Professor Dawson is a clinician-scientist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. He is the program head of the Translational Haematology Program, Group leader of the Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory and Consultant Haematologist in the Department of Haematology. His research interest is studying epigenetic regulation in normal and malignant haematopoiesis.
He is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. After completing his clinical training in Melbourne, Australia he was awarded the prestigious General Sir John Monash Fellowship and Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Fellowship, which he used to complete his PhD at the University of Cambridge. Following his PhD, he was awarded the inaugural Wellcome Trust Beit Prize Fellowship to pursue his research into epigenetic regulation of leukaemia stem cells.
He is currently a Professor in the Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology and Centre for Cancer Research at the University of Melbourne. He is the Senior Research Fellow for the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Research Scholar.
Molecular mechanisms governing sensitivity and resistance to epigenetic therapies
The dynamic plasticity of the epigenome lends itself well to therapeutic manipulation and as such the last decade has witnessed an unprecedented investment in the development and application of targeted epigenetic therapies. The challenge that lies ahead is understanding the molecular mechanisms that govern sensitivity and resistance to these agents. These insights will in turn guide the rational use of these exciting new drugs in the clinical arena. In this session, I will focus on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of action of some of these drugs and the pre-clinical evidence for their efficacy. I will also highlight the emerging evidence for how therapeutic resistance may emerge and potential strategies that may forestall or circumvent resistance to these novel therapies.