Personal details

Name
Associate Professor Pamela Pollock
Position(s)
Principal Research Fellow
Faculty of Health,
School - Biomedical Sciences,
Research - Biomedical Sciences
IHBI Membership
Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation (IHBI),
IHBI Health Projects,
IHBI Biomedical Sciences - CDA
Discipline *
Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Oncology and Carcinogenesis
Phone
+61 7 3443 7237
Email
Location
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Qualifications

(University of Queensland)

Professional memberships
and associations
  • American Academy for Cancer Research 2001 – Present
  • Australian and New Zealand Gynecology Oncology Group (ANZGOG) (2011-present)
  • ANZGOG Annual Scientific Meeting Organising committee (2015-present)
  • ANZGOG Research advisory committee (2013-present)
  • Vice Chair of Gordon Conference on FGFs in Development and Disease to be held March 2018
Keywords

endometrial cancer, Cancer cell biology, Molecularly targeted therapeutics, Genomics, FGFR2, translational research, clinical trial, immuno-oncology, immunosuppression, kinase inhibition

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

Biography

Current Affiliations

  • School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health, QUT
  • Cancer Program, Chronic Disease and Aging Theme, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, QUT
  • Translational Research Institute, PA hospital campus, Brisbane.

Professional Training
I completed my BSc at the University of Queensland in 1991 and then travelled to the UK where I worked as a research assistant (RA) at St Mary’s hospital, London for 18 months before returning to Brisbane.  I then graduated with first class honours from the CMCB (now IMB) in 1994 after which I moved to the Queensland Institute of Medical Research  (QIMR) where I worked as an RA before completing my PhD in the lab of Dr Nick Hayward in melanoma genetics in 2000. I received an NHMRC CJ Martin postdoctoral fellowship and finished a three year postdoc at the NIH (NHGRI) in Bethesda, Maryland in the lab of Prof Jeffrey Trent before being recruited as a founding faculty member to the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, Arizona. Here I headed a lab focused on both melanoma and endometrial cancer and received excellent training in translational research. I returned to QUT, Australia in 2010 on a Vice Chancellors Fellowship and received an NHMRC CDF2 fellowship from 2012-2016.
My laboratory has a focus on endometrial (uterine) cancer and personalising new anti-cancer therapies based on the underlying molecular aberrations. We are one of the few labs in Australia studying cancer cell biology and evaluating new therapeutic agents for  endometrial cancer, an under-researched gynaecological cancer. One of the strengths of our lab is that we are involved in a range of projects that span from the very “basic” (e.g. studies into FGFR receptor function) to the preclinical (e.g. in vitro and in vivo testing of single and combination drugs) and the translational (e.g. identifying predictive biomarkers in patient samples from clinical trials).  We utilise a variety of cutting edge technologies including genomics, proteomics, phospho-proteomics as well as high resolution live cell microscopy. Our laboratory has developed a panel of novel patient derived xenograft (PDX) models of endometrial cancer. These novel PDX models have been genomically characterised and the lab is currently optimising the testing of traditional chemotherapies and molecular targeted therapies in organoids derived from these models. Dr Pollock has several ongoing projects in the lab available to potential Honours, Masters and PhD students. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Detailed cell biology studies to understand the molecular mechanisms by which activating mutations in the oncogenic receptor tyrosine kinase (FGFR2) drive multiple hallmarks of cancer (proliferation, migration, invasion etc)
  • Identification of the various mechanisms underlying intrinsic and acquired resistance to FGFR inhibition in cell line and PDX models
  • In vitro and in vivo analyses of the mechanism by which oncogenic FGFR2 activation drives an immunosuppressive tumour microenvironment
  • Evaluation of new drugs and drug combinations on genomically characterised patient derived organoid cultures and patient derived xenograft mouse models

At QUT, PhD scholarship applications are due at the end of September for a start in Jan-June of the following year. These applications are highly competitive and require an excellant GPA and/or demonstrated research expertise evidenced by publications. Occasionally there might be opportunities outside of this annual scholarship round and so interested potential students are invited to email me with their CV.

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Pamela Pollock.

Publications


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

Awards

Awards and recognition

Type
Funding Award
Reference year
2015
Details
Received highly competitive grant from Cancer Australia (2015-2017) as CIA. This $600K grant was titled "Evaluating combination therapies in FGFR2 mutant EC cell lines and patient-derived xenograft models"
Type
Funding Award
Reference year
2015
Details
Awarded sole CIA grant worth $200,000. "Understanding FGFR2 activation in endometrial cancer: Novel mutations, differences in spatio-temporal signaling and alternative activating spliceforms"
Type
Funding Award
Reference year
2014
Details
As CIA received $770 008 funding (2014-2016) for an NHMRC project grant FGFR signalling in endometrial cancers and mechanisms of resistance to FGFR inhibition
Type
Appointment to State/National/International Reference Group or Government Committees
Reference year
2012
Details
Dr Pollock is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Gynecology Oncology Group (ANZGOG) and within this organisation she sits on the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) as a translational scientist. She continues to sit on the RAC committee (2012-2017) which approves all clinical trials and associated projects supported by ANZGOG.
Type
Keynote Speaker/Expert Panel Member/Invited Speaker for a Conference
Reference year
2016
Details
Assoc Prof Pollock was invited to speak at the international oncology meeting organised by the European Society of Medical Oncologists (ESMO) and held in Singapore in December, 2016. The talk was titled "Targeting FGFR signalling in gynaecological cancers."
Type
Keynote Speaker/Expert Panel Member/Invited Speaker for a Conference
Reference year
2016
Details
Dr Pollock was invited to talk about her work on FGFR2 at the prestigious International Gordon Research Conference titled "FGFs in development and Disease" held in Hong Kong in 2016. At this meeting Dr Pollock was voted to become the next Vice Chair of the Gordon Conference on FGFs/FGFRs to be held in Ventura, California in March 2018, where she will assist Marja Hurley in selecting speakers and organising the conference.
Type
Committee Role/Editor or Chair of an Academic Conference
Reference year
2015
Details
Organizer of the Pure Science Symposium held as part of the Annual Science Meeting of ANZGOG (Australian and New Zealand Gynaecology Oncology Group. I have organised the inaugural meeting in 2015 and have been on the organising committee for the Pure Science Symposium from 2015-2018.
Type
Recipient of a Nationally Competitive Research Fellowship
Reference year
2012
Details
Fellowship Type: NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship Project Title: Discovery, preclinical and translational research in endometrial cancer External Reference :1032851 Years Awarded: 2012-2015 Total Funding Awarded: $445,861
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2007
Details
Young Investigator of the year

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Title
Evaluating combination therapies in FGFR2mutant EC cell lines and patient-derived xenograft models
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
CA-APP1087165
Start year
2015
Keywords
endometrial cancer; fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR); kinase inhibitors; xenografts
Title
Understanding intrinsic and acquired resistance to anti-FGFR therapies
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
1067140
Start year
2014
Keywords
fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR); inhibition; resistance; endometrial cancer; mechanisms; receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK)
Title
Discovery, Preclinical and Translational Research in Endometrial Cancer
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
1032851
Start year
2012
Keywords
Uterine Cancer; Cancer Genetics; Sequencing; Xenografts; Cancer Cell Biology; Pre-clinical Studies
Title
Inhibiting mutant FGFR2 in endometrial cancer by extracellular blockade
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
1011301
Start year
2011
Keywords
FGFR; Endometrial Cancer; Molecular Mechansim; Antibody; Therapy

Supervision

Current supervisions

Completed supervisions (Doctorate)

Completed supervisions (Masters by Research)

  • Cleavage and Nuclear Translocation of FGR2B in an Endometrial Cancer Cell Line (2016)