Dr Helen Fillmore
Currently I lead several projects focusing on the tumour microenvironment in paediatric and adult high grade gliomas. These projects range from basic molecular science (genetics, epigenetics, and metabolism) to working with colleagues both nationally and internationally on testing new therapeutic paradigms for these deadly tumours.
Recently I have been able to focus much of my current efforts on bridging my paediatric brain tumour work with the work of Dr Frank Schubert and other scientists in developmental biology. We hope to take advantage of emerging knowledge of the microenvironment in normal neural development and determine how it applies to development and growth of paediatric brain tumours including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma and medulloblastoma.
I believe that the importance of tumour microenvironment in the context of a developing brain, will lead to identification of the drivers of tumour growth and therapeutic resistance. This is an exciting area and I am very fortunate to have a PhD student supported by the Ollie Young Foundation, as well as a small team of undergraduate and Erasmus students.
I also continue my work on adult glioblastoma, specifically in the area of host/tumour interactions and tumour microenvironment. With national and international collaborators my team aims to map the glioma-stem cell landscape and identify therapeutic targets within the tumour dynamic microenvironment. This approach is relatively new and I hope to build a multi-disciplinary team using systems biology and other modelling approaches related to habitat relationships to systemically map the cancer stem cell niche and vascular landscape. This data will help inform my groups’ experimental work, and by using state-of-the-art molecular technologies we will investigate specific cell types and their role in maintaining this tumour/host vascular niche with and without agents aimed to disrupt this habitat.
I am a Principal Research Fellow based in the Cellular and Molecular Neuro-oncology laboratories.