PROF Melissa Southey

PROF Melissa Southey


  • Cancer (including breast, prostate, colorectal, paediatric) (genomics, epigenomics, molecular pathology)
  • Clinical Genetics (evidence-based practice)
  • Precision Public Health (risk modelling, screening)



  • Professor Southey, PhD, Grad Dip Law, FHGSA, FFSc (RCPA), has a track record in both molecular diagnostic pathology and molecular genetic research. Her research programs are focused on characterizing the genetic and epigenetic factors responsible for cancer predisposition and progression, including familial aggregation of cancers. She leads a large active team of researchers, and in parallel, has numerous national and international productive collaborations. Significant focus is placed on the common cancers (breast, colorectal and prostate cancer) utilizing PEDIGREE's mature population-based studies and the application of new genetic technologies. She leads well advanced studies using highly selected multiple-case families that are applying massively parallel sequencing to identify new “high risk” breast and prostate cancer susceptibility genes, has recently led the formation of an international consortium COMPLEXO that aims to pool data to expedite discoveries in this area and has worked to define modes of translation of new genetic information into clinical practice. Her team has substantial activities based on Epigenome-Wide Association Studies (EWASs) utilizing the resources of the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study that are working to identify epigenetic risk factors for cancer. These initiatives are working towards improving the healthcare outcomes for individuals at high risk of cancer and providing the foundation for the emerging "Precision Public Health" era.   


Member of

  • COMPLEXO. Chair 2013 -
  • InSiGHT. Member 2004 -
  • KConFab. Member of Executive Committee 1996 -
  • Breast Cancer Family Registry. Steering Committee Member 1995 -
  • Human Genetics Society of Australasia. Member 1995 -
  • Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Member 1989 -


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • GDip, University of Melbourne 1996
  • PhD, University of Melbourne 1993
  • BSc(Hons), University of Melbourne 1988

Awards and honors

  • Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, Australia, 2010



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

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