Personal details

Mrs Honor Hugo
IHBI Membership
Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation (IHBI),
IHBI Health Projects,
IHBI Biomedical Sciences - CDA
Discipline *
Oncology and Carcinogenesis, Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Curriculum and Pedagogy
+61 7 3443 7289
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Doctor of Philosophy (University of Melbourne)

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Visit to view an active blog of Honor’s research.


Mammographic Density, Breast Cancer, Stroma, Microenvironment, Proteomics

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Group Leader, Tissue Density Mechanics

Dr Hugo graduated with a PhD in colon cancer research from the University of Melbourne in August 2005. During examination and final thesis submission, she worked as a full-time Research Assistant at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre between December 2004 and August 2005. At present, she is employed full time as a Lecturer (level B) in Molecular Pathology in the School of Biomedical Science, with a 40% research component. Dr Hugo is a group leader within Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at QUT (Mammographic Density Biology and Measurement). In her previous appointment at St Vincent’s Institute, also within the Department of Surgery (The University of Melbourne), Dr Hugo spent 40% of her time supervising honours and PhD students, and training incoming research assistants, technicians, international visiting scholars and work experience students.

Dr Hugo has demonstrated success in working in several multidisciplinary settings. She has been a member, along with clinician-researchers, of intra-institute student committees for four years. She has previously been involved in animal ethics administration including attendance at team meetings featuring clinicians, researchers, and members of the general public. Dr Hugo has presented at several intra-institute seminar programs whilst employed at the Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and as an NBCF postdoctoral training fellow at St Vincent’s Institute. These multidisciplinary programs were attended by clinicians and scientists and were ideal opportunities for Dr Hugo to establish new collaborations, and to gain expert opinion on a scientific issue.

Dr Hugo has attracted a total of approximately $410,000 dollars of government and independent industry grant money.  These funds have been acquired from the Angior Family Foundation, Cancer Therapeutics CRC, Harold Mitchell Foundation, National Breast Cancer Foundation, St Vincent’s Hospital, University of Melbourne and the Victorian Cancer Agency. The 4 year National Breast Cancer Foundation Postdoctoral Training Fellowship in particular (worth almost $300,000), was a research initiative that Dr Hugo personally conceived and was a project which involved establishing and cultivating scientific collaborations in Melbourne and Brisbane. This included personally drawing upon Dr Hugo’s previous link with her PhD supervisor Prof Rob Ramsay to act as an Associate Investigator. A $50,000 Victorian Cancer Agency Early Career Seed Grant was awarded to investigate how EMT may cause breast cancer cells to acquire oestrogen-independent growth. This key grant covered the consumable costs of an honours student to work on an aspect of this project. In addition to these opportunities, Dr Hugo has had invaluable experience presenting her work at international conferences and pre-arranged laboratory appointments, supported by three grants that she acquired for travel.

Dr Hugo’s current appointment at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Science (QUT) enables her to continue the highly productive mentoring relationship with Prof Thompson which she initiated in 2008 (several co-publications, NBCF fellowship).

Dr Hugo has endured significant interruption to her research career, due to the individual births and primary care of each of her four children. In the last 10 years these career interruptions have totaled approximately 4 years and 6 months (FTE). These interruptions have posed a considerable hindrance to Dr Hugo’s research and subsequent progression through her scientific career. However, during these interruptions, Dr Hugo HAS maintained active and regular connections with her mentors (Prof Rob Ramsay, PMCC, PhD supervisor, Dr Don Newgreen, previous senior work colleague, Prof Rik Thompson, current senior work colleague). Dr Hugo capitalized on these collaborative links and co-ordinated her mentors to contribute to a review (New insights on COX-2 in chronic inflammation driving breast cancer growth and metastasis. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2015). Dr Hugo has upheld a steady publication record, publishing three noteworthy articles in total during her longest and most recent maternity hiatus (2012-2016).

Dr Hugo enjoys engaging with the wider community in order to encourage more women to consider a career in medical research, and has lead the INSPIRE program  for the past two years.

She has recently been awarded a Princess Alexandra Hospital Research Foundation Translational Research Innovation award for a second year (2019).

This information has been contributed by Mrs Honor Hugo.


  • 1999    General and Systemic Pathology Demonstrator, RMIT University
  • 2017-  Lecturer, Molecular Pathology, QUT
    • LQB281 sem 2 2017
    • LQB182 sem 1 2018
    • LQB281 sem 2 2018
    • LSB566 sem 1 2019
This information has been contributed by Mrs Honor Hugo.


2017 & 2018 lead INSPIRE schools outreach program    11/2016 CSIRO Scientist in schools program 08/2016     Catch A Rising Star program, National Science Week (promoting female STEM career pathways at primary schools – Mt Isa) 08/2016     Interviewed on ABC Radio North Western QLD to promote National Science Week 08/2016     Interviewed for article published in North West Star Newspaper “Researchers promote women in Science in regional Queensland” 05-07/2016 “Wonder of Science” Young Science Ambassador program (primary school student mentorship) 2009-2010 Organizer, Pink Ribbon Day (Cancer Council Victoria) fundraising BBQ 2009          Speaker, Hub Community Centre, Brunswick (women’s community group) on breast cancer awareness 2009          Speaker, Girls Nite In fundraiser night (Cancer Council Victoria) on breast cancer awareness 2008          Speaker, Gladstone Views Primary School, Victoria “What does a career in science look like?” 2006          Speaker, Penola Catholic College, Glenroy, Victoria “Pursuing a career in science” 2006          Interviewee – City of Hume Inspiring Stories Project 2005          Speaker, Star of the Sea College, Brighton, Victoria “Pursuing a career in science”. 1999          Keynote speaker, Gladstone Park Secondary College Graduation “Following your dreams”.

This information has been contributed by Mrs Honor Hugo.


For publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.