A/Prof Elgene Lim

A/Prof Elgene Lim

I am a medical oncologist and researcher with a focus on breast cancer research and treatment, and a clinical academic at St Vincent's Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney. I completed my medical and oncology training, and doctoral research in Melbourne. Findings from my PhD research un

Research Level

Senior Research Fellow

Biography

I am a medical oncologist and researcher with a focus on breast cancer research and treatment, and a clinical academic at St Vincent's Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney. I completed my medical and oncology training, and doctoral research in Melbourne. Findings from my PhD research under the mentorship of Geoffrey Lindeman and Jane Visvader at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, had a major impact on the identification of the culprit cells in carriers of the BRCA1 mutant gene, a hereditary breast cancer syndrome. I subsequently furthered my research and clinical training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School under the mentorship of Eric Winer and Myles Brown, both internationally acclaimed leaders in breast cancer research and clinical trials, through fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, and Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

I currently oversee the breast oncology services at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre, St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. I also head the Connie Johnson breast cancer research laboratory at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Our laboratory performs clinically focused laboratory research, including the establishment of patient-derived breast tumour xenografts in mice, the evaluation of novel therapies in these preclinical breast cancer models and the comparative study between normal and breast cancer tissue. Another major focus of my group is hormone receptors (such as the estrogen and androgen receptors) in breast tumours, specifically to identify ways to sensitize these cancer cells to endocrine therapies. Our research is funded through Cancer Australia, NHMRC, Cancer Council NSW, and the National Breast Cancer, Love Your Sister, Balnaves, Curran and Garvan foundations.

I also seek to improve healthcare more globally. At a local level, I volunteered as a physician to asylum seekers without access to Medicare. I currently work with the Asha Kiran Hospital in Orissa, India, on a longer-term strategy of expertise transfer and partnership with local doctors.

I am a medical oncologist and researcher with a focus on breast cancer research and treatment, and a clinical academic at St Vincent's Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney. I completed my medical and oncology training, and doctoral research in Melbourne. Findings from my PhD research under the mentorship of Geoffrey Lindeman and Jane Visvader at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, had a major impact on the identification of the culprit cells in carriers of the BRCA1 mutant gene, a hereditary breast cancer syndrome. I subsequently furthered my research and clinical training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School under the mentorship of Eric Winer and Myles Brown, both internationally acclaimed leaders in breast cancer research and clinical trials, through fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, and Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

I currently oversee the breast oncology services at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre, St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. I also head the Connie Johnson breast cancer research laboratory at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Our laboratory performs clinically focused laboratory research, including the establishment of patient-derived breast tumour xenografts in mice, the evaluation of novel therapies in these preclinical breast cancer models and the comparative study between normal and breast cancer tissue. Another major focus of my group is hormone receptors (such as the estrogen and androgen receptors) in breast tumours, specifically to identify ways to sensitize these cancer cells to endocrine therapies. Our research is funded through Cancer Australia, NHMRC, Cancer Council NSW, and the National Breast Cancer, Love Your Sister, Balnaves, Curran and Garvan foundations.

I also seek to improve healthcare more globally. At a local level, I volunteered as a physician to asylum seekers without access to Medicare. I currently work with the Asha Kiran Hospital in Orissa, India, on a longer-term strategy of expertise transfer and partnership with local doctors.

Awards and Honours

2017 - National Breast Cancer Foundation Endowed Chair
2016 - Thelma Greig Cancer Award, St Vincent's Clinic Foundation
2015 - Connie Johnson/Love Your Sister Award
2014 - Ramaciotti Research Award
2014 - National Breast Cancer Foundation Practitioner Fellowship
2013 - Claudia Barr Adams Award, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
2012 - American Association of Cancer Research Scholar in Training Award
2011 - National Health & Medical Research Council Overseas Biomedical Postdoctoral Fellowship
2010 - Fulbright Victoria Fellowship.
2009 - JJ Billings Research Fellowship, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
2009 - Edith Moffatt Award, Walter & Eliza Hall Institute
2008 - Early Career Bench to Bedside Collaboration Award, Victorian Cancer Agency
2008 - Glaxosmithkine Postgraduate Award
2007 - Australian Stem Cell Research Center Postgraduate Award
2007 - Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Tumour Targeting Fellowship
2006 - National Breast Cancer Foundation White/Zaal Postgraduate Scholarship
1997 - Prize for Best knowledge, Singapore Armed Forces Officer Cadet School
1990 - M Patrick Callinan Academic Prize, St Mary’s College, University of Melbourne

Education

2010 - Post Doctoral Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), Harvard Medical School, Boston - USA
2010 - PhD, Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), Melbourne University - Australia
2006 - FRACP, Internal Medicine & Medical Oncology, Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) - Australia
1995 - MBBS, Melbourne University - Australia

Fundings

  • National Breast Cancer Foundation 
  • National Health & Medical Research Council
  • Love Your Sister Foundation
  • Cancer Australia
  • Cancer Institute of New South Wales
  • Breast Cancer Trials
  • St Vincent's Curran Foundation
  • St Vincent's Clinic Foundation
  • Garvan Foundation
  • Balnaves Foundation
  • Movember

Selected Publications

Chen J*, Easwaralingam N*, Warrier S, Mak C, Carson E, Ong A, Snook K, Middleton K, Parker A, Spillane A, Mann B, Lim E*, Segara D.* Window of Opportunity Treatment in Breast Cancer. ANZ J Surg. In Press.

Grossmann M, Ramchand SK, Milat F, Vincent A, Lim E, et al. Assessment and management of bone health in women with oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer receiving endocrine therapy: Summary Position Statement. Med J Aus. 2019 Sep;211(5):224-229.

Field AS, Raymond WA, Rickard M, Arnold L, Brachtel EF, Chaiwun B, Chen L, Di Bonito L, Kurtycz DFI, Lee AHS, Lim E, et al. The International Academy of Cytology Yokohama System for Reporting Breast Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy Cytology. Acta Cytol. 2019 May 21:1-17

Chi D, Singhal H, Li L, Xiao TF, Liu WH, Pun M, Jeselsohn R, He H, Lim E, et al. Estrogen Receptor Signaling is Reprogrammed During Breast Tumorigenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2019 May 20.

Chia K, Milioli H, Portman N, Laven-Law G, Coulson R, Yong A, Segara D, Parker A, Caldon CE, Deng N, Swarbrick A, Tilley WD, Hickey TE*, Lim E*. Non-canonical AR activity facilitates endocrine resistance in breast cancer. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2019 Feb 1;26(2):251-264

Young AR, Duarte JD, Coulson R, O’Brien M, Deb S, Lopata A, Behren A, Mathivanan S, Lim E, Meeusen E. Immunoprofiling of Breast Cancer Antigens Using Antibodies Derived from Local Lymph Nodes. Cancers. 2019 May 16;11(5).

Kennedy SP, Han JZR, Portman N, Nobis M, Hastings JF, Murphy KJ, Latham SL, Cadell AL, Miladinovic D, Marriott GR, O'Donnell YEI, Shearer RF, Williams JT, Munoz AG, Cox TR, Watkins DN, Saunders DN, Timpson P, Lim EKolch W, Croucher DR. Targeting promiscuous heterodimerization overcomes innate resistance to ERBB2 dimerization inhibitors in breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 2019,21;21(1):43.

Portman Alexandrou S, Carson EK, Wang S, Lim E*, Caldon CE*. Overcoming CDK4/6 inhibitor resistance in ER positive breast cancer. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2019:26, R15–30

Alexandrou S, George SM, Ormandy CJ, Lim E, Oakes SR and Caldon CE. The Proliferative and Apoptotic Landscape of Basal-like Breast Cancer. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Feb 4;20(3).

Lee KWC, Lord S, Finn RS, Lim E, et al. The impact of ethnicity on efficacy and toxicity of cyclin D kinase 4/6 inhibitors in advanced breast cancer: a meta-analysis. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2018 Nov 21.

Lim E, Beith J, et al. Emerging data and future directions for CDK4/6 inhibitor treatment of patients with hormone receptor positive HER2-non-amplified metastatic breast cancer. Asia Pacific J Clin Oncol. 2018 Oct;14 Suppl 4:12-21. 

Boyle F, Beith J, Burslem K, de Boer R, Hui R, Lim E, et al. Hormone receptor positive, HER2 negative metastatic breast cancer: Impact of CDK4/6 inhibitors on current treatment paradigm. Asia Pacific J Clin Oncol. 2018 Oct;14 Suppl 4:3-11. 

Hastie R, Lim E, et al. Vinorelbine potently induces placental cell death, does not harm fertility and is a potential oral treatment for ectopic pregnancy. EBioMedicine 2018;29:166-76.

Roswall P, Bocci M, Bartoschek M, Li H, Kristiansen G, Jansson S, Larsson C, Eriksson P, Lehn S, Reid S, Saal LH, Anderberg C, Cortez E, Cordero E, Haller BK, Häkkinen J, Burvenich IJG, Lim E, et al. Microenvironmental control of breast cancer subtype elicited by paracrine platelet derived growth factor-CC signaling. Nature Medicine.2018;24(4):463-73.

Grossmann M, Ramchand S, Milat F, Vincent A, Lim E, et al. Assessment and management of bone health in women with oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer receiving endocrine therapy: Position statement of the Endocrine Society of Australia, the Australian and New Zealand Bone & Mineral Society, the Australasian Menopause Society and the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia. Clin Endo. 2018 Sep;89(3):280-296.

Papachristou E, Kishore K, Holding A, Harvey K, Roumeliotis T, Chilamakuri C, Omarjee S, Chia KM, Swarbrick A, Lim E, et al. Quantitative Multiplexed Rapid Immunoprecipitation Mass spectrometry of Endogenous proteins (qPLEX-RIME) for monitoring the dynamics of chromatin-associated complexes. Nature Comms. 2018 Jun 13;9(1):2311.

Cazet AS, Hui MH, Elsworth BL, Wu SZ, Roden D, Chan CL, Skhinas JN, Collot R, Yang J, Harvey K, Johan MZ, Cooper C, Nair R, Herrmann D, McFarland A, Deng NT, Ruiz-Borrego M, Rojo F, Trigo JM, Bezares S, Caballero R, Lim E, et al. Targeting stromal remodeling and cancer stem cell plasticity to overcome chemoresistance in triple negative breast cancer. Nature Comms. 2018 Jul 24;9(1):2897

Brockwell NK, Owen KL, Zanker D, Spurling A, Rautela J, Duivenvoorden HM, Baschuk N, Caramia F, Loi S, Darcy PK, Lim EParker BS. Neoadjuvant interferons: Critical for effective PD-1 based immunotherapy in TNBC. Cancer Immunol Res. 2017 Aug 28

Lim ETarulli G, Portman N, Hickey T, Tilley W, Palmeiri C. Pushing the Estrogen Receptor Around in Breast Cancer. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2017;24(4):R123-44

Robinson DH, Churilov L, Lin NU, Lim E*, Seah D*. Attitudes of patients with metastatic cancer towards research biopsies. Asia Pacific J Clin Oncol. Nov 6 2017

Haupt S, Vijayakumaran R, Panimaya J, Burgess A, Lim E, Haupt Y. The role of MDM2 and MDM4 in breast cancer development and prevention. J Mol Cell Biol. 2017;9(1):53-61

Dreijerink K, Groner AC, Vos E, Font-Tello A, Gu L, Chi D, Reyes J, Cook J, Lim E, et al. Enhancer-mediated oncogenic function of the MEN1 tumor suppressor in breast cancer. Cell Reports. 2017;18(10):2359-72

Law A, Lim E, Ormandy CJ, Gallego-Ortega D. The innate and adaptive infiltrating immune systems as targets for breast cancer immunotherapy. Endo Rel Cancer. 2017;24(4):R123-44

Lim E, Johnson SF, Geyer M, Serra V, Shapiro GI. Sensitizing HR-proficient cancers to PARP inhibitors. Molecular Cellular Oncology. Mar 03 2017.

Meeusen E, Lim E, Mathivanan S. Secreted Tumor Antigens – Immune Biomarkers for Diagnosis and Therapy. Proteomics.  Jul 17 2017.

Johnson SF, Cruz C, Greifenberg AK, Dust S, Stover DG, Chi D, Primack B, Cao S,  Bernhardy AJ, Coulson R, Lazaro JB, Kachupurakkal B, Sun H, Unitt C, Moreau LA, Sarosiek KA, Scaltriti M, Juric D, Baselga J, Richardson AL, Rodig SJ, D’Andrea AD, Balmaña J, Johnson N, Geyer M, Serra V, Lim E, Shapiro GI.  CDK12 inhibition reverses de novo and acquired PARP inhibitor resistance in BRCA wild type and mutated models of triple negative breast cancer. Cell Reports. 2016;17(9):2367-2381

Lim E, Palmieri C, Tilley W. Renewed interest in the Progesterone Receptor in Breast Cancer. British J Cancer. 2016;115(8):909-911

Lim E, Tarulli G, Portman N, Hickey T, Tilley W, Palmieri C. Pushing Estrogen Receptor around in breast cancer. Endo Rel Cancer. 2016;23(12):T227-T241

Samanta S, Sun H, Goel HL, Pursell B, Chang C, Khan A, Greiner DL, Cao S, Lim E, Shultz LD, Mercurio AM. IMP3 promotes stem-like properties in Triple-Negative breast cancer by regulating SLUG. Oncogene 2016;35(9):1111-21.

Ramchand S, Lim E, Grossmann M. Adjuvant endocrine therapy in women with oestrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer: How should the skeletal and vascular side effects be assessed and managed? Clinical Endo. 2016;85(5):689-693

Burgess A, Chia KM, Haupt S, Thomas D, Haupt Y, Lim E. Clinical Overview of MDM2/X targeted therapies. Frontiers Onc 2016:6:1-7.

Chaffer CL, San Juan BP, Lim E, Weinberg RA. EMT, cell plasticity and metastasis. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2016;35(4):645-654.

Portman N, Wahlroos S, Parker A, Segara D, Lim E. Endocrine therapy for breast cancer: A Renaissance. The Endocrinologist. Dec 01 2016.

Neupane M, Clark A, Landini S, Birkbak N, Eklund A, Lim E, et al. MECP2 Is a frequently amplified oncogene with a novel epigenetic mechanism that mimics the role of activated RAS in malignancy. Cancer Discovery. 2016;6(1):45-58

Chia KM, O’Brien M, Brown M, Lim E. Targeting the androgen receptor in breast cancer. Current Oncology Reports. 2015;17(2):427-34

Wang YB, Zhang T, Kwiatkowski N, Abraham BJ, Lee TI, Xie S, Yuzugullu H, Von T, Li H, Lin Z, Stover DG, Lim E, et al. CDK7-dependent transcriptional addiction in Triple-Negative breast cancer. Cell 2015;163(1):174-86.

Wee ZN, Yatim SM, Kohlbauer VK, Feng M, Goh JY, Yi B, Lee PL, Zhang S, Wang PP, Lim E, et al. IRAK1 is a therapeutic target that drives breast cancer metastasis and resistance to paclitaxel. Nature Commun. 2015;6:8746

Samanta S, Sun H, Goel HL, Pursell B, Chang C, Khan A, Greiner DL, Cao S, Lim E, Shultz LD, Mercurio AM. IMP3 promotes stem-like properties in Triple-Negative breast cancer by regulating SLUG. Oncogene 2016;35(9):1111-21.

Chia KM, O’Brien M, Brown M, Lim E. Targeting the androgen receptor in breast cancer. Current Onc Rep. 2015;17(2):427-34.

Chang C, Goel HL, Gao H, Pursell B, Shultz LD, Greiner DL, Ingerpuu S, Patarroyo M, Cao S, Lim E, et al. A Laminin 511 Matrix is regulated by TAZ and functions as the ligand for the a6Bb1 integrin to sustain breast cancer stem cells. Genes & Devt. 2015;29(1):1-6.

Wang YB, Lee YM, Huang A, Lim E, et al. The oncogenic protein kinase MELK is essential for mitotic progression in basal-like breast cancer cells. Elife. 2014:May20:3:e01763.

Chen X, Iliopoulos D, Zhang Q, Tang Q, Greenblatt MB, Hatziapostolou M, Lim E, et al. XBP1 promotes triple negative breast cancer by controlling the HIF1α transcriptional program. Nature. 2014:508(7494):103-7.

Hu Y, Petit A, Ficarro S, Toomire KJ, Xie A, Lim E, et al. PARP1-driven Poly-ADP-ribosylation regulates BRCA1 function in homologous recombination mediated DNA repair. Cancer Discovery. 2014;4(12):1430-47.

Lu G, Zhang Q, Huang Y, Song JX, Tomaino R, Ehrenberger T, Lim E, et al. Phosphorylation of ETS1 by Src family kinases prevents its recognition by the COP1 tumor suppressor. Cancer Cell. 2014:26(2):222-34.

Chen X, Iliopoulos D, Zhang Q, Tang Q, Greenblatt MB, Hatziapostolou M, Lim E, et al. XBP1 promotes triple negative breast cancer by controlling the HIF1α transcriptional program. Nature. 2014:508(7494):103-7.

Lim E & Lin NU. Updates on the management of breast cancer brain metastases. 2014:28(7):572-8.

Lim E, Ni M, Cao SA, Hazra A, Tamimi R, Brown M. Importance of breast cancer subtype in the development of androgen receptor directed therapy. Current Breast Cancer Reports. 2014:6(2):71-8.

Tam WL, Lu H, Buikhuisen J, Soh BS, Lim E, et al. Protein kinase C α is a central signaling node and therapeutic target for breast cancer stem cells. Cancer Cell. 2013:24(3):347-64.

Ni M, Chen YW, Fei T, Li D, Lim E, Liu XS, Brown M. Amplitude modulation of androgen signaling by c- MYC. Genes Dev. 2013:27(7):734-48.

Buchwalter G, Hickey MM, Cromer A, Selfors LM, Gunawardane RN, Frishman J, Jeselsohn R, Lim E, et al. PDEF Promotes Luminal Differentiation 1 and acts as a survival factor for ER positive breast cancer cells. Cancer Cell. 2013;23;753–67.

McLaughlin SK, Olsen SN, Dake B, De Raedt T, Lim E, et al. The RasGAP gene, RASAL2, is a tumor and metastasis suppressor. Cancer Cell. 2013:24(3):365-78.

Tichy J, Lim E, Anders CK. Adolescent and young adult breast cancer: A review with a focus on biology. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2013:11(9):1060-9.

Lim E, Metzger O, Winer EP. Natural history of hormone receptor positive breast cancer. Oncology. 2012:26(8):688-94.

Lim E, Ni Min, Hazra A, Tamini R, Brown M. Elucidating the role of androgen receptors and breast cancer. Clinical Investigation. 2012:2(10):1003-11

Shen R, Zhou A, Kim E, Lim E, Habelhah H, Hahn W. IKKε phosphorylates TRAF2 to promote mammary epithelial cell transformation. Mol Cell Biol. 2012:32(23):4756-68.

Oakes SR, Vaillant F, Lim E, et al. The BH3-mimetic ABT-737 sensitizes BCL-2 expressing breast cancers to chemotherapy, implicating BCL-2 as a predictive biomarker. PNAS 2011:109(8):2766-71.

Ni M, Chen YW, Lim E, Bailey ST, Imai Y, Liu XS, Brown M. Targeting androgen receptor in estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer. Cancer Cell. 2011:20(1):119-31.

Lim E*, Wu D*, Pal B et al. Transcriptome analyses of mouse and human mammary cell subpopulations reveal multiple conserved genes and pathways. Breast Cancer Res. 2010:12(2):R21.

Wu D*, Lim E*, Vaillant F, et al. ROAST: rotation gene set tests for complex microarray experiments. Bioinformatics. 2010:26(17):2176-82.

Lim E*, Vaillant F*, Wu D et al. Aberrant luminal progenitors as a likely target population for basal tumor development in BRCA1 mutation carriers. Nature Med. 2009:15(8):842-4.

Lim E, Browning J, MacGregor D, Davis ID, Cebon JS. Antigen expression in desmoplastic melanoma: a comparison of cancer testis antigen with differentiation antigen expression. Melanoma Res. 2006:16(4):347-55.

Lim E, Johns J, McLaughlin S, Faragher I, Skinner I, Chao M, Gibbs P. Subsite-specific colorectal cancer in diabetic and nondiabetic patients. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005:14(6):1579-82.