Dr Ken Dutton-Regester
Melanoma Genetics and Biology
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
In 2017 about 14,000 Australians will be diagnosed with melanoma, almost 12 times the global average. When melanoma is detected early, it has one of the highest cure rates of any cancer, but undetected, melanoma can metastasise, throughout the body, at which stage the chances of survival dramatically decrease. A core focus of Dr Dutton-Regester’s research is identifying the genetic causes of this cancer, to improve treatment strategies for metastatic melanoma. Treatment options for metastatic melanomas have rapidly expanded in the last five years, however, there are still issues with drug-resistance, failure to respond to treatment, and unintended side effects. Ken’s work, in conjunction with collaborators, has helped to identify new drug targets and to resolve some of the previously unknown ways in which metastatic melanoma becomes resistant to drugs.
Ken has been a participant of the ATSE Young Science Ambassador program, Science Meets Parliament, and the “I’m a Scientist – Get Me Outta Here” competition. This year he took on the role of communications officer for the Society for Melanoma Research, taking responsibility for the Society’s social media engagement. He recently won the FameLab Queensland semi-finals. His work has also been highlighted in local and national media, including television, radio, print and online outlets.