DR Oliver Sieber

DR Oliver Sieber

Positions

  • Human Colorectal Cancer Genetics (tumour biology, biomarkers, therapy)

Overview

OverviewText1

  • A/Prof Oliver Sieber is Acting Joint Division Head and Laboratory Head at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) and a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow. He received his PhD from University College London in 2004, and undertook 6 years postdoctoral training at Cancer Research UK, University of Oxford and the Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research (LICR). He was Joint Laboratory Head at the LICR, Parkville, from 2009-12.


    Lab focus: translational bowel cancer genomics


    My research group aims to understand the genetic changes that contribute to bowel cancer. In particular, we are interested in the aberrant molecules that influence a person’s risk of developing bowel cancer, the course of disease in a bowel cancer patient, and the response of their cancer to therapy.

    Bowel cancers vary greatly in the genes and proteins they express, and their clinical behaviour. We are working to define different subtypes of bowel cancer based on the molecules they express. Our goal is to link this to disease progression and sensitivity to anti-cancer treatments. We hope this will lead to significant new insights into fundamental tumour biology and open new avenues for diagnosis and treatment.


    Research interest


    We have a major focus on bowel cancer genomics, the application of high-throughput molecular profiling technologies to identify principal cancer genes and biomarkers of cancer risk and prognosis. We are conducting next-generation sequencing and microarray studies involving Australian and international patient cohorts to define molecular signatures associated with tumour characteristics and outcome.

    Patient-focused investigations are being complemented with functional studies on cancer cell lines to distinguish driver from passenger mutations and to gain insights into molecular pathways of carcinogenesis. Molecularly-annotated cancer cell lines

       

Affiliation

Member of

  • Australian Living Organoid Alliance (ALOA). Steering Committee Member 2015 -
  • National Association of Research Fellows of NHMRC (NARF). Member 2015 -
  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Member 2013 -
  • Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG). Member 2013 -
  • International Society for Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours (InSight). Member 2013 -
  • COGENT (COlorectal cancer GENeTics) Consortium. Member 2010 -

Publications

Selected publications

Research

Additional Grant Information

  • 1. NHMRC Project Grant APP1138047: “Personalisation of Aspirin Adjuvant Therapy in Patients with Colorectal Cancer”; O Sieber, E Segelov, J Simes; 2018-2021; AUD $762,580.20

    2. Cancer Australia Project Grant 1120882: “Development of a Clinico-Molecular Colon Cancer Nomogram for personalisation of adjuvant chemotherapy in the Australian population”; O Sieber, R Jorissen, P Gibbs, R Ward, C Yau; 2017-2019; AUD 594,254

    3. NHMRC Project Grant 1107831: “Role of the EHF transcription factor in regulating the differentiation status of colon cancers”; J Mariadason, W Phillips, O Sieber; 2016-2019; AUD 621,950

    4. NHMRC Project Grant 1079362: “High-Throughput Discovery of Synergistic Drug Combinations for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer”; O Sieber, I Street, J Mariadason, J Desai; 2015-2019; AUD 1,470,202

       

Awards

Education and training

  • PhD, University College London 2004
  • BSc Hons, University College London 1999

Awards and honors

  • NHMRC Fellowship, 2018
  • NHMRC Research Excellence Award: Top Ranked Application - CDF2 Biomedical 2013, NHMRC, 2014

Supervision

Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • My research group aims to understand the molecular pathology of colorectal cancer (CRC) in order to develop strategies to improve patient outcomes. We are focusing on this objective with the following themes:

    IDENTIFICATION OF CLINICALLY-RELEVANT MOLECULAR SUBTYPES OF CRC
    Understanding CRC molecular heterogeneity is essential for predicting tumour behaviour. Sequencing, microarray and mass spectrometry technologies provide the opportunity to profile the genome, transcriptome, proteome and metabolome of cancer. We are applying these technologies in patient cohorts and cell lines to identify tumour molecular subtypes and principal driver genes.

    DISCOVERY OF BIOMARKERS FOR CRC PROGNOSIS AND THERAPY RESPONSE
    Multiple tumour molecular features have demonstrated potential as prognostic and predictive markers for CRC. We are undertaking systematic biomarker discovery and validation studies across large community based and clinical trial cohorts. Patient studies are being complemented with functional screens for drug resistance markers in cell lines.

    STUDY OF THE MOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF CRC PROGRESSION
    Genomics studies are uncovering an increasing number of novel candidate cancer genes for CRC. Some of these candidates will be clinically important driver genes, whilst others will be passengers. To systematically identify key driver genes, we are conducting high-throughput candidate knock-down screens for cell viability in cell lines selected to represent the molecular subtypes of the disease.

    DISCOVERY OF NEW DRUG COMBINATIONS FOR METASTATIC CRC
    Treatment outcomes for patients with metastatic CRC remain poor. A key problem is that cancers are genetically diverse, with some cells inevitably resistant to any given treatment. Combining drugs targeting distinct essential cellular functions is the principal strategy to overcome this problem. We are utilising cell lines to systematically tes