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Associate Professor Thomas Cox

Laboratory Head
Matrix and Metastasis Lab

A/Prof. Thomas Cox is a cancer cell biologist working in the field of the extracellular matrix and matrix remodelling in the progression and metastasis of solid tumours. He graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Durham, UK in 2008, followed by PostDoctoral research positions at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London, UK and Copenhagen University, Denmark. In 2016 he was recruited to the Garvan Institute in Sydney, Australia to establish his own independent research group.

Thomas currently leads the Matrix and Metastasis Lab, part of the Cancer Ecosystems Program at the Garvan Institute and Kinghorn Cancer Centre in Sydney. The labs creative research program integrates matrix biology with precision oncology, to make fundamental advances in personalised stromal targeting of solid tumours.

The team’s work is focused on tackling the knowledge gap in and redefining our understanding of the matrix in diseases such as cancer. The lab strives to identify new matrix targets and matrix targeting approaches, as well as develop ways to maximise their effectiveness in pre-clinical small animal cancer models (breast, pancreatic, lung) for personalising novel and/or current anti-cancer agents.

Thomas also takes an active role in training emerging scientists. He is the immediate Past-President of the Matrix Biology Society of Australia and New Zealand (MBSANZ) as well as the Director of Communications for the international Metastasis Research Society (MRS), in addition to being an Executive Board Member. Thomas is also a cofounder, and executive member of the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Matrix Atlas (APMA).


  • 2023Matrix Biology Society of Australia & New Zealand (MBSANZ) Barry Preston Award
  • 2020Matrix Biology Society of Australia & New Zealand (MBSANZ) Paper of the Year 2020
  • 2019NHMRC RD Wright Biomedical Career Development Fellowship Level 2
  • 2018Cancer Institute New South Wales (CINSW) Career Development Fellowship
  • 2017Ridley Ken Davies Award for future scientific leaders delivering breakthrough medical research
  • 2016British Society for Matrix Biology (BSMB) John Scott Young Investigator Award for significant contributions to matrix biology
  • 2016Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) Herbert Tabor Young Investigator Award for creativity - innovation and scientific excellence

Selected publications

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