Dr Darren Saunders

Visiting Scientist

Conjoint/Adjunct Role(s)

Conjoint Senior Lecturer, St Vincent's Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Australia

Darren graduated with a Bsc (Hons I) in Biology from the University of Wollongong in 1995. After obtaining his PhD in 2000, he undertook post-doctoral training at the Garvan Institute (supported by post Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the US Dept. of Defense), and subsequently at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada (supported by an International Research Fellowship from Cancer Institute NSW).

Darren returned to Australia in 2010 with a Cancer Institute NSW Fellowship to establish the Ubiquitin Signalling Lab at Garvan.

Research Interests

Breast cancer
Pancreatic cancer
Genotype : phenotype relationships
Tumour metabolism
Functional genomics
High-content imaging

Awards and Honours

2012 - Australian Leadership Award, ADC Future Forum
2012 - Supervisor Award, UNSW Postgraduate Council
2011-2013 - Deputy Chair - Australian Academy of Science (AAS) Early-Mid Career Researcher Forum
2010-2012 - Career Development Fellowship - Cancer Institute NSW
2010-2012 - Life Sciences Research Award – NSW Office of Science and Medical Research
2010-2012 - Australian Society for Medical Research, NSW state Committee
2010 - International Partnership Initiative - Stem Cell Network Canada
2007 - International Research Fellowship - Cancer Institute NSW
Post-Doctoral Fellowship - US Dept. of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program


2000 - PhD, University of Wollongong - Australia
1995 - BSc (Hons 1), University of Wollongong - Australia

Selected Publications

Shearer RF, Iconomou M, Watts CK, Saunders DN. Functional Roles of the E3 Ubiquitin Ligase UBR5 in Cancer. Molecular Cancer Research 2015. In Press

Farrawell N, Lambert-Smith I, Warraich ST, Blair IP, Saunders DN, Hatters DM, Yerbury JJ. TDP-43, FUS and SOD1 Form Intracellular Aggregates via Distinct Pathways: Implications for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Scientific Reports 2015. 5:13416

Lee JA, Yerbury JJ, Farrawell N, Shearer R, Constantinescu P, Nehme A, Hatters DM, Schroder W, Wilson M, Saunders DN*, Ranson M* (*co-corresponding).SERPINB2 (PAI-2) Modulates Proteostasis via Binding Misfolded Proteins and Promotion Of Cytoprotective Inclusion Formation. PLOS One 2015 10(6), e0130136

Shearer R, Saunders DN. Experimental Design for Stable Genetic Manipulation in Mammalian Cell Lines – Lentivirus and Alternatives Shearer. Genes to Cells 2015 Jan;20(1):1-10.

Croucher DR, Hochgräfe F, Zhang L, Liu L, Lyons RJ, Rickwood D, Tactacan CM, Browne BC, Ali N, Chan H, Shearer R, Gallego-Ortega D, Saunders DN, Swarbrick A, Daly RJ. Involvement of Lyn and the atypical kinase SgK269/PEAK1 in a basal breast cancer signaling pathway. Cancer Research 2013; 73(6):1969-80.

Saunders DN, Falkenberg KJ, Simpson KJ. Utility of Measuring Cell Death by High Throughput Screening.  Cold Spring Harbor Protocols 2014 (6), pdb. top072561.

Saunders DN, Tindall E, Shearer R, Roberson J, Decker A, Wilson JA, Hayes V. Identification and characterization of a novel aggregating mutant of SerpinA1 PLoS ONE 2012; 7(12):e51762.

Gudjonsson T, Altmeyer M, Savic V, Toledo L, Grøfte M, Bekker-Jensen S, Mailand N, Neumann B, Heriche J, Pepperkok R, Ellenberg J, Shearer R, Saunders DN, Bartek J, Lukas J, Lukas C. TRIP12 and UBR5 suppress spreading of chromatin ubiquitylation at damaged chromosomes. Cell  2012; 150(4):697-709.

Roering M, Herr R, Heilman K, Braun S, Mast A, Halbach S, Saunders DN, Brummer T. B-RafV600E self-association ensures transformation despite mutations in the dimer interface. EMBO J. 2012; 31: 2629 – 2647.

Potratz JC, Saunders DN, Wai D, McKinney S, Triche T, Jürgens H, Pollack M, Aparicio SA, Sorenson PHB. Synthetic lethality screens reveal RPS6 and MST1R as modifiers of IGF1 receptor inhibitor activity in childhood sarcomas. Cancer Research 2010; 70(21):8770-81.

Croucher DR, Saunders DN, Lobov S and Ranson M. Revisiting the Biological Roles of SerpinB2 (PAI-2) in Cancer. Nature Reviews Cancer 2008; 8(7):535-45.

Saunders DN*, Munoz M*, Henderson MJ, Clancy JL, Watts CKW, Sutherland RL. EDD is necessary for S-phase and G2/M checkpoint proficiency following DNA damage. Cell Cycle 2007; 6(24):3070-3077.

Saunders DN, Hird SL, Withington SL, Dunwoodie SL, Henderson MJ, Biben C, Sutherland RL, Ormandy CJ, Watts CKW. EDD, The Murine Hyperplastic Discs Gene, Is Essential For Yolk Sac Vascularisation and Chorioallantoic Fusion. Molecular & Cellular Biology 2004; 24:7225-7234.

Dr Darren Saunders