Associate Professor Elizabeth Algar

A Scientific Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists Australia, Associate Professor Elizabeth Algar leads research to provide clinical diagnostic testing for cancer biomarkers. A/Prof Algar is currently the Head of the Genetics and Molecular Pathology research group and is a Co-Chief Investigator on the Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program and  AIM Brain projects. She previously played a leading role in developing molecular pathology on the Monash Health campus, in addition to managing an active research program in paediatric cancer.

After completing undergraduate studies at the University of Melbourne and postgraduate studies at La Trobe University’s Department of Biochemistry, A/Prof Algar accepted a position in biochemical genetics in the Division of Science and Technology at Griffith University, Qld. While at Griffith University, she completed PhD studies in Biochemical Genetics and subsequently received a postdoctoral fellowship from the University of Queensland to work on paediatric cancer genetics in the Department of Pathology. In 1996, she relocated to Melbourne where she set up a research group in the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, later joining Monash Health and Hudson Institute in 2012.

A/Prof Algar’s current work at Hudson Institute is focused on the clinical translation and application of biomarker screening in both paediatric and adult cancers using Next Generation Sequencing and methylation array profiling. She plays a key role in evaluating and translating research platforms into the clinical testing arena for Monash Pathology.

Her significant body of work includes 69 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and citations in the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database. She is a regular participant in Oncology and Cancer Biology grant review panels for the National Health and Medical Research Council and affiliated organisations and is a current member of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia, the Australasian Society for Genome Diagnostics and the Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-oncology. She is a sought-after speaker and presenter, and has been recognised with numerous international awards as well as review invitations from international funding bodies.

Selected publications

  • Saad MI, Alhayyani S, McLeod L, Yu L, Alanazi M, Deswaerte V, Tang K, Jarde T, Smith JA, Prodanovic Z, Tate MD, Balic JJ, Watkins DN, Cain JE, Bozinovski S, Algar E, Kohmoto T, Ebi H, Ferlin W, Garbers C, Ruwanpura S, Sagi I, Rose-John S, Jenkins BJ (2019) ADAM17 selectively activates the IL-6 trans-signaling/ERK MAPK axis in KRAS-addicted lung cancer. EMBO Mol Med 11. Pii: e9976.

  • Chang KTE, Tay AZE, Kuick CH, Chen H, Algar E, Taubenheim N, Campbell J, Mechinaud F, Campbell M, Super L, Chantranuwat C, Yuen ST, Chan JKC, Chow CW (2019) ALK-positive histiocytosis: an expanded clinicopathologic spectrum and frequent presence of KIF5B-ALK fusion. Mod Pathol 32: 598-608.

  • Dagar V, Hutchison W, Muscat A, Krishnan A, Hoke D, Buckle A, Siswara P, Amor DJ, Mann J, Pinner J, Colley A, Wilson M, Sachdev R, McGillivray G, Edwards M, Kirk E, Collins F, Jones K, Taylor J, Hayes I, Thompson E, Barnett C, Haan E, Freckmann ML, Turner A, White S, Kamien B, Ma A, Mackenzie F, Baynam G, Kiraly-Borri C, Field M, Dudding-Byth T, Algar EM (2018) Genetic variation affecting DNA methylation and the human imprinting disorder, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. Clin Epigenetics 10:114.

  • Sandaradura SA, Bournazos A, Mallawaarachchi A, Cummings BB, Waddell LB, Jones KJ, Troedson C, Sudarsanam A, Nash BM, Peters GB, Algar EM, MacArthur DG, North KN, Brammah S, Charlton A, Laing NG, Wilson MJ, Davis MR, Cooper ST (2018) Nemaline myopathy and distal arthrogryposis associated with an autosomal recessive TNNT3 splice variant. Hum Mutat 39: 383-388.

  • Wood PJ, Strong R, McArthur GA, Michael M, Algar E, Muscat A, Rigby L, Ferguson M, Ashley DM (2018) A phase I study of panobinostat in pediatric patients with refractory solid tumors, including CNS tumors. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 82:493-503.

  • Muscat AM, Wong NC, Drummond KJ, Algar EM, Khasraw M, Verhaak R, Field K, Rosenthal MA, Ashley DM (2017) The evolutionary pattern of mutations in glioblastoma reveals therapy-mediated selection. Oncotarget 9:7844-7858.

  • Dardis C, Yeo J, Milton K, Ashby LS, Smith KA, Mehta S, Youssef E, Eschbacher J, Tucker K, Dawes L, Lambie N, Algar E, Hovey E (2017) Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor: Two Case Reports and an Analysis of Adult Cases with Implications for Pathophysiology and Treatment. Front Neurol 8:247.

  • Berry W, Algar E, Kumar B, Desmond C, Swan M, Jenkins BJ, Croagh D (2017) Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspirate-derived preclinical pancreatic cancer models reveal panitumumab sensitivity in KRAS wild-type tumors. Int J Cancer 140:2331-2343.

  • Eggermann K, Bliek J, Brioude F, Algar E, Buiting K, Russo S, Tümer Z, Monk D, Moore G, Antoniadi T, Macdonald F, Netchine I, Lombardi P, Soellner L, Begemann M, Prawitt D, Maher ER, Mannens M, Riccio A, Weksberg R, Lapunzina P, Grønskov K, Mackay DJ, Eggermann T (2016) EMQN best practice guidelines for the molecular genetic testing and reporting of 11p15 Imprinting Disorders – Silver-Russell and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. Eur J. Hum Genet 24:1377-1387.

  • Muscat A, Popovski D, Jayasekara WS, Rossello FJ, Ferguson M, Marini KD, Alamgeer M, Algar EM, Downie P, Watkins DN, Cain JE, Ashley DM (2016) Low-Dose Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Treatment Leads to Tumor Growth Arrest and Multi-Lineage Differentiation of Malignant Rhabdoid Tumors. Clin Cancer Res 22:3560-3570.

  • Eggermann T, Brioude F, Russo S, Lombardi MP, Bliek J, Maher ER, Larizza L, Prawitt D, Netchine I, Gonzales M, Gronskov K, Tümer Z, Monk D, Mannens M, Chrzanowska K, Walasek MK, Begemann M, Soellner L, Eggermann K, Nevado J, Moore GE, Mackay DJ, Temple K, Gillessen-Kaesbach G, Ogata T, Weksberg R, Algar E, Lapunzina P (2016) Prenatal molecular testing for Beckwith-Wiedemann and Silver-Russell syndromes: A challenge for molecular analysis and genetic counselling. Eur J Hum Genet 24:784-793.

  • Heath JA, Smibert E, Algar EM, Dite GS, Hopper JL (2014) Cancer risks for relatives of children with cancer. J Cancer Epidemiol 2014:806076.

  • Eggermann T, Algar E, Lapunzina P, Mackay D, Maher ER, Mannens M, Netchine I, Prawitt D, Riccio A, Temple IK, Weksberg R (2014) Clinical utility gene card for: Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. Eur J Hum Genet 22. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2013.132. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Bandopadhayay P, Jabbour AM, Riffkin C, Salmanidis M, Gordon L, Popovski D, Rigby L, Ashley DM, Watkins DN, Thomas DM, Algar E, Ekert PG (2013) The oncogenic properties of EWS/WT1 of desmoplastic small round cell tumors are unmasked by loss of p53 in murine embryonic fibroblasts.  BMC Cancer 13:585.