Dr Anne-Louise Gannon

Dr Anne-Louise Gannon

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Office PVC - Science

Career Summary

Biography

Biography

I began my academic career by undertaking a biology honours degree at the University of Dundee, Scotland in 2009. My focus during this degree was primarily conservation-based, with an honours project investigating the impact of light pollution on the local bat populations. Following this, I was keen to expand on my lab expertise. I, therefore, began my masters by research in cancer biology. This project sought to identify the mechanisms in which ovarian cancer becomes resistant to chemotherapy. This project gave me an insight into the complicated and fascinating world of endocrinology. I found the topics complexity and large impact on our lives extremely fascinating and wanted to investigate this further.

Following my masters, I undertook my PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2014 investigating the role of adrenal hormones on male life-long health. Thus far, my research focus has been on the role of nuclear receptors in adrenal cortex regulation. In 2018, I was recruited by the University of Newcastle as a Postdoctoral Research Associate.

Research expertise

The research conducted as part of my PhD focused upon the roles of the androgen receptor (AR) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in the adrenal cortex. Although it is well known that AR and GR are widely expressed throughout the adrenal cortex, their function had still not been elucidated. Results obtained throughout my project highlighted that AR is essential for normal adrenal morphology and function and highlighted new interactions with well-known adrenal pathways. 

The project also investigated the impact of androgens and glucocorticoids in HPA-axis control and stress behaviour and identified numerous new lines of inquiry that would need further investigation. It is this part of my research that I will be focusing on in future projects. Although my research has primarily focused on adrenal biology, being situated in a world-leading lab that also researches pituitary and testis function has given me a solid knowledge base of various endocrine tissues. 

Current Research Themes

  1. Understanding the role of adrenal androgens in male and female lifelong health
  2. Development of novel mouse models/therapeutics to tackle adrenal disease
  3. Manipulation of adrenal stem cells for treatment of disease
  4. Determining the impact of adrenal stress hormones on testis function, including androgen production, testis architecture and fertility.
  5. The use of In silico modelling to direct and refine our studies

Common approaches: transgenic mouse models, “gene therapy”, bio-technologies, in silico modelling as well as usual bio-molecular techniques.

Teaching Expertise

I have been involved in student supervision for the last four years. I have directly supervised Reproductive honours students during practicals and tutorial groups developing websites on a chosen area of endocrinology. I have also been a demonstrator in the female reproductive tract practical and a tutor for Our Changing World interdisciplinary course.  

If you are a prospective Honours or PhD student and interested in joining the lab, please contact me via email: annelouise.gannon@newcastle.edu.au


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Edinburgh - Scotland
  • Master of Research, University of Dundee

Keywords

  • Adrenal Cortex
  • Androgens
  • Biotechnology
  • Endocrinology
  • HPA Axis
  • Leydig Cells
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Reproduction
  • Stress Hormones
  • Testis
  • testosterone

Languages

  • English (Mother)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
100703 Nanobiotechnology 20
111404 Reproduction 20
110306 Endocrinology 60

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department

Membership

Dates Title Organisation / Department
23/11/2018 -  HMRI Ignite Leadership Committee Member

The Ignite Leadership Committee, led by HMRI’s EMCR Research Council Representatives and Senior Research Mentors, will drive and implement a number of outcomes articulated in the EMCR Strategic Action Plan, by actively contributing to the strategic framework and generating ideas that will build the research leadership capacity of HMRI-affiliated EMCRs.

These outcomes are aligned with key thematic areas identified by HMRI-affiliated EMCRs:

  1. EMCR Development and Opportunity: to give EMCRs the skills and capacity to develop into future research leaders.
  2. EMCR Network: to develop a flourishing network between all HMRI, UON and HNELHD EMCRs.
  3. Knowing and Navigating HMRI: enhance EMCR awareness of their HMRI-affiliated colleagues and use of HMRI’s professional resources and support network Thematic Framework.

The Committee will be required to further develop and implement the EMCR Strategic Action Plan and make recommendations to the HMRI Director on the best use of any HMRI funding allocated to support strategic activities and initiatives. Committee members will have responsibility in organising these activities and initiatives with the support of a HMRI corporate representative.

HMRI
Australia

Awards

Award

Year Award
2016 New Investigator Award
17th Annual Adrenal Cortex Conference

Teaching

Code Course Role Duration
BIOL3020 Reproductive Physiology and Development
Faculty of Science and Information Technology The University of Newcastle
Provides a basic understanding of reproductive physiology and development in mammals for those students who wish to major in biology, cell and molecular biology, biotechnology or environmental science. The course focuses on: the processes involved in the production of gametes and how their development is synchronized in males and females to achieve fertilization. Within this context, the course considers: the processes involved in sexual differentiation; the specialization of the male and female gametes and how they achieve fertilization and subsequent development; and the reproductive strategies which have been adopted in order to achieve fertilization and birth at the most suitable times of the year. The roles of the endocrine system and signal transduction processes in controlling reproduction are examined. Topical examples of reproductive adaptations and technologies are considered, such as the evolution of reproduction in humans, the development of contraceptive methods for humans and pest animals, and clonal technologies.
Lecturer 1/9/2019 - 31/12/2021
BIME08006 Our Changing World
University of Edinburgh
This is a challenging interdisciplinary first-year course, based on a series of high-profile, evening Lectures given by prominent members of staff from the three Colleges. The course aims to engage students in thinking about the global challenges that confront society, and make them aware of the role of academic research and scholarship in meeting these challenges. Students will be expected to address key global issues across discipline boundaries, and develop an understanding of the relevance and impact of their own subject in the broader context. Students on the course will attend the public Lectures, research the topics in depth, participate in facilitated group discussions on each topic, work in small groups to produce a collaborative project on a chosen topic, and produce an individual research report on an aspect which may be closer to their own subject area. This course will appeal to students with a good foundation in their chosen subject discipline who wish to explore their subject in a broader, interdisciplinary way.
Tutor & Course Marker 1/9/2017 - 16/12/2017
C142 BSc Reproductive Biology
University of Edinburgh
Tutorials developing websites on a chosen area of endocrinology
Tutor 1/9/2015 - 16/12/2017
BTEC3200 Cellular Biotechnology
Faculty of Science and Information Technology The University of Newcastle
Techniques that are frequently used in biotechnology research are the basis for this course. The way in which these techniques are integrated in the development of research strategies to solve biotechnology problems then constitute the problem-solving component of the course. Groups are assigned one of a series of biotechnology problems to use as the basis for formulating a position paper and research strategy. The examples that are used to illustrate this course come from the area of reproductive science. The course culminates in an oral presentation describing the background behind a particular biotechnology problem and the research strategy that would be followed in pursuit of a solution.

Guest Lecturer 1/9/2019 - 31/12/2021
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Publications

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


Journal article (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2019 Gannon A-L, O'Hara L, Mason JI, Jorgensen A, Frederiksen H, Milne L, et al., 'Androgen receptor signalling in the male adrenal facilitates X-zone regression, cell turnover and protects against adrenal degeneration during ageing', SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 9 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.1038/s41598-019-46049-3
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Lee Smith
2019 Gannon A-L, O'Hara L, Mason JI, Rebourcet D, Smith S, Traveres A, et al., 'Ablation of glucocorticoid receptor in the hindbrain of the mouse provides a novel model to investigate stress disorders', SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 9 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.1038/s41598-019-39867-y
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Diane Rebourcet, Lee Smith
2017 Patel SH, O'Hara L, Atanassova N, Smith SE, Curley MK, Rebourcet D, et al., 'Low-dose tamoxifen treatment in juvenile males has long-term adverse effects on the reproductive system: implications for inducible transgenics.', Scientific Reports, 7 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1038/s41598-017-09016-4
Citations Scopus - 14Web of Science - 14
Co-authors Annalucia Darbey, Lee Smith, Diane Rebourcet
2016 Vaidyanathan A, Sawers L, Gannon AL, Chakravarty P, Scott AL, Bray SE, et al., 'ABCB1 (MDR1) induction defines a common resistance mechanism in paclitaxel- and olaparib-resistant ovarian cancer cells', British Journal of Cancer, 115 431-441 (2016)

© 2016 Cancer Research UK. Background:Clinical response to chemotherapy for ovarian cancer is frequently compromised by the development of drug-resistant disease. The underlying m... [more]

© 2016 Cancer Research UK. Background:Clinical response to chemotherapy for ovarian cancer is frequently compromised by the development of drug-resistant disease. The underlying molecular mechanisms and implications for prescription of routinely prescribed chemotherapy drugs are poorly understood.Methods:We created novel A2780-derived ovarian cancer cell lines resistant to paclitaxel and olaparib following continuous incremental drug selection. MTT assays were used to assess chemosensitivity to paclitaxel and olaparib in drug-sensitive and drug-resistant cells±the ABCB1 inhibitors verapamil and elacridar and cross-resistance to cisplatin, carboplatin, doxorubicin, rucaparib, veliparib and AZD2461. ABCB1 expression was assessed by qRT-PCR, copy number, western blotting and immunohistochemical analysis and ABCB1 activity assessed by the Vybrant and P-glycoprotein-Glo assays.Results:Paclitaxel-resistant cells were cross-resistant to olaparib, doxorubicin and rucaparib but not to veliparib or AZD2461. Resistance correlated with increased ABCB1 expression and was reversible following treatment with the ABCB1 inhibitors verapamil and elacridar. Active efflux of paclitaxel, olaparib, doxorubicin and rucaparib was confirmed in drug-resistant cells and in ABCB1-expressing bacterial membranes.Conclusions:We describe a common ABCB1-mediated mechanism of paclitaxel and olaparib resistance in ovarian cancer cells. Optimal choice of PARP inhibitor may therefore limit the progression of drug-resistant disease, while routine prescription of first-line paclitaxel may significantly limit subsequent chemotherapy options in ovarian cancer patients.

DOI 10.1038/bjc.2016.203
Citations Scopus - 95
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Thesis / Dissertation (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2018 Gannon A-L, Gannon A-L, Determining the role of androgen receptor and glucocorticoid receptor in the rodent adrenal cortex through conditional gene targeting, University of Edinburgh (2018)
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed0
Current1

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2020 Honours Investigation of the role of glucocorticoid receptor in the control of androgen production and fertility.
<p style="font-size:medium;margin-bottom:0.0001pt;text-align:justify;"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:10pt;line-height:14.2667px;">Glucocorticoids act via their receptor, glucocorticoid receptor (GR). GR is expressed in the Leydig cells (LCs) of the testis, theca cells of the ovary and germ cells (GCs), yet, how GR controls these cell types is unknown. Understanding how GR signalling fundamentally controls gonadal function and testosterone production has major implications for our understanding of the control of male and female life-long health and would further elucidate the interaction between the HPA/G axes.</span></p>
Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Information Technology The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
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Research Opportunities

PhD Scholarship

PhD in male reproductive health

PHD

Faculty of Science

7/1/2019 - 1/6/2022

Contact

Doctor Anne-Louise Gannon
University of Newcastle
Office PVC - Science
annelouise.gannon@newcastle.edu.au

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Dr Anne-Louise Gannon

Position

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Smith Group
Office PVC - Science
Faculty of Science

Contact Details

Email annelouise.gannon@newcastle.edu.au
Links Twitter
Research Networks

Office

Room LS2-02
Building Life Science Building
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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