Honorary Professor John Hooper

Honorary Professor

Mater Research Institute-UQ
Faculty of Medicine

Overview

1991-94 BSc Honours I (Chemistry) University of Queensland, University Medal

1995-99 PhD (Cancer Pathology) University of Queensland

1999-00 Post-Doctoral Fellow, Queensland University of Technology

2001-03 NHMRC CJ Martin/RG Menzies Fellow, Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, CA, USA

2003-05 NHMRC CJ Martin/RG Menzies Fellow, Queensland University of Technology

2005-09 NHMRC RD Wright Fellow, Queensland University of Technology

2010-15 Associate Professor, Mater Research Institute, The University of Queensland

2012-16 ARC Future Fellow, Mater Research Institute, The University of Queensland

2016- Professor of Cancer Biology, Mater Research Institute, The University of Queensland

Research Interests

  • Cancers of the reproductive system and gastrointestinal tract
    Our focus is on the identification and evaluation of molecular targets and biomarkers of cancer. As much as possible our research employs disease relevant models that incorporate patient tumours. We have developed a successful R&D pipeline to identify cell surface receptors that are enriched in cancer for the purpose of targeting them for delivery of radiation and cytotoxins for cancer detection and treatment. This has culminated in a PET-CT imaging clinical trial evaluating a new radio-imaging agent to guide targeted therapy for ovarian cancer. My team is expert in generating and employing in vitro, ex vivo and mouse models of cancer, using patient specimens for much of this work. We have extensive experience in cell and molecular biology, protein analysis, including generation, purification and characterisation of recombinant proteins from insect and mammalian cells, enzymology, wide field fluorescent and confocal microscopy of live and fixed specimens, flow cytometry analysis and fluorescent activated cell sorting, bioluminescent and PET/CT imaging of mouse models of cancer, and histological and immunohistochemical analysis of mouse xenografts and patient tumours. We also have expertise in radio- and cytotoxin-labelling of biomolecules using these for detection and treatment of cancer in preclinical models. Our discovery and translational research activities are supported by close collaborations with medical specialists involved in treatment and diagnosis of cancer at Mater, Royal Brisbane and Women’s, Wesley, and Princess Alexandra Hospitals.

Research Impacts

My major research contributions are in the identification and evaluation of molecular targets and biomarkers for cancers of the ovary, pancreas, prostate and bowel. At a molecular level my focus is on cell surface receptors, proteolytic enzymes, intracellular signal transducers, mediators of metabolism and protein post-translational modifications. Most recently we have developed a successful R&D pipeline to identify cell surface receptors that are enriched in cancer for the purpose of targeting them for delivery of radiation and cytotoxins for cancer detection and treatment. This has culminated in a PET-CT imaging clinical trial evaluating a new radio-imaging agent to guide targeted therapy for ovarian cancer. My team is expert in generating and employing in vitro, ex vivo and mouse models of cancer, using patient specimens for much of this work. We have extensive experience in cell and molecular biology, protein analysis, including generation, purification and characterisation of recombinant proteins from insect and mammalian cells, enzymology, wide field fluorescent and confocal microscopy of live and fixed specimens, flow cytometry analysis and fluorescent activated cell sorting, bioluminescent and PET/CT imaging of mouse models of cancer, and histological and immunohistochemical analysis of mouse xenografts and patient tumours. We also have expertise in radio- and cytotoxin-labelling of biomolecules using these for detection and treatment of cancer in preclinical models. Our discovery and translational research activities are supported by close collaborations with medical specialists involved in treatment and diagnosis of cancer at Mater, Royal Brisbane and Women’s, Wesley, and Princess Alexandra Hospitals. To date my research has attracted ~$11M in funding, producing 4 patents and 95 papers.

Publications

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Grants

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Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • (2022) Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • The project involves the use of state-of-the-art in silico and omics approaches to identify antigens that are suitable targets for delivery of radioactive and cytotoxic payloads to cancers. Candidates will be validated by analysis of patient tumours and normal organs.

  • A range of screening approaches will be employed to identify organic compounds, peptides and antibodies that bind with high affinity and specificity to antigens enriched on the surface of cancer cells. The efficacy of these agents for delivery of payloads to cancer will be evaluated using cellular and mouse models of cancer.

  • The project will employ disease-relevant in vitro mouse models to test metabolism modulating approaches to improve the efficacy of current anti-cancer treatments.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Ramsay, Andrew J., Kwarciak, Agnieszka, Hooper, John D., Lopez-Otin, Carlos and Velasco, Gloria (2013). Matriptase-2. Handbook of proteolytic enzymes. (pp. 2975-2983) edited by Neil D. Rawlings and Guy Salvensen. London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-382219-2.00650-5

  • Clements, Judith A., Hooper, John D. and Dong, Ying (2013). The Human Tissue Kallikrein and Kallikrein-related Peptidase Family. Handbook of Proteolytic Enzymes. (pp. 2747-2756) edited by Neil D. Rawlings and Guy Salvesen. London, United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-382219-2.00606-2

  • Bennett, Nigel C., Hooper, John and Gobe, Glenda C. (2012). Endogenous strategies for steroidogenesis and androgen signalling in prostate cancer cells. Androgens: production, functions and disorders. (pp. 99-114) edited by Berkley F. Thompson and Devon J. Robinson. New York, NY, United States: Nova Science Publishers.

  • Hollenberg, M.D. and Hooper, John David (2012). Kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs), Proteinase-mediated Signalling and Proteinase-activated receptors (PARs). Kallikrein-related peptidases Volume 1, Characterization, regulation, and interactions within the protease web. (pp. 373-398) edited by Viktor Magdolen, Christian Sommerhoff, Hans Fritz and Manfred Schmitt. Berlin Germany: DeGruyter.

  • Hollenberg, Morley D., Hooper, John D., Darmoul, Dalila and Oikonomopoulou, Katerina (2012). Kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs), Proteinase-mediated signaling and proteinase-activated receptors (PARs). Characterization, regulation, and interactions within the protease web. (pp. 373-398) Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter Mouton.

  • Clements, J. A., Hooper, John David, Odorico, D. M. and Dong, Y. (2004). The tissue kallikrein gene cluster. Handbook of Proteolytic Enzymes / 1. Aspartic and metallo peptidases. (pp. 478-478) edited by Barrett, A. J., Rawlings, N. D. and Woessner, J. F.. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier Academic Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed 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.

  • The project involves the use of state-of-the-art in silico and omics approaches to identify antigens that are suitable targets for delivery of radioactive and cytotoxic payloads to cancers. Candidates will be validated by analysis of patient tumours and normal organs.

  • A range of screening approaches will be employed to identify organic compounds, peptides and antibodies that bind with high affinity and specificity to antigens enriched on the surface of cancer cells. The efficacy of these agents for delivery of payloads to cancer will be evaluated using cellular and mouse models of cancer.

  • The project will employ disease-relevant in vitro mouse models to test metabolism modulating approaches to improve the efficacy of current anti-cancer treatments.

  • The project will employ nanoparticle formulations of cell division disrupting drugs against patient-derived in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo models of high-grade serous ovarian cancer.