PhD or Masters or Honours

Exposure to analogues of the ovarian hormone progesterone increases breast cancer risk. In order to understand the role of progesterone in breast cancer development it is important to study normal breast tissue. The aim of this project is to identify disruptions in hormone signalling that occur in the normal breast as early breast cancer changes occur. We will use models of early malignancy, including activation of known oncogenes and introduction of breast cancer susceptibility gene mutations, to identify changed hormonal responsiveness acquired by the normal breast as it transitions to cancer. The project will employ high level molecular and cell biology approaches, which include single cell genomic profiling; gene transfection/transduction and live cell imaging of primary and continuous cell lines; gene expression analysis (including microarrays and RNA massively parallel sequencing); RNAi using lentivirus; cloning of expression and shRNA constructs; confocal imaging; flow cytometry; high content screening assays; digital image analysis; immunofluorescent protein expression analysis.

Supervisor: Dr. Heidi Hilton, heidi.hilton@sydney.edu.au