILO application
  • 2015-2020 NHMRC Project Grant - Molecular dissection of the actin cytoskeleton in exocytosis using intravital microscopy
  • 2015-2017 The Kids’ Cancer Project – C4 Cytoskeleton ConsortiumDevelopment of a novel intracellular intravital assay for ATM activity

My Qualifications

  • 1987 Fellow in Pharmacology, Stanford University Medical Center
  • 1983 PhD Biological Sciences, Stanford University
  • 1977 BA/BSc (Plan II Interdisciplinary Arts/Biochemistry) (summa cum laude), The University of Texas at Austin

My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

I am available to supervise ILP, Honours and PhD students.


Currently supervising

Maria Lastra Cagigas, Scientia PhD Scholar

Xing Xu, PhD

Marco Heydecker, PhD

Yoshua Selvadurai, ILP Honours


My Teaching

I am co-convenor of SOMS3232 Cellular Mechanisms of Health and Disease

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Location

School of Medical Sciences
Wallace Wurth Building C27, Level 2 East
Cnr High St & Botany St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Contact

+61-2-9385 3760

Research Activities

A potential target for anti-cancer drugs is the actin cytoskeleton; however, it has been unattainable because the toxicity associated with disabling this target has been unacceptable. The actin cytoskeleton is a desirable target because it controls many fundamental processes in the cancer cell such as cell growth, movement and interaction with the surrounding environment. We have identified a way to attack specific actin filament populations within cells by developing drugs that target specific isoforms of the actin-associated protein tropomyosin. This allows us to target actin filaments…

Although the actin cytoskeleton has been known for some time to regulate vesicle trafficking, its exact role in this process is still unclear. This has largely been due to the difficulty in targeting specific actin filaments within the same cell. We have demonstrated in many cell types that tropomyosin (Tpm) isoforms define the functional diversity of the actin filament system. Recently we have described a population of actin filaments defined by the tropomyosin isoform, Tpm3.1 (aka Tm5NM1/2). Manipulation of this Tpm in transgenic and knock-out mice indicates that these filaments are…

The actin cytoskeleton has long been known to be a key regulator of cell proliferation linking biochemical sensing of the environment with cell cycle progression. However, analysis of the mechanism responsible for this regulation has been hindered by the lack of tools to manipulate the actin cytoskeleton, short of using global actin inhibitors. We have discovered that the actin cytoskeleton is composed of multiple, functionally distinct, populations of actin filaments, each containing different isoforms of the actin filament associated protein, tropomyosin (Tm). This provides a mechanism…