• Liver Cancer Research Lead

    Dr Aparna Jayachandran

National and International Profile

Dr Jayachandran is currently Research Officer within the School of Clinical Medicine, The University of Queensland and the Gallipoli Medical Research Institute. Dr Jayachandran’s research work has focused on her expertise in the research areas of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) biology, cancer stem cells, biomarker and druggable target discovery; some of the themes of the current application. In 2009, Dr Jayachandran obtained a PhD with Summa cum laude within the Molecular biology and Medicine of the Lung Program at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany. During her PhD, she also underwent a transatlantic research training in the Nephrology division, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA. She was the first to identify the role of TGF-β signal transduction in epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and its relevance to disease models of lung and kidney fibrosis. In 2010, she joined the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Melbourne, Australia, as a postdoctoral fellow and was the first to establish the relationship between embryonic development, EMT and cancer metastasis in embryonic chicken. Since joining the University of Queensland in October 2015, she has been extending her knowledge into Hepatocellular Carcinoma biology. Dr Jayachandran has established a unique cell culture system to enrich cancer stem cells. Subsequently, she has developed metabolic methods to identify stem cells. She is pursuing a career in gastroenterological cancer research with particular emphasis on translational research.


Student Supervision, Peer Review and Discipline Involvement

Dr Jayachandran is Principal Advisor of a PhD student and Associate Advisor of a Masters student at The University of Queensland since 2017. She has been a Primary Supervisor of a PhD student who has successfully completed PhD in June 2016 from The University of Melbourne. She has been a Member of the PhD confirmation committee at the University of Melbourne for two PhD students from 2013 to 2015.

Dr Jayachandran has been an invited reviewer of manuscripts for international journals relevant to the discipline of EMT and oncology. She has reviewed Cancer Australia grant applications (since 2015), and NHMRC grants (since 2011). Dr Jayachandran has served on the Conference organizing Committees of the HCC Research Workshop: Experimental HCC, Brisbane (2017), Symposium on EMT and Cancer Treatment, Brisbane (2017), EMPATHY meeting, Melbourne (2011-2012) and Poster Judge, ASMR, Brisbane (2016-2017).


Publications, Impact and Funding Support

Dr Jayachandran has 18 publications including 14 research articles, 3 reviews and 1 editorial with a total of 377 citations and an average of 20.9 citations per article. Dr Jayachandran has published 18 conference papers. She has 13 first author and 3 senior author publications. Dr Jayachandran has made important contributions to the understanding of EMT during organ fibrosis, development and cancer progression. Particularly relevant to this application, she has several publications examining mechanisms of EMT and cancer stem cell in cancers, including HCC (Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2017;17(8):698-706; World J Stem Cells. 2017 Sep 26;9(9):159-168; J Hematol Oncol. 2016 Aug 30;9(1):74; Oncotarget. 2016 Jul 5;7(27):41186-41202; Oncotarget. 2015 Jun 30;6(18):15953-65). In addition, Dr Jayachandran has had a strong interest in biomarker and druggable-target discovery as evidenced by her publications in this area (Oncotarget. 2017 May 23;8(43):74036-74048; BMC Cancer. 2016 Feb 22;16:134; Oncotarget. 2016 Jul 5;7(27):41186-41202; Oncotarget. 2015 Jun 30;6(18):15953-65; Oncotarget. 2014 Jul 30; 5(14):5782-97).

Dr Jayachandran was successful in securing competitive funding from Cure Cancer Australia, and Austin Medical Research Foundation as sole CI. She also secured a co-CI funding from the Cyrill Gilbert Foundation. She has been invited for a total of 18 national and international oral presentations and has been awarded 9 travel grants. She was recently awarded the best early career researcher presentation at the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) workshop in 2017. Her research was also selected in Australian Gastroenterology Week (AGW) as Poster of Merit in 2017.