Dr Laura Genovesi

Research Fellow

The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
Faculty of Medicine
l.genovesi@imb.uq.edu.au
+61 7 344 37483

Overview

Laura Genovesi is a Cure Brain Cancer Foundation Research Fellow within the Paediatric Brain Cancer Laboratory headed by Professor Brandon Wainwright.

Dr Genovesi is a cancer biologist specialising in in vivo pre-clinical models to dissect the mechanisms underpinning growth of medulloblastoma, a paediatric brain tumour. They were awarded their PhD in 2012 (University of Western Australia), where they studied the role of microRNAs in the transformation of human neural stem cells to Medulloblastoma. They relocated to the University of Queensland to commence her post-doctoral studies in the laboratory of Prof. Brandon Wainwright. Dr Genovesi's post-doctoral research focuses on discovering and targeting the genetic networks that drive medulloblastoma. Their work has contributed to defining regulatory networks underlying the growth of medulloblastoma and the therapeutic application of CDK4/6 inhibitors in the treatment of medulloblastoma. Most recently, her work has characterised the status of the blood brain barrier in some of the most widely used patient derived orthotopic xenograft models of medulloblastoma. Dr Laura Genovesi’s research is now focused on understanding the intrinsic and adaptive plasticity of tumour cells and acellular components of the brain tumour microenvironment (TME) that drive tumour progression and determine response to therapy. Their research integrates integrates diverse preclinical model systems including patient-derived in vivo models and dynamic ex vivo 3D hydrogel models with innovative spatial transcriptomics/ imaging and advanced computational cancer biology aiming to ultimately to improve the lives of children diagnosed with brain tumours.

Research Impacts

Medulloblastoma (MB) is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality and morbidity in children. Survival rates have not significantly changed for thirty years and survivors are faced with lifelong side effects from their treatments including cognitive decline, developmental defects and other cancers. Additionally, few effective therapies are available for patients with high-risk disease, such as those with MYC- amplified Group 3 (Gp3) MB. New targeted therapies are urgently needed for children diagnosed with medulloblastoma; to increase survival rates and improve quality of life for children diagnosed with this disease. Dr Genovesi's research has made significant strides in this area, generating a genetic map to find new pathways that are driving aggressive forms of this disease. Using this map, two existing classes of drugs apprved for breast cancer have been repurposed and identified as effective therapies for this disease. One of these classes of drugs is currently in clinical trial for children diagnosed with a range of brain tumours, with data from this project confirming these agents have an even greater effect when combined with standard therapy for children diagnosed with this disease. Outcomes from this research program can be used to support the next phase of clinical trials for these agents, with the inclusion of this new targeted therapy into standard of care aiming to result in greater survival rates for patients diagnosed with this disease.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Western Australia
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), Murdoch University

Publications

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Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Publications

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision