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Dr Darryl Russell
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My research group focuses broadly on intercellular communication, cell-matrix interactions and resulting morphogenesis in normal function and cancer of the reproductive organs.
Coordinated structural remodelling of the ovarian follicle to promote maturation and ovulation of oocytes
Our primary focus is on the cyclic remodelling of the ovary during folliculogenesis, atresia, ovulation and luteinisation. Together these processes determine reproductive success and the health the oocyte and hence a healthy start to life.
Australia has one of the highest rates of dependence on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) internationally, resulting in over 4,000 births (~3%) annually. Gamete insufficiency is the main cause of infertility and determinant of embryo health and subsequent ART success. Our aims are; 1. To reveal the molecular mechanism of controlled tissue morphogenesis in ovaries, and understand how the changing ovarian environment promotes oocyte quality. 2. To develop diagnostic and therapeutic means to enhance the health of women and their babies in natural fertility and ART as well as to develop the technology for in vitro maturation of oocytes.
Health risks from ovarian dysfunction. Infertility and polycystic ovary syndrome are both extremely common in the Australian population and both associate with dysregulated ovarian tissue remodelling. Infertility treatment carries serious risks for women due to invasive hormone stimulations, surgical procedures and multiple pregnancies. All the above may be prevented through our work, by understanding the mechanisms of ovarian function and dysfunction and perfecting therapies to address these directly.
Specific Research Projects are Addressing
· Identifying bioarkers of oocyte developmental competence
· Molecular mechanisms of ovulation
· Development and function of the ovarian lymphatic system
· Molecular control of primordial ovarian follicle activation
Development and progression of cancers of reproductive organs
Extracellular matrix remodelling and tissue morphogenesis also cause metastases of reproductive organ cancers which are among the most prevalent cancers in men and women. Cancer of the breast, prostate, ovary and female reproductive tract account for more than 40% of all cancers in the Australian population (Cancer in Australia: an overview 2006. AIHW Publications 2006;37:144). One in eight Australian women will develop breast cancer and one in 9 men will develop prostate cancer. Each year 3000 women die from breast cancer, and a similar number of men die from prostate cancer, Cancer that progresses to metastatic stage in breast, ovary, prostate or reproductive tracts are usually incurable and thus my work also focuses on understanding how cancers become metastatic and how this can be prevented to improve ageing productively.
Our research seeks to understand the biological basis underlying the cause and mechanism of progression to metastatic disease. The changes that arise in malignant tissue to endow their capacity to degrade local extracellular matrix barriers and invade local blood and/or lymphatic vessels for transport to distal sites is under investigation. From this foundation we aim to develop tests to identify patients at risk of metastatic disease as well as antimetastatic therapies that specifically target and block the capacity of tumor cells to invade local tissues, to migrate and to populate new tissues, the main processes through which metastatic spread occurs.
Specific research projects are addressing:
· The interaction of tumor cells with local non-malignant stromal tissues
· Proteases of the Adamts family that facilitate degradation of peritumoral ECM
· Tumor mediated angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis
NHMRC Project Grants
ARC Discovery Grant
Prostate Cancer Foundation Grant
Russell Lab Team
Dr Darryl Russell PhD ARC Future Fellow
Laura Watson BSc (Hons) Research Assistant
Kathryn Gebhardt BSc (Hons) Post Doc
Izza Tan BSc (Hons) PhD student
Adrian Kaczmarek BSc (Hons) PhD Student
Selected Recent Publications
Robker RL, Akison LK, Bennett BD, Thrupp P, Chura LN, Russell DL, Lane M, Norman RN.
Ricciardelli C, Sakko AJ, Ween MP, Russell DL, Horsfall DJ
Dunning KR, Cashman K, Russell DL, Thompson JG, Normal RN, Robker RL
Wu LLY, Dunning KR, Yang X, Russell DL Lane M Norman RN Robker RL
Brown HM, Robker RL, Russell DL
Yang X, Dunning KR, Wu LLY, Hickey TE, Norman RN, Russell DL, Liang XY, Robker RL
Brown HM, Dunning KR, Robker RL, Russell DL
Sasseville M, Ritter LJ, Nguyen TM, Liu F, MottersheadDG, Russell DL, Gilchrist RB
Tam KKY, Russell DL, Peet DJ, Bracken CP, Rodgers RJ, ThompsonJG, Kind KL.
Gebhardt KM, Dunning KR, Feil D, Lane M, Russell DL. Dunning KR, Akison LK, Russell DL, Norman RJ, Robker RL. Wu LL, Russell DL, Norman RJ, Robker RL. Akison LK, Alvino ER, Dunning KR, Robker RL, Russell DL. Watson, LN, Mottershead, DG, Dunning, KR, Robker, RL, Gilchrist, RB, Russell, DL. Frank LA, Sutton-McDowall ML, Russell DL, Wang X, Feil DK, Gilchrist RB, Thompson JG. Kind KL, Banwell KM, Gebhardt KM, Macpherson A, Gauld A, Russell DL, Thompson JG. Dunning KR, Watson LN, Sharkey DJ, Brown HM, Norman RJ, Thompson JG, Robker RL, Russell DL. de Arao Tan I, Ricciardelli C, Russell DL.
Gebhardt KM, Dunning KR, Feil D, Lane M, Russell DL.
Dunning KR, Akison LK, Russell DL, Norman RJ, Robker RL.
Wu LL, Russell DL, Norman RJ, Robker RL.
Akison LK, Alvino ER, Dunning KR, Robker RL, Russell DL.
Watson, LN, Mottershead, DG, Dunning, KR, Robker, RL, Gilchrist, RB, Russell, DL.
Frank LA, Sutton-McDowall ML, Russell DL, Wang X, Feil DK, Gilchrist RB, Thompson JG.
Kind KL, Banwell KM, Gebhardt KM, Macpherson A, Gauld A, Russell DL, Thompson JG.
Dunning KR, Watson LN, Sharkey DJ, Brown HM, Norman RJ, Thompson JG, Robker RL, Russell DL.
de Arao Tan I, Ricciardelli C, Russell DL.
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