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Joanna Achinger-Kawecka

Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka

Group Leader
3D Epigenome in Cancer Group

Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka’s research focuses on investigating the role of the 3D epigenome in cancer, particularly in driving tumour progression and treatment resistance in breast and prostate cancer. Joanna completed her PhD at the University of Tuebingen, Germany, investigating microRNA signatures as predictive biomarkers for breast cancer treatment outcome.

Following her PhD, Joanna joined the laboratory of Professor Susan Clark at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, where she established cutting-edge experimental and computational approaches to study the 3D genome organisation during development and progression of cancer.


  • 2024NHMRC Ideas Grant
  • 2023PCFA Priority Impact Research Award Young Investigator Award
  • 2023St Vincent's Campus Research Symposium Rising Star Award
  • 2022UNSW Cancer Theme EMCR Seed Grant
  • 2021NBCF Fellowship (2021 - 2024)
  • 2020Cancer Council NSW Project Grant (2020 - 2022)
  • 2020UNSW Cellular Genomics Futures Institute Seed Grant (2020 - 2021)
  • 2019EMBO Travel Award
  • 2019Estee Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Campaign Award
  • 2018CASS Foundation Travel Grant
  • 2017The Ian Potter Foundation Travel Grant
  • 2016Heliflite Young Explorer Award
  • 2011FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network “Fighting Drug Failure” Fellowship

Selected publications

See all publications
  • 2024
    BMC Genomics10.1186/s12864-024-10027-5

    Characterisation and reproducibility of the HumanMethylationEPIC v2.0 BeadChip for DNA methylation profiling.

    Timothy J Peters, Braydon Meyer, Lauren Ryan, Joanna Achinger-Kawecka, Jenny Song, Elyssa M Campbell, Wenjia Qu, Shalima Nair, Phuc Loi-Luu, Phillip Stricker, Elgene Lim, Clare Stirzaker, Susan J Clark, Ruth Pidsley
  • 2024
    Nature Structural & Molecular Biology10.1038/s41594-023-01181-7

    The potential of epigenetic therapy to target the 3D epigenome in endocrine-resistant breast cancer.

    Joanna Achinger-Kawecka, Clare Stirzaker, Neil Portman, Elyssa Campbell, Kee-Ming Chia, Qian Du, Geraldine Laven-Law, Shalima S Nair, Aliza Yong, Ashleigh Wilkinson, Samuel Clifton, Heloisa H Milioli, Sarah Alexandrou, C Elizabeth Caldon, Jenny Song, Amanda Khoury, Braydon Meyer, Wenhan Chen, Ruth Pidsley, Wenjia Qu, Julia M W Gee, Anthony Schmitt, Emily S Wong, Theresa E Hickey, Elgene Lim, Susan J Clark
  • 2023
    Nature Cancer10.1038/s43018-023-00681-1

    The 2023 generation.

    Joanna Achinger-Kawecka, Santiago Correa, Jing Hu, Gaopeng Li, Rik G H Lindeboom, Sandra Misale, Teresa Monkkonen, Ajit J Nirmal, Stefan Prekovic, Sanju Sinha, Anna S Trigos, Caroline J Watson
  • 2023
    Science Advances10.1126/sciadv.abp8314

    Memory of stochastic single-cell apoptotic signaling promotes chemoresistance in neuroblastoma.

    Jordan F Hastings, Sharissa L Latham, Alvin Kamili, Madeleine S Wheatley, Jeremy Z R Han, Marie Wong-Erasmus, Monica Phimmachanh, Max Nobis, Chiara Pantarelli, Antonia L Cadell, Yolande E I O'Donnell, King Ho Leong, Sophie Lynn, Fan-Suo Geng, Lujing Cui, Sabrina Yan, Joanna Achinger-Kawecka, Clare Stirzaker, Murray D Norris, Michelle Haber, Toby N Trahair, Frank Speleman, Katleen De Preter, Mark J Cowley, Ozren Bogdanovic, Paul Timpson, Thomas R Cox, Walter Kolch, Jamie I Fletcher, Dirk Fey, David R Croucher
  • 2022

    Epigenetic Therapies and Biomarkers in Breast Cancer.

    Lauren Julia Brown, Joanna Achinger-Kawecka, Neil Portman, Susan Clark, Clare Stirzaker, Elgene Lim