Dr Kathryn Skelding

Research Program:
Project Grant
2018 Project Grant
Project Grant
2018 Project Grant
Project Grant
2017 Project Grant
Project Grant
2017 Project Grant
Equipment Grant
2017 Equipment Grant
Project Grant
2016 Project Grant
Project Grant
2016 Project Grant
Project Grant
2015 Project Grant
Project Grant
2015 Project Grant
Project Grant
2015 Project Grant
Project Grant
2015 Project Grant
Project Grant
2014 Project Grant
Scholarship
2014 Scholarship
Equipment Grant
2014 Equipment Grant
Project Grant
2013 Project Grant
Project Grant
2013 Project Grant
Project Grant
2013 Project Grant
Project Grant
2010 Project Grant
Project Grant
2010 Project Grant

What are your research interests?

  • My main research focus is figuring out what makes a cancer cell a cancer cell.  
  • I am particularly interested in identifing how cancer cells grow, survive and spread, so that we can develop new drugs that target these cancer-specific pathways
  • I also conduct research into developing new ways of predicting the prognosis of cancer patients at diagnosis, so that their treatment can be more personalised (for example - will the cancer spread, and which treatment will work best for this patient?)

Why did you get into research? 

Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way. Growing up, I saw several family members and family friends battle cancer. Everyone knows that cancer is bad, and that chemotherapy is toxic. But it isn't until you see someone you love go through this that you realise just how horrible it is.

I have focused my research efforts on developing new drugs for cancer that are not only effective, but that have fewer side effects than our existing treatments.

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

My ultimate goal is to improve treatments for cancer patients (either by developing new treatments that are less toxic or by identifying factors that better predict patient response). I would love to see a world where cancer becomes a manageable/treatable disease.

Brief Profile

Dr Kathryn Skelding's research focuses on examining signal transduction pathways and the role of targeting in regulating cancer cell proliferation, metastasis and chemotherapy resistance, so that new targets for controlling these cellular functions can be identified. Using a variety of molecular, biochemical and cellular techniques, she has identified new pathways involved in these processes.

Additionally, Dr Skelding has developed novel inhibitors that can target these pathways. She is currently examining the efficacy of these new drugs in a range of cancer types, including leukaemia, breast and prostate cancer. She is also investigating novel biomarkers for breast and prostate cancer.

Dr Skelding has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in the field and has presented at numerous conferences. She has been awarded several awards throughout her research career, including Newcastle Innovation's Excellence in Innovation Award (2015), Excellence in Translational Research Award (2014), the International Society for Neurochemistry Travel Award (2011), Best Early Career Researcher Speaker at the Hunter Medical Research Institute Cancer Research Program Symposium (2010), Best Speaker at the University of Newcastle Graduate Student’s Day (2006), University Medal in Biomedical Science (2003), the University of Newcastle Vice Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence (2000), and numerous undergraduate and post-graduate training scholarships.

Due to work completed throughout her PhD, the Hon Roslyn Kelly (Chair of the National Breast Cancer Foundation Board of Trustees) nominated Dr Skelding for a Fresh Science Award in 2006, for which she was short-listed.

Dr Skelding's overarching research aim is improve patient outcomes and quality of life, by translating her research findings into the clinic.

Future Focus

My future focus is to improve the lives of those living with cancer through developing new treatments that are effective and less toxic than existing therapies.

Specialised/Technical Skills 

  • Pre-clinical investigation of novel anti-cancer therapeutics (in vitro and in vivo models)
  • Cell biology
  • Molecular biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Protein targeting

Affiliations 

  • Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)
  • Australian and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology (ANZCDB)
  • Hunter Medical Research Institute Cancer Priority Research Centre
  • The Hunter Cancer Research Alliance (HCRA)

2018

Tetraspanin CD9; more than just an exosome marker - A novel biomarker to target for prostate cancer
Project Grant
Description:

Currently the major hurdle facing the successful treatment of solid cancers is the development of metastases (tumour spread), and our lack of understanding of what controls this process.

more
Teaching old dogs new tricks – PARP inhibitors as treatments for childhood cancers
Project Grant
Description:

Cancer is the most common cause of childhood disease-related deaths, with leukaemia the most common childhood cancer in Australia.

more

2017

Too Much of a Good Thing: Application for a triple-gas incubator to allow cell culture under normal conditions
Equipment Grant
Description:

A very useful and convenient method used in many fields of medical research involves growing cells in the laboratory. Cells are ""cultured"" in plastic dishes in incubators that provide an environment warmed to body temperature, 37 degrees Celsius. Human cells also require carbon dioxide to grow and this is added to the ambient air in the incubator. This kind of cell culture has been used for over a century and has been accepted as the standard way of growing cells in the laboratory. This method is very important and useful in cancer research.

more
Tetraspanin CD9; more than just an exosome marker - A novel biomarker to target for prostate cancer
Project Grant
Description:

Currently the major hurdle facing the successful treatment of solid cancers is the development of metastases (tumour spread), and our lack of understanding of what controls this process.

more
Re-purposing PARP inhibitors to treat childhood leukaemias
Project Grant
Description:

Cancer is the most common cause of childhood disease-related deaths, with leukaemia the most common childhood cancer in Australia. The two most common forms of leukaemia in children are acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Whilst remission is achievable in over 95% of ALL cases, 1/3 of patients will relapse within 5 to 10 years, and these children will not be long-term survivors. AML accounts for 20% of all childhood leukaemias, and the outlook for children diagnosed with AML is much worse, with only approximately half of children surviving for 5 years post-diagnosis.

more

2016

BAALC - a novel target for the development of new treatments for brain cancer.
Project Grant
Description:

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Brain cancer is the 15th most common cancer in the world, and has one of the worst survival rates of all cancer types, with only approximately half of patients surviving for one year post-diagnosis. This poor survival rate highlights that new treatments for brain cancer are urgently required.

more
Tetraspanin CD9; more than just an exosome marker - A novel biomarker to target for prostate cancer
Project Grant
Description:

Currently the major hurdle facing the successful treatment of solid cancers is the development of metastases (tumour spread), and our lack of understanding of what controls this process.

more

2015

BAALC - a novel target for the development of new treatments for brain cancer.
Project Grant
Description:

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Brain cancer is the 15th most common cancer in the world, and has one of the worst survival rates of all cancer types, with only approximately half of patients surviving for one year post-diagnosis. This poor survival rate highlights that new treatments for brain cancer are urgently required.

more
Improving the effectiveness of a new treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Kathryn Skelding, Dr Mengna Chi, Dr Nicole Verrills, Dr Roger Liang

Description:

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is the most common acute leukaemia affecting adults, and accounts for ~20% of childhood leukaemias.

more
A novel approach to cancer therapy - targeting patients with loss of a specific tumour suppressor gene
Project Grant
Description:

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Australia. Each year over 120,000 Australian’s will be diagnosed with cancer, and tragically, more than 42,000 patients will die from this disease. 

more
Tetraspanin CD9; more than just an exosome marker - A novel biomarker to target for prostate cancer
Project Grant
Description:

Currently the major hurdle facing the successful treatment of solid cancers is the development of metastases (tumour spread), and our lack of understanding of what controls this process. 

more

2014

Triple-gas incubator
Equipment Grant
Description:

Dr Gedye’s basic laboratory research within the HMRI Building will focus on ways of targeting these more aggressive kidney cancer cells, and hopefully lead to novel combinations of old and new drugs to work with the medications routinely used in the clinic.

more
Developing Synthetic Exosomes to Target and Deliver Anti-Cancer Agents to Prostate Cancer Cells
Scholarship
Researchers:
Description:

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in Australia. Once a prostate cancer begins to spread (metastasise), it becomes very difficult to treat and often results in patient death. 

more
Tetraspanin CD9; more than just an exosome marker - A novel biomarker to target for prostate cancer
Project Grant
Description:

Currently the major hurdle facing the successful treatment of solid cancers is the development of metastases (tumour spread), and our lack of understanding of what controls this process.

more

2013

Targeting BAALC as a new treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia
Project Grant
Description:

Improving survival from Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) with new therapies

more
Myr-C310: A new treatment for childhood leukaemia
Project Grant
Description:

Improving survival and reducing treatment side effects in childhood leukaemia

more
Preclinical testing of a novel therapeutic strategy for breast cancer
Project Grant
Description:

Testing a new treatment strategy for breast cancer - turning proteins "on" that improve patient survival

more

2010

Role of CaMKII Targeting in Stroke susceptibility and outcome
Project Grant
Researchers:

Professor John Rostas, Neil Spratt, Kathryn Skelding, Sarah McCann

Regulation of Breast Cancer Growth by a Novel Phosphorylation-Dependent Targeting Mechanism
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Kathryn Skelding, Nikki Verrills, John Rostas