Associate Professor Francois, heads the David Richmond Laboratory for Cardiovascular Development: Gene Regulation and Editing at the Centenary Institute. He leads a research team with a focus on identifying new and innovative therapeutic approaches targeting vascular disease.
His research focuses on the transcriptional control of endothelial cell specification with a major discovery identified a role for Sox18 transcription factor as a molecular switch that controls lymphatic vessel development (lymphangiogenesis) in the embryo and also during cancer metastasis.
Based on this finding, he has developed a novel approach combining developmental genetics, tumour biology and drug discovery to target transcription factors with small molecule inhibitors, peptide mimetic and antibodies with the aim of discovering a new class of anti-angiogenic drugs.
In recognition of his pioneering role in exploring lymphangiogenesis in health and disease he has been awarded 2 NHMRC Career Development Awards to progress his career as a leading scientist in the field of developmental biology.