Dr. Mark Waltham BSc (Hons) PhD

Mark Waltham is a cancer biologist with expertise in pre-clinical drug development, tumour profiling technologies and molecular pharmacology. He undertook early postdoctoral training at Sloan-Kettering Institute (SKI, New York) accumulating considerable experience in cancer biology and cancer chemotherapy. His principle studies were focused on mechanisms of chemotherapy drug resistance in model systems and relapsing leukaemia patients (clinical isolates). As a Visiting Fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NCI, Bethesda) he worked on profiling based approaches to anti-cancer drug discovery. Here he gained extensive experience in genomics and microarray based approaches (& associated bioinformatics) during the developmental phase of this technology at the NCI.

In 2002 he was recruited to St. Vincent’s Institute (SVI, Melbourne) and appointed head of the Pharmacogenomics Unit, a position he held until 2014. Funded research work during this phase related to tumour profiling (genetic-based testing and transcriptional profiling), drug discovery and drug-gene correlation studies. This included NHMRC-funded cancer profiling and pre-clinical drug studies; a Komen-funded breast cancer studies (‘drug repurposing’); and NBCF-funded work to capture, transcriptionally profile and functionally characterise circulating tumour cells in in vivo cancer models of breast cancer progression.

While his main activities over the last fifteen years has been as an academic researcher, his lab has also performed contract based research work (local and US biopharmaceutical companies) on transcriptional profiling, enumeration of CTCs and drug evaluation. More recently, Dr Waltham served as president of the Australasian Genomics Technology Association (agtagenomics.org.au) which serves to promote the understanding and use of genomic technologies within Australasia. Current work at Monash is focussed on anticancer drug evaluation and liquid biopsy technology.

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