Associate Professor Luke Selth

Associate Professor

College of Medicine and Public Health

place Health Sciences Building
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

I have been fascinated by molecular biology since first undertaking a Biotechnology degree at Flinders University. I subsequently completed a PhD at University of Adelaide and then conducted post-doctoral studies at Cancer Research UK’s London Research Institute, widely considered to be one of the premier basic cancer research institutes in the world. As a recipient of a prestigious European Molecular Biology Organization long-term fellowship, I studied epigenetic mechanisms underlying transcriptional deregulation in cancer and developed expertise in contemporary molecular, biochemical and omic techniques.

Upon returning to Adelaide in 2009, I subsequently received Young Investigator Awards from the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) and the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the latter the only awarded to an Australian-based researcher (of >280 total since 2007). In 2015 I established an independent lab group at the University of Adelaide, which I transferred to Flinders University in 2019. My research is focused on two broad themes: a) elucidating the changes that occur to the androgen receptor signaling axis during prostate cancer progression, and using this information to identify novel opportunities for AR-based and AR-independent therapies; b) investigating the role of non-coding RNAs in prostate cancer metastasis and their potential as biomarkers of disease. I regularly publish my research in top-tier journals, including recent papers in Cancer Research, European Urol, Science Translational Medicine, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, EMBO Journal, Oncogene, and Nucleic Acids Research.

Research expertise
Biochemistry and cell biology
Molecular biology
Oncology and carcinogenesis
Research interests

Prostate cancer will affect approximately 1:7 Australian men and results in >3,200 deaths per annum in this country alone. To improve outcomes for men with this disease, the Prostate Cancer Research Group at Flinders University (aka the Selth lab) undertakes basic research to characterise the mechanisms by which prostate tumours metastasise become resistant to targeted therapies. We feed this new knowledge into translational research projects aimed at developing new drugs and biomarkers that could improve the treatment and management of patients.

The Selth lab exploits a unique assortment of model systems (patient-derived xenografts, patient-derived tumour material cultured in the lab, and cell lines), contemporary ‘omic’ techniques and cutting-edge bioinformatics tools. Our research is facilitated by outstanding international and national collaborations with other scientists and clinicians as well as experts in other disciplines (e.g. engineers, mathematicians). Importantly, the Selth lab also has a “consumer advisory group” comprised of prostate cancer patients who ensure that our research is relevant to patients.

Supervisory interests
Breast cancer
Cancer biology
Cancer therapy
Prostate cancer

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