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Personal profile

Personal profile

Dr Andrew worked as a research assistant at the Kolling Institute of Medical Research at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney developing genetic tests for patients with Multiple Endocrine neoplasia type II.

He undertook a PhD which identified and characterised the RET proto-oncogene promoter. Obtained a National Cancer Institute of Canada postdoctoral fellowship to work at Queens University in Canada to work on characterisation of the downstream signalling pathways from RET receptor. He took on a second postdoctoral position at the Oncology Research Unit at Westmead Childrens' Hospital working on characterisation of the role of signalling molecules in focal adhesions.

Dr Andrew joined CSU in 2006, teaching Biochemistry and Genetics. He maintains active collaborations with researchers overseas and within Australia.


Teaching philosophy

Dr Andrew would consider his teaching successful if, years after a student has left his class, they can research a topic in science, evaluate the information and present it effectively, even though they may not be able to recite Mendel's laws or recall the details of the glycolytic pathway.

Current subjects taught

BCM211 (and DOH231) biochemistry; BMS240 genetics; BMS208 nutrition; BMS310 disease processes and HLT310 problem based learning for clinical science.

Research Interests

Three main areas of active research:

  1. (collaboration with Queens University, Canada)
    The RET proto-oncogene encodes' a receptor tyrosine kinase which has been found to play an important role in development of normal kidneys and the enteric nervous system. Activating mutations in this gene cause certain cancers of the thyroid gland. These activating mutations cause aberrant dimerisation of RET receptor molecules independent of normal ligand interaction. This project investigates defective downregulation of the RET receptor in cancer.
  2. (Collaboration with Gayle Smythe, CSU, Thurgoona)
    Duchene muscular dystrophy is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. Dystrophin is responsible for connecting the cytoskeleton of each muscle fibre to the underlying extracellular matrix through a protein complex. Several major intracellular pathways are disrupted as a result of dystrophin deficiency. This project investigates the role of SRC family kinases in DMD.
  3. The role of Hypochaeris radicata in equine stringhalt disease
    Stringhalt disease is an example of a distal axonopathy in which a horse loses muscle function usually in the back legs. The most likely cause of this disease is ingestion of toxic substances. Seasonal outbreaks of the disease suggest that a particular weed species may be responsible. We are investigating potential sources of the toxin in plant extracts from the weed, Hypochaeris radicata.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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