Dr Michelle Brown

Associate Lecturer

School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy (Medical Genetics)

Career Summary

Biography

I produced 3 peer-reviewed papers during my postgraduate term. One of them, "BRIP1PALB2, and RAD51C mutation analysis reveals their relative importance as genetic susceptibility factors for breast cancer" was one of the early publications to show that PALB2 germline mutations are involved in the genetic predisposition to famlial breast cancer, and has ben cited 35 times to date, including by other high-impact publications.

The most notable achievements in my academic career was being awarded the HMRI PhD Student Conference Award, the HMRI Research Higher Degree Support Grant in Medical Innovation and receiving the Faculty Medal from the Faculty of Health for graduating with Honours Class I with excellent undergraduate results. I am also keen on community involvement, as evident by my participation in various HMRI initiatives. I believe in the importance of creating awareness in the general public about the research being conducted at HMRI. 

Research Expertise

One of my research strengths is in gene sequencing, from primer design to sequencing analysis. I gained this knowledge during my secondment to the Division of Molecular Genetics at Hunter Area Pathology Service (HAPS). I am currently assisting two undergraduate students with their placement project involving sequencing of several genes involved in cancer.

Teaching Expertise
I have previously been a tutor for the Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics (HUBS 2409) course at the University of Newcastle. 

Collaborations
I frequently collaborate with the Molecular Genetics laboratory at Hunter Area Pathology Service, Newcastle.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (Hons), University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Breast Cancer
  • Clinical Genetics
  • Genetics

Languages

  • Malay (Fluent)

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
110311Medical Genetics (excl. Cancer Genetics)70
111203Cancer Genetics10
060499Genetics not elsewhere classified20

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/07/2015 - 31/08/2015Associate LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy
Australia
26/07/2010 - 12/11/2010Casual LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy
Australia

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/10/2012 - Research assistantUniversity of Newcastle
Centre for Information-Based Medicine
Australia
1/09/2009 - 1/09/2010TutorUniversity of Newcastle
School of Biomedical Sciences
Australia
1/08/2008 - Research assistantUniversity of Newcastle
Australia

Professional appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/11/2008 - 1/02/2009Hospital scientistHunter Area Pathology Service
Division of Genetics
Australia
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (7 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2015Wong-Brown MW, Meldrum CJ, Carpenter JE, Clarke CL, Narod SA, Jakubowska A, et al., 'Prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutations in patients with triple-negative breast cancer', Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 150 71-80 (2015)

Triple-negative breast cancers¿(TNBC) lack expression of oestrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors. The gene expression profiles of TNBCs are similar to those of breast tumours ... [more]

Triple-negative breast cancers¿(TNBC) lack expression of oestrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors. The gene expression profiles of TNBCs are similar to those of breast tumours in women with BRCA1 mutations. Reports to date indicate that up to 20¿% of TNBC patients harbour germline BRCA mutations; however, the prevalence of BRCA mutations in TNBC patients varies widely between countries and from study to study. We studied 774 women with triple-negative breast cancer, diagnosed on average at age 58.0¿years. Samples of genomic DNA were provided by the Australian Breast Cancer Tissue Bank (ABCTB) (439 patients) and by the Department of Genetics and Pathology of the Pomeranian Medical University (335 patients). The entire coding regions and the exon¿intron boundaries of BRCA1 and BRCA2 were amplified and sequenced by next-generation sequencing. We identified a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation in 74 of 774 (9.6¿%) triple-negative patients. The mutation prevalence was 9.3¿% in Australia and was 9.9¿% in Poland. In both countries, the mean age of diagnoses of BRCA1 mutation carriers was significantly lower than that of non-carriers, while the age of onset of BRCA2 mutation carriers was similar to that of non-carriers. In the Australian cohort, 59¿% of the mutation-positive patients did not have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, and would not have qualified for genetic testing. The triple-negative phenotype should be added as a criterion to genetic screening guidelines.

DOI10.1007/s10549-015-3293-7
Co-authorsMichelle Wong-Brown, Rodney Scott
2014Wong-Brown MW, Avery-Kiejda KA, Bowden NA, Scott RJ, 'Low prevalence of germline PALB2 mutations in Australian triple-negative breast cancer', International Journal of Cancer, 134 301-305 (2014) [C1]

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a tumour classification that is defined by oestrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 receptor ... [more]

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a tumour classification that is defined by oestrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 receptor negativity. TNBCs share a similar gene expression profile to BRCA-mutated tumours, have been shown to carry a high proportion of BRCA mutations and have a more adverse prognosis compared to other types of breast tumours. PALB2 has been shown to be a moderate-penetrance breast cancer susceptibility gene and is involved in the same DNA damage repair pathway as BRCA1 and BRCA2; this raises the possibility that germline PALB2 mutations may be involved in the pathogenesis of TNBCs. In our study, we sequenced the coding regions of PALB2 (including intron/exon boundaries) in genomic DNA from 347 patients diagnosed with TNBC to determine the prevalence of deleterious mutations in this population. Two novel truncating mutations (c.758dup and c.2390del) and one previously detected truncating mutation (c.3113+5G>C) were found. In addition, five variants predicted to be protein-affecting were also identified. Our study shows that the prevalence of PALB2 germline mutations in individuals with TNBC is ~1%, similar to the prevalence of PALB2 germline mutation of 1% in familial non-BRCA1/2 breast cancer cohorts. © 2013 UICC.

DOI10.1002/ijc.28361
CitationsScopus - 1
Co-authorsNikola Bowden, Michelle Wong-Brown, Kelly Kiejda, Rodney Scott
2014Avery-Kiejda KA, Morten B, Wong-Brown MW, Mathe A, Scott RJ, 'The relative mRNA expression of p53 isoforms in breast cancer is associated with clinical features and outcome.', Carcinogenesis, 35 586-596 (2014) [C1]
DOI10.1093/carcin/bgt411Author URL
CitationsScopus - 2Web of Science - 2
Co-authorsRodney Scott, Kelly Kiejda, Michelle Wong-Brown
2013Wong-Brown MW, McPhillips ML, Hipwell M, Pecenpetelovska G, Dooley S, Meldrum C, Scott RJ, 'cDNA analysis of the BRCA1 unclassified variant c.5194-12G > A', CLINICAL GENETICS, 84 505-506 (2013) [C3]
DOI10.1111/cge.12052Author URL
Co-authorsMichelle Wong-Brown, Rodney Scott
2011Zacharin M, Bajpai A, Chow CW, Catto-Smith A, Stratakis C, Wong-Brown M, Scott R, 'Gastrointestinal polyps in McCune Albright syndrome', Journal of Medical Genetics, 48 458-461 (2011) [C1]
DOI10.1136/jmg.2010.086330
CitationsScopus - 6Web of Science - 4
Co-authorsMichelle Wong-Brown, Rodney Scott
2011Kiejda KA, Wong-Brown M, Scott R, 'Genetic markers in breast cancer - How far have we come from BRCA1?', Asia-Pacific Journal of Molecular Medicine, 1 1-15 (2011) [C1]
Co-authorsKelly Kiejda, Michelle Wong-Brown, Rodney Scott
2011Wong-Brown M, Nordfors C, Mossman D, Pecenpetelovska G, Kiejda KA, Talseth-Palmer B, et al., 'BRIP1, PALB2, and RAD51C mutation analysis reveals their relative importance as genetic susceptibility factors for breast cancer', Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 127 853-859 (2011) [C1]
DOI10.1007/s10549-011-1443-0
CitationsScopus - 39Web of Science - 37
Co-authorsBente Talseth-Palmer, Kelly Kiejda, Nikola Bowden, Michelle Wong-Brown, Rodney Scott
Show 4 more journal articles

Conference (16 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Morten B, Campbell HG, Brown MW, Mathe A, Braithwaite AW, Scott RJ, Kiejda KA, '¿40p53 regulation of estrogen responsiveness in breast cancer.', 16th International p53 Workshop Proceedings, Stockholm, Sweden (2014) [E3]
Co-authorsKelly Kiejda, Michelle Wong-Brown, Rodney Scott
2014Avery-Kiejda KA, Morten B, Wong-Brown MW, Mathe A, Scott RJ, 'The relationship between p53 isoforms and prognosis in breast cancer.', The Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) Satellite Scientific Meeting Programme, Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2014) [E3]
Co-authorsRodney Scott, Michelle Wong-Brown, Kelly Kiejda
2014Mathe A, Avery-Kiejda KA, Wong-Brown M, Morten B, Forbes JF, Braye SG, Scott RJ, 'IDENTIFICATION OF NOVEL TRANSCRIPTS SPECIFIC TO TRIPLE NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH LYMPH NODE METASTASIS', ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY (2014) [E3]
DOI10.1111/ajco.12335Author URL
Co-authorsRodney Scott, Kelly Kiejda, John Forbes, Michelle Wong-Brown
2014Mathe A, Avery-Kiejda KA, Wong-Brown M, Forbes JF, Braye SG, Scott RJ, 'Eight microRNAs as biomarkers for metastatic spread in triple negative breast cancer', EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CANCER (2014) [E3]
Author URL
Co-authorsJohn Forbes, Rodney Scott, Michelle Wong-Brown, Kelly Kiejda
2014Wong-Brown M, Scott RJ, 'Low prevalence of germline PALB2 mutations in Australian triple-negative breast cancer', Abstract booklet, Kingscliff (2014) [E3]
Co-authorsRodney Scott, Michelle Wong-Brown
2013Mathe A, Avery-Kiejda KA, Wong-Brown MW, Forbes JF, Braye SG, Scott RJ, 'Target gene identification of microRNAs associated with lymph node metastases in triple negative breast cancer.', 25th Lorne Cancer Conference Proceedings, Lorne, VIC, Australia (2013) [E3]
Co-authorsRodney Scott, Kelly Kiejda, John Forbes, Michelle Wong-Brown
2013Mathe A, Avery-Kiejda KA, Wong-Brown M, Forbes JF, Braye SG, Scott RJ, 'Integration of microRNA and gene expression profiling in triple negative breast cancer to identify possible biomarkers for metastases.', Breakthrough Breast Cancer TNBC Conference Proceedings, London, UK (2013) [E3]
Co-authorsMichelle Wong-Brown, Rodney Scott, Kelly Kiejda, John Forbes
2013Wong-Brown M, Li S, Wilkins M, Avery-Kiejda KA, Bowden N, Scott R, 'Targeted resequencing of BRCA1 and BRCA2 in familial breast cancer.', Kathleen Cunningham Foundation Consortium for Research into Familial Aspects of Cancer 2013 Research and Practice Proceedings, Cairns, QLD, Australia. (2013) [E3]
Co-authorsKelly Kiejda, Nikola Bowden, Michelle Wong-Brown, Rodney Scott
2013Wong-Brown M, Avery-Kiejda K, Bowden N, Scott R, 'Prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutations in triple-negative breast cancer', Programme, Newcastle (2013) [E3]
CitationsWeb of Science - 1
Co-authorsKelly Kiejda, Rodney Scott, Michelle Wong-Brown, Nikola Bowden
2013Mathe A, Wong-Brown M, Forbes JF, Braye SG, Scott RJ, Avery-Kiejda KA, 'Identification of biomarkers for metastatic spread in triple negative breast cancer.', Translational Cancer Research Conference Abstract booklet, Newcastle, Australia (2013) [E3]
Co-authorsJohn Forbes, Kelly Kiejda, Michelle Wong-Brown, Rodney Scott
2012Wong-Brown M, Li S, Wilkins M, Kiejda KA, Bowden NA, Scott R, 'Exploratory targeted resequencing of BRCA1 and BRCA2 in inherited breast cancer', Programme. kConFab Familial Aspects of Cancer: Research & Practice 2012, Kingscliff, NSW (2012) [E3]
Co-authorsMichelle Wong-Brown, Rodney Scott, Kelly Kiejda, Nikola Bowden
2012Gleeson M, Spigelman AD, Meldrum CJ, Dooley S, Wong-Brown M, Young B, et al., 'A case of two mutations in trans in a women diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 3+0 years', Programme. kConFab Familial Aspects of Cancer: Research & Practice 2012, Kingscliff, NSW (2012) [E3]
Co-authorsRodney Scott, Michelle Wong-Brown
2012Wong-Brown M, Li S, Wilkins M, Kiejda KA, Bowden NA, Scott R, 'Targeted resequencing of BRCA1 and BRCA2 in inherited breast cancer', Cancer Research, San Antonio, Texas (2012) [E3]
Co-authorsMichelle Wong-Brown, Rodney Scott, Kelly Kiejda, Nikola Bowden
2011Wong-Brown M, Scott R, Hibberd A, Trevillian PR, Clark D, Meldrum C, 'Measurement of Foxp3 gene expression in renal transplant recipients', Immunology and Cell Biology, Canberra, Australia (2011) [E3]
Co-authorsMichelle Wong-Brown, Rodney Scott
2010Wong-Brown M, Bowden NA, Kiejda KA, Scott R, 'BRIP1 and PALB2 mutation detection in Hunter-New England familial breast cancer cohort', 27th HUGO-IABCR Congress 2010. Genomics, Biology and Breast Cancer Treatment. Programme & Abstract Book, Biopolis, Singapore (2010) [E3]
Co-authorsMichelle Wong-Brown, Rodney Scott, Kelly Kiejda, Nikola Bowden
2010Wong-Brown M, Bowden NA, Forbes JF, Braye SG, Scott R, 'Microsatellite instability (I) in breast tumours', Sydney Cancer Conference 2010. Profiling Risk, Personalising Treatment and Predicting Outcomes. Conference Program and Abstract Book, Sydney, NSW (2010) [E3]
Co-authorsMichelle Wong-Brown, Rodney Scott, John Forbes, Nikola Bowden
Show 13 more conferences
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants2
Total funding$36,000

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20142 grants / $36,000

Targeted next-generation sequencing of potential breast cancer susceptibility genes$30,000

Funding body: Hunter Medical Research Institute

Funding bodyHunter Medical Research Institute
Project TeamDoctor Michelle Brown, Professor Rodney Scott
SchemeBridging Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2014
Funding Finish2014
GNoG1301293
Type Of FundingGrant - Aust Non Government
Category3AFG
UONY

Karen Brown Breast Cancer Research Travel Grant$6,000

Funding body: Hunter Medical Research Institute

Funding bodyHunter Medical Research Institute
Project TeamDoctor Michelle Brown
SchemeKaren Brown Breast Cancer Research Travel Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2014
Funding Finish2014
GNoG1401509
Type Of FundingGrant - Aust Non Government
Category3AFG
UONY
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Dr Michelle Brown

Position

Associate Lecturer
Centre for Information-Based Medicine
School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Focus area

Medical Genetics

Contact Details

Emailmichelle.wong-brown@newcastle.edu.au
Phone(02) 4042 0321
Fax(02) 4042 0031

Office

RoomHMRI Level 3 West
BuildingHunter Medical Research Institute
LocationHunter Medical Research Institute

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