Professor Melissa Southey
Head, Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory
Professor Southey, PhD, Grad Dip Law, FHGSA, FFSc (RCPA), has a track record in both molecular diagnostic pathology and molecular genetic research. Her research programs are focused on characterizing the genetic and epigenetic factors responsible for cancer predisposition and progression, including familial aggregation of cancers. She leads a large active team of researchers, and in parallel, has numerous national and international productive collaborations. Significant focus is placed on the common cancers (breast, colorectal and prostate cancer) utilizing PEDIGREE's mature population-based studies and the application of new genetic technologies. She leads well advanced studies using highly selected multiple-case families that are applying massively parallel sequencing to identify new “high risk” breast and prostate cancer susceptibility genes, has recently led the formation of an international consortium COMPLEXO that aims to pool data to expedite discoveries in this area and has worked to define modes of translation of new genetic information into clinical practice. Her team has substantial activities based on Epigenome-Wide Association Studies (EWASs) utilizing the resources of the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study that are working to identify epigenetic risk factors for cancer. These initiatives are working towards improving the healthcare outcomes for individuals at high risk of cancer and providing the foundation for the emerging "Precision Public Health" era.
2010: Fellow of the Faculty of Science, Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (FFSc, RCPA)
2003 Fellow of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia, (FHGSA; Molecular Genetics)
1996: Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law, The University of Melbourne
1992: Ph.D. (Medicine); St. Vincent's Institute of Medical Research, Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne
1988: First Class Honours (Pathology), Bachelor of Science (Honours), The University of Melbourne.
2000 – present: Head, Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory, Department of Pathology, The University of Melbourne
2006 – present: Research Associate (Honorary), The Cancer Council Victoria.
2004-6: Team Leader – High-Risk Genes, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.
The Old Bronze Medal, The University of Melbourne, awarded for presenting the David Danks Oration, 2011.