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Associate Professor Marina Pajic

Program Director - Translational Oncology / Laboratory Head - Personalised Cancer Therapeutics
Personalised Cancer Therapeutics Lab

Associate Professor Marina Pajic completed her PhD in the laboratory of Professor Michelle Haber at the Children’s Cancer Institute (CCI), University of New South Wales, where she investigated chemoresistance mechanisms in childhood cancers, supported by a University Postgraduate Award and a CCI Postgraduate Scholarship. In 2006, Marina moved to work with Professor Piet Borst at the Netherlands Cancer Institute where she developed physiologically-relevant mouse models to study chemotherapy resistance and discovered new mechanisms which guide survival of therapy-resistant cancer-initiating cells during a process termed “transient dormancy”.

Following her return to Australia in 2010 and collaborative efforts within the International Cancer Genome Consortium, Marina has established unique personalised medicine projects for pancreatic cancer, supported by three fellowships from Cancer Institute NSW. Since 2013 Marina has led the Personalised Cancer Therapeutics Lab at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Understanding the role of “-omic” alterations in cancer progression and treatment failure with a view to developing novel effective therapeutic approaches are the focus of her research.

She takes an active role in training emerging scientists (Honours and PhD projects). Marina engages and communicates regularly with the public through Garvan’s public events. She is an EACR ambassador and co-director of the Australasian Pancreatic Club.

Marina's research is supported by funding from the Snow Medical Research Fellowship, NHMRC, Cancer Institute NSW, Australia Cancer Research Foundation, Ms Jane Hemstritch, the Girgensohn Foundation and Paul Ainsworth Foundation.


  • 2023NHMRC Investigator Grant Level 1
  • 2021Snow Medical Research Foundation Fellowship
  • 2020Australian Academy of Science Ruth Stephens Gani Medal
  • 2019NHMRC RD Wright Biomedical Career Development Fellowship Level 2
  • 2018Lorne Genome Young Investigator Award
  • 2017Cancer Institute New South Wales (CINSW) Career Development Fellowship
  • 2017NSW Premier's Award for Outstanding Cancer Research Fellow
  • 2014Australasian Pancreatic Club (APC) Co-director; Co-organiser of annual scientific conferences
  • 2014CINSW Career Development Fellowship
  • 2013Travel Grants (CASS Foundation - Sydney Catalyst)
  • 2012Conference Awards (EACR Cancer Genomics Conference - Cambridge - UK; Australian Division of International Academy of Pathology - 38th annual scientific meeting - Australia; EACR 22nd Biennial Congress - Barcelona - Spain)
  • 2012European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) ambassador
  • 2011CINSW Early Career Development Fellowship
  • 2011Phillip Hemstritch fellowship in pancreatic cancer
  • 2003University Postgraduate Award (University of Sydney) and Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia Postgraduate Scholarship (University of New South Wales)
  • 2002Postgraduate Scholarship in Cellular Cancer Pharmacology (University of Sydney)
  • 2001University postgraduate bursary award (University of Auckland)

Selected publications

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