Profile – Dr Jason Cain

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Dr Jason Cain


Research Group Head, Developmental and Cancer Biology


Dr Jason Cain is a Research Fellow and Head of the Developmental and Cancer Biology research group in Hudson Institute’s Centre for Cancer Research. A developmental biologist, Dr Cain is driving cutting-edge research to understand the role of critical embryonic signalling pathways and epigenetic mechanisms in normal and abnormal development and disease, including paediatric cancers such as osteosarcoma, medulloblastoma and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.

After completing his PhD studies at Monash University in 2006, Dr Cain travelled to Canada to complete postdoctoral training with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Working under Dr Norman Rosenblum in the Program of Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, Dr Cain used his postdoctoral studies to focus on the role of the Hedgehog signalling pathway in normal and abnormal kidney development.

On his return to Australia in late 2010, he joined Hudson Institute of Medical Research as a Research Fellow under Professor Neil Watkins and accepted an appointment of Co-Head of the group in 2014.

Selected publications

Buczkowicz P, Hoeman C, Rakopoulos P, Pajovic S, Letourneau L, Dzamba M, Morrison A, Lewis P, Bouffet E, Bartels U, Zuccaro J, Agnihotri S, Ryall S, Barszczyk M, Chornenkyy Y, Bourgey M, Bourque G, Montpetit A, Cordero F, Castelo-Branco P, Mangerel J, Tabori U, Ho KC, Huang A, Taylor KR, Mackay A, Bendel AE, Nazarian J, Fangusaro JR, Karajannis MA, Zagzag D, Foreman NK, Donson A, Hegert JV, Smith A, Chan J, Lafay-Cousin L, Dunn S, Hukin J, Dunham C, Scheinemann K, Michaud J, Zelcer S, Ramsay D, Cain J, Brennan C, Souweidane MM, Jones C, Allis CD, Brudno M, Becher O, Hawkins C (2014) Genomic analysis of diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas identifies three molecular subgroups and recurrent activating ACVR1 mutations. Nat Genet 46:451-456.

Barakat B, Yu L, De Luca E, Lo C, Cain JE, Martelotto L, Dedhar S, Wang D, Sadler A, Vu D, Watkins DN, Hannigan G (2013) Interaction of smoothened with integrin-linked kinase in the primary cilium mediates Hedgehog signalling. EMBO Rep 14:837-844.

Cain JE, McCaw A, Jayasekara S, Rossello FJ, Marini KD, Irving AT, Kansara M, Thomas DM, Ashley DM, Watkins DN (2013) Sustained low-dose treatment with the histone deacetylase inhibitor LBH589 induces terminal differentiation of osteosarcoma cells. Sarcoma 2013:608964.

Handrigan GR, Chitayat D, Pinsk M, Dyack S, Fernandez BA, Stegmen JC, Lionel AC, Marshall CR, Rosenfeld JA, Shaffer LG, Vaags AK, Goodenberger M, Hodge JC, Cain JE, Yui V, Stravopoulos DJ, Babul-Hirji R, Scherer SW, Rosenblum ND (2013) Deletions in 16q24.2 are associated with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, and congenital renal malformation. J Med Gen 50:163-173.

Kelleher FC, Cain JE, Healy JM, Watkins DN, Thomas DM (2012) Prevailing importance of the Hedgehog signaling pathway and the potential for treatment advancement in sarcoma. Pharmacol Ther 136:153-168.

Cain JE, Islam E, Haxho F, Blake J, Rosenblum ND (2011) GLI3 repressor control functional development of the mouse ureter. J Clin Invest 121:1199-1206.