Jessica Chitty

Research Officer - Matrix and Metastasis

Jessica Chitty

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Sussex I completed a PhD in the fungal pathogenesis laboratory at the University of Queensland. During my PhD project I characterised enzymes of the purine biosynthesis pathway as a potential candidates for drug devel

Research Level

Research Officer

Biography

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Sussex I completed a PhD in the fungal pathogenesis laboratory at the University of Queensland. During my PhD project I characterised enzymes of the purine biosynthesis pathway as a potential candidates for drug development.


I joined the Matrix and Metastasis lab in 2017 to investigate the copper dependent lysyl oxidases as a potential anti-stromal target in pancreatic cancer.Treatment of pancreatic cancer primarily focuses on administering drugs that kill cancer cells. However, an important consequence of chemotherapy induced cancer cell death is tumour fibrosis (scarring). The excessive fibrosis acts to restrict chemotherapy from entering the tumour, blunting the efficacy of treatment and enhancing metastasis. Therapies that co-target tumour fibrosis are offering a novel therapeutic avenue to improve treatment efficacy.


My work aims to better understand a key driver of tumour fibrosis, specifically the lysyl oxidases (LOXes), a family of copper dependent enzymes essential for the assembly of collagen precursor molecules in the extracellular space that is central to tumour fibrosis.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Sussex I completed a PhD in the fungal pathogenesis laboratory at the University of Queensland. During my PhD project I characterised enzymes of the purine biosynthesis pathway as a potential candidates for drug development.


I joined the Matrix and Metastasis lab in 2017 to investigate the copper dependent lysyl oxidases as a potential anti-stromal target in pancreatic cancer.Treatment of pancreatic cancer primarily focuses on administering drugs that kill cancer cells. However, an important consequence of chemotherapy induced cancer cell death is tumour fibrosis (scarring). The excessive fibrosis acts to restrict chemotherapy from entering the tumour, blunting the efficacy of treatment and enhancing metastasis. Therapies that co-target tumour fibrosis are offering a novel therapeutic avenue to improve treatment efficacy.


My work aims to better understand a key driver of tumour fibrosis, specifically the lysyl oxidases (LOXes), a family of copper dependent enzymes essential for the assembly of collagen precursor molecules in the extracellular space that is central to tumour fibrosis.

Awards and Honours

2019 - Matrix Biology ANZ Paper of the year award (ECR)
2019 - Matrix Biology ANZ paper of the month award (ECR)
2019 - ANZCDB Poster award (ECR)
2016 - Queensland Medical Research Scholarship
2015 - Yeast Product and Discovery student prize

Education

2017 – PhD, University of Queensland - Australia
2012 – BSc, University of Sussex - UK

Fundings

Perpetual IMPACT Philanthropy Program, CIA

Selected Publications

Last updated March 2021

(*Equal Contribution / #Corresponding Author)


Targeting Lysyl Oxidase Family Meditated Matrix Cross-Linking as an Anti-Stromal Therapy in Solid Tumours

Setargew YFI, Wyllie K, Grant RD, Chitty JL#, Cox TR#

Cancers (2021)

The Mini‐Organo: A rapid high‐throughput 3D coculture organotypic assay for oncology screening and drug development

Chitty JL, Skhinas JN, Filipe EC, Wang S, Cupello CR, Grant RD, Yam M, Papanicolaou M, Major G, Zaratzian A, Da Silva AM, Tayao M, Vennin C, Timpson P, Madsen CD, Cox TR

Cancer Reports (2020)

Targeting the Lysyl Oxidases in Tumour Desmoplasia

Chitty JL, Setargew YFI, Cox TR

Biochemical society transactions (2019)

MCC950 directly targets the NLRP3 ATP hydrolysis motif for inflammasome inhibition

Coll RC, Hill JR, Day CJ, Zamoshnikova A, Boucher D, Massey NL, Chitty JL, Fraser JA, Jennings MP, Robertson AAB, Schroder K

Nature Chemical Biology (2019)

Recent advances in understanding the complexities of metastasis

Chitty JL*, Filipe EC*, Lucas MC, Herrmann D, Cox TR, Timpson P

F1000Research (2018)

Charting the unexplored extracellular matrix in cancer 

Filipe EC*, Chitty JL*, Cox TR

International Journal of Experimental Pathology (2018)

Cryptococcus neoformans ADS lyase is an enzyme essential for virulence whose crystal structure reveals features exploitable in antifungal drug design

Chitty JL, Blake KL, Blundell RD, Koh YQAE, Thompson M, Robertson AAB, Butler MS, Cooper MA, Kappler U, Williams SJ, Kobe B, Fraser JA

Journal of Biological Chemistry (2017)

GMP synthase is required for virulence factor production and infection by Cryptococcus neoformans

Chitty JL, Tatzenko TL, Williams SJ, Koh YQ, Corfield EC, Butler MS, Robertson AA, Cooper MA, Kappler U, Kobe B, Fraser JA

Journal of Biological Chemistry (2017)