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Associate Professor Karen MacKenzie, Senior Research Fellow / Project Manager

Karen completed a B App Sci (Biomedical Science) at University of Technology Sydney and and a PhD by UNSW Sydney (School of Physiology and Pharmacology) for studies of oncogenic drivers in leukaemia. She then undertook a postdoctoral fellowship in the Laboratory of Developmental Hematopoiesis at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, USA, investigating the role of telomerase in normal and neoplastic haematopoiesis, cell replicative lifespan and malignant transformation. Karen was then recruited to Children’s Cancer Institute where she led an independent research group, supported with funding from NHMRC, NSW Cancer Council, Cancer Institute NSW and other agencies, to build upon her research into cancer cell immortality, telomerase and haematopoiesis, and extending into translational studies of therapeutic targets, pre-clinical testing and personalised medicine.

As a senior researcher and co-supervisor working with Prof Reddel in the Cancer Research Unit, Karen applies her expertise in basic, pre-clinical and translational research in the team’s investigations of telomere maintenance mechanisms and the molecular and therapeutic vulnerabilities of cancer cells. Applying proteogenomic, molecular and cell biology techniques, and utilising a large collection of cancer models, current projects include a comprehensive pan-cancer study of telomere biology states, studies of epithelial inflammatory myofibroblastic sarcoma that combine proteomics and transcriptomic with pre-clinical drug screens, proteomic biomarker studies of myeloma and leukaemia, and characterisation of a novel pathway implicated in bone marrow failure in dyskeratosis congenita.

Karen has extensive experience as a research student supervisor having mentored 9 PhD students and 12 Hons students to successful completion, contributed to student review panels, chaired student seminar series, examined theses and delivered guest lectures on the molecular biology of cancer at UNSW Sydney. Her other contributions to the profession including engagements on grant review panels, gene regulatory committees, peer review of manuscripts, conference and seminar organisation, and engagement with the wider community.

Full list of publications can be found here:

Scopus Author ID: 7202720611

Karen MacKenzie

Project Manager
Available for Student Supervision