Biochemistry: Programmed Cell Death /Apoptosis
The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

For each of us to remain healthy, unwanted or damaged cells must be removed by a process known as ‘apoptosis’. When this process goes awry, damaged cells persist, sometimes growing uncontrollably, and diseases such as cancer can arise. A new class of anti-cancer drugs that works by activating apoptosis in cancerous cells, hence eliminating them, has been developed. However, the details of how these drugs work are not completely understood and Dr Lee is investigating the mechanisms underlying this process. Her results will enable us to understand why some cancers respond differently to such drugs. In turn, this should enable us to develop new anti-cancer therapeutics effective against those cancers that are resistant to current treatments.

Erinna has a successful publication record with 17 journals, a book chapter and two patents, and she has been invited to participate in seven conferences around Australia.

Erinna has displayed excellent communication skills in numerous oral presentations and poster awards. She is heavily involved with committee duties, which include organising symposia for students and post-doctoral scientists. She has also been an invited speaker at the Science Talent Search through the Science Teachers Association of Victoria, and conveyed an entertaining and informative presentation of her career path and research to middle and secondary school students.