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1989 …2023

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Personal profile


Professor Helen Rizos leads the Precision Cancer Therapy research team and is Principle Investigator of the Macquarie University Cancer Biobank in the Macquarie School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences at Macquarie University. Helen graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Hon I) from the University of New South Wales, and completed her PhD at Macquarie University. She joined the Melanoma Research Group at the Westmead Instutute for Medical Research in 1995, and become an independent group leader in 2000. She is a Faculty member of the Melanoma Institute Australia, where she co-leads the Advanced Melanoma research theme.

She joined Macquarie University in 2013, and was Head, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences from 2014-2021. She has been awarded Senior Research Fellowships from the Cancer Institute NSW and NHMRC.

Research interests

Helen has made major contributions to our understanding of melanoma oncogenic signaling and mechanisms of response and resistance to systemic therapies in melanoma. 

She has contributed to many seminal findings including: i) identifying the role of intratumoural heterogeneity in conferring resistance to targeted therapies,  ii) reporting on the continued clinical activity of targeted therapies beyond disease progression, iii) examining the value of ctDNA in predicting the survival and pseudoprogression of melanoma patients treated with immunotherapy, and iv) defining that ctDNA is prognostic in high-risk Stage III melanoma.

 Her current research interests include:

  • Defining liquid biomarker signatures that identify patients at high risk of recurrence or treatment resistance 

  • Examining mechanisms of treatment response and resistance

  • Identifying new approaches to overcome treatment resistance

  • Developing new models to support cancer research and the clinical care of cancer patients



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