Dr Andrew Cox
University of Melbourne
About the Talk:
The liver is an essential organ that plays a key role in organismal energy homeostasis, functioning as a metabolic hub coordinating digestion and nutrient storage. The liver exhibits dynamic metabolic plasticity, which is accomplished by transcription factors that co-ordinate nutrient status to an appropriate metabolic response. In the context of cancer, there is emerging evidence that oncogenictranscription factors reprogram metabolism to fuel anabolic tumour growth. My laboratory is chiefly interested in two oncogenic transcription factors, namely Yap and Nrf2. Yap is a transcriptional co-activator that regulates organ growth and operates as the effector of the Hippo pathway, whereas Nrf2 is a transcription factor that plays a key role in the cell’s adaptive response to oxidative stress. Importantly, both Yap and Nrf2 are known to play a central role in liver cancer, however the downstream mechanismsare poorly understood. Our work uses zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model due to their unique attributes such as the transparency of embryos, high fecundity and conservation with higher vertebrates, which facilitates phenotype-driven chemical and genetic screens. The studies take advantage of metabolomic and transcriptomic approaches coupled to advanced microscopy in order to reveal the mechanisms by which oncogenic transcription factors reprogram metabolism.
About the Speaker: Dr Cox received his PhD from the University of Otago, New Zealand in 2009. He then undertook postdoctoral training with Prof. Wolfram Goessling at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. In 2016, Dr Cox became a group leader at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Melbourne. His laboratory uses zebrafish as a model system to understand how oncogenic pathways reprogram metabolism to fuel growth.
Learn more about Dr Andrew Cox here