Dr Quinn's current NHMRC and CCV funded research involves generating animal models to understand the initiation and progression of human cancer. Her core research focus is to develop in vivo cancer models towards unraveling how complex signalling mechanisms are integrated into transcriptional networks.
In particular the group studies how these networks coordinate cell growth and division to establish the body plan during development, and also maintain tissue homeostasis in adult animals; as cell growth and proliferation are invariably dysregulated in human cancer. Her group has a strong interest in using in vivo stem cell models to determine the mechanism(s) by which the stem cell microenvironment or "niche" regulates stem and progenitor cell growth, division and differentiation.
One core regulator of growth and division of great interest to the Quinn laboratory is the MYC oncogene, which is a potent activator of cell growth networks and upregulated in 70% of all human cancers. As most MYC-driven cancer is due to upregulation of expression a major focus is unraveling the networks controlling MYC transcription, both in normal development and in malignancy.