Dr Priyakshi Kalita de Croft

Postdoctoral Research Officer

UQ Centre for Clinical Research
Faculty of Medicine
p.kalita@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 66048

Overview

I was trained in Pathophysiology of kidney disease and preclinical models in my PhD at the University of Otago, New Zealand. I relocated to Australia and since 2017, I have been pursuing an active postdoctoral research career. I have applied my expertise of Pathology, Molecular Biology and disease modelling to establish preclinical models and identify new biomarkers for secondary brain cancers. I use intra-cranial preclinical models, multi-omic tools, innovative technologies such as profiling multiple proteins within the same clinical sample simultaneously to meet my research objectives. As an early career postdoctoral researcher I have contributed to understanding the tumour adaptations within the brain that helps the tumour cell survive. I have identified biomarkers within secondary brain cancer and triple-negative breast cancers that have the potential to be developed as vaccine targets. My research work has been published in eminent journals such as Theranostics, Journal of Pathology and Therapeutic Advances of Medical Oncology. My dedication to improving the lives of women with secondary brain cancer have led to a recent recognition as the Rose-Anne Kelso Commemorative award in November 2019. I want to continue my research journey towards this noble cause and make a difference with my research. My current research is dedicated to understanding the tumour microenvironment in a comprehensive way by using high throughput multiplexing and spatial profiling technologies. By understanding the spatial biology and the immune contexture of these tumours’ I hope to uncover unknown mechanisms of treatment resistance and failure. This can ultimately lead to better outcomes for this devastating condition.

Research Interests

  • Tumour immune microenvironment of secondary/metastatic brain cancers
    Utilising clinical samples of secondary brain cancers, I am understanding the spatial biology and the immune contexture of the brain tumour microenvironment. This includes collaboration with QUT and employs novel omics technologies to simultaneously investigate multiple proteins in-situ within the same sample.
  • Cross talk and adaptations of the brain using model systems
    I have the developed and established the intra-cranial brain metastasis animal model for further our understanding of this tumour. Using this model I have discovered new ways of how the tumour cells adapt in the tumour microenvironment. I also routinely analyse archival patient tumour tissues to identify novel biomarkers for breast cancer and secondary brain cancers. In collaboration with QUT, I am developing a 3D model of secondary brain cancer.
  • Microenvironmental cues of breast cancer and brain metastasis
    In triple-negative breast cancers I am understanding the biology of cancer-associated fibroblasts and their role in breast density and the immune microenvironment using various innovative Pathology tools such as Nanostring Digital Spatial profiler. Another branch of my work in collaboration with UQ researchers encompasses analysing exosomal proteins being released from brain metastasis samples. This has the potential to be developed as blood based biomarkers and/or delivery agents.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Otago

Publications

  • Croft, Priyakshi Kalita-de, Chittoory, Haarika, Nguyen, Tam H., Saunus, Jodi M., Kim, Woo Gyeong, Reed, Amy E. McCart, Lim, Malcolm, De Luca, Xavier M., Ferguson, Kaltin, Niland, Colleen, Mazzieri, Roberta, Dolcetti, Riccardo, Simpson, Peter T. and Lakhani, Sunil R. (2021). Characterization of immune cell subsets of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in brain metastases. Biology, 10 (5) 425, 425. doi: 10.3390/biology10050425

  • Kalita-de Croft, Priyakshi, Rad, Habib Sadeghi, Gasper, Harry, O'Byrne, Ken, Lakhani, Sunil R. and Kulasinghe, Arutha (2021). Spatial profiling technologies and applications for brain cancers. Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics, 21 (3), 1-10. doi: 10.1080/14737159.2021.1900735

  • Kalita-de Croft, Priyakshi, Lim, Malcolm, Chittoory, Haarika, de Luca, Xavier M., Kutasovic, Jamie R., Day, Bryan W., Al-Ejeh, Fares, Simpson, Peter T., McCart Reed, Amy E., Lakhani, Sunil R. and Saunus, Jodi M. (2020). Clinicopathologic significance of nuclear HER4 and phospho-YAP(S127) in human breast cancers and matching brain metastases. Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology, 12, 175883592094625. doi: 10.1177/1758835920946259

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Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

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Available Projects

  • This project will be investigating the unique immune microenvironmental adaptations that take place in an organ when it is invaded by tumour cells. It will be employing molcular biology techniques such as gene knockdown, histology, protein expression and pathway analysis.

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Publications

Featured Publications

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • This project will be investigating the unique immune microenvironmental adaptations that take place in an organ when it is invaded by tumour cells. It will be employing molcular biology techniques such as gene knockdown, histology, protein expression and pathway analysis.