Functionally Applied Biology (FAB)

Many seemingly promising new drugs and treatments are dishearteningly ineffective when trialed in cancer patients. Based on insights from cancer biology the microenvironment of the cancer in the body is an essential determinant of therapy response, but consideration of this is missing from commonly used preclinical tests. We aim to discover and apply fundamental understanding of the cancer microenvironment to develop laboratory models for testing new drugs and treatments with a better likelihood of translation to successful treatments for patients. Our approaches include patient-derived 3D tumouroids, bioengineered materials mimicking the cancer microenvironment and organoids to create cancer microenvironments in a test tube.

The research team

> Professor Geraldine O'Neill, Functionally Applied Biology Group Leader, email:

Geraldine and her team aim to understand the fundamentals of how cancer cell interaction with the tumour microenvironment regulates cancer and response to therapy. More information can be found on Geraldine's University of Sydney profile page

> Other research team members:

  • Dr Louise Orcheston-Findlay, post-doctoral researcher
  • Victoria Prior, PhD student
  • Amy Sarker, PhD student
  • Dr Thuvarahan Jegathees, PhD student
  • Sam Bax, research assistant
  • Madeline Khun, honours student

Key publications

A full list of publications can be found here