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Joint Research Seminar (24 Jan 2017)


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Joint Research Seminar

Theme-based Research Scheme on Gastric Cancer Genomics and Beyond
Centre for Genomic Sciences

Uncovering Mutational and DNA Repair
Processes in the Search for Cis-regulatory
Mutations in Cancer Genomes

Dr Jason Wong
Senior Lecturer, Prince of Wales Clinical School, UNSW

24 Jan 2017 (Tue)
11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Seminar Room 1A, G/F
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research
 5 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong


Mutations that directly alter protein function have long been associated with cancer. Yet, regions that code for proteins make up less than 2% of the human genome. In recent years, it has become feasible to examine the cancer causing role of mutations within the remaining 98% of the non-coding genome. I will present our group’s efforts in the search for cis-regulatory mutations - somatic mutations that cause the dysregulation of gene expression by altering the sequence of gene regulatory elements in the non-coding genome. Significantly, I will show how this led us to make an unexpected discovery of a novel mechanism involving transcription initiation and nucleotide excision repair which we have found to govern the frequency of somatic mutations at gene promoters (Perera et al. Nature 2016). Finally, I will present our recent work on the impact of this mechanism at CTCF binding sites and its implications in cancer development.


Dr Wong is an ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the Prince of Wales Clinical School, UNSW and lead the Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics Team at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre. He received his B.Sc (Hons I), from the University of Sydney and was award a D.Phil in Bioanalytical Chemistry at the University of Oxford, UK in 2007. This was followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at the University College Dublin, Ireland, before he returned to Australia. To date, he has published 70 peer reviewed journal articles with senior authorship in journals including Nature, Cell Reports, Genome Biology, Molecular Cancer Research and Nucleic Acids Research. He has attracted over $2 million in research funding as lead investigator from the Australian Research Council, Cancer Australia and Cancer Institute NSW. His current research is focused on the study of mutational processes in cancer and its influence on gene regulation and function.