Dr Anne-Louise Gannon

Dr Anne-Louise Gannon

Postdoctoral Research Associate

School of Environmental and Life Sciences

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

My research to date has involved a master’s project in developing chemotherapy-resistant cell lines to better understand the mechanisms that lead to chemotherapy failure in ovarian cancer. Following this, my PhD focused on the development of two novel mouse models through conditional gene targeting to investigate androgen receptor (AR) in the adrenal cortex. Through these projects, I developed an expertise in cancer biology, adrenal function, adrenal androgen signalling, gene editing, and transgenic mouse development. Since moving to UoN (March, 2018), I have contributed to the development and set up of a brand new laboratory on Callaghan campus. With this, I have taken the lead on the conception, design and implementation of a number of new and novel projects in the field of endocrinology. 

My primary focus is on developing novel cell-specific targeting technologies to be able to deliver, edit and manipulate endocrine cells to repair these cells as a novel gene therapy approach. This technology will permit the development of new and novel treatments for hard to treat adrenal genetic disorders which currently rely on life-long systemic hormone replacement. 

Although only 2.5 years post PhD, I have contributed towards five peer-reviewed publications, three of which are the first author. This work has been presented at multiple international conferences in which my work gained a ‘New Investigator Award’ for my new findings in adrenal androgen signalling. 

Current Research Themes

  1. Development of novel adrenal targeting nanobiotechnology 
  2. Development of single injection sterilants via nanobiotechnology 
  3. Understanding the role of adrenal androgens in male and female lifelong health
  4. Development of novel mouse models/therapeutics to tackle adrenal disease
  5. Determining the impact of adrenal stress hormones on testis function, including androgen production, testis architecture and fertility.
  6. 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 6 years. This has involved student supervision in tutorials, demonstrations and lectures for undergraduate students. I am a primary supervisor for a placement and honours student this semester and lecturing on the topic of endocrinology. I am also a mentor for a PhD student as part of the ‘Women in Reproduction’ initiative to foster the development of women in science. Since joining UoN, I give lectures to undergraduate students in Reproductive Sciences and Biotechnology Honours as well as leading lab practicals. 

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
  • Gene Editing
  • HPA Axis
  • Leydig Cells
  • Nanotechnology
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Reproduction
  • Stress Hormones
  • Testis
  • testosterone

Languages

  • English (Mother)

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 (5 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 Gannon AL, O Hara L, Mason IJ, Jørgensen A, Frederiksen H, Curley M, et al., 'Androgen Receptor Is Dispensable for X-Zone Regression in the Female Adrenal but Regulates Post-Partum Corticosterone Levels and Protects Cortex Integrity', Frontiers in Endocrinology, 11 (2021) [C1]

Adrenal androgens are fundamental mediators of ovarian folliculogenesis, embryonic implantation, and breast development. Although adrenal androgen function in target tissues are w... [more]

Adrenal androgens are fundamental mediators of ovarian folliculogenesis, embryonic implantation, and breast development. Although adrenal androgen function in target tissues are well characterized, there is little research covering the role of androgen-signaling within the adrenal itself. Adrenal glands express AR which is essential for the regression of the X-zone in male mice. Female mice also undergo X-zone regression during their first pregnancy, however whether this is also controlled by AR signaling is unknown. To understand the role of the androgen receptor (AR) in the female adrenal, we utilized a Cyp11a1-Cre to specifically ablate AR from the mouse adrenal cortex. Results show that AR-signaling is dispensable for adrenal gland development in females, and for X-zone regression during pregnancy, but is required to suppress elevation of corticosterone levels post-partum. Additionally, following disruption to adrenal AR, aberrant spindle cell development is observed in young adult females. These results demonstrate sexually dimorphic regulation of the adrenal X-zone by AR and point to dysfunctional adrenal androgen signaling as a possible mechanism in the early development of adrenal spindle cell hyperplasia.

DOI 10.3389/fendo.2020.599869
Co-authors Lee Smith
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 - 6Web of Science - 6
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 - 3Web of Science - 3
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 - 16Web of Science - 16
Co-authors Diane Rebourcet, Lee Smith
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)

Background:Clinical response to chemotherapy for ovarian cancer is frequently compromised by the development of drug-resistant disease. The underlying molecular mechanisms and imp... [more]

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 - 115
Show 2 more journal articles

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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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 1
Total funding $16,085

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


20201 grants / $16,085

Investigating G Protein Coupled Receptor 112 in the testis utilising novel deliverable transgenics$16,085

Funding body: Society for Endocrinology

Funding body Society for Endocrinology
Project Team Doctor Anne-Louise Gannon, Doctor Annalucia Darbey
Scheme Early Career Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2020
Funding Finish 2021
GNo G2000869
Type Of Funding C3212 - International Not for profit
Category 3212
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed1
Current0

Past Supervision

Year 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
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
annelouise.gannon@newcastle.edu.au

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Dr Anne-Louise Gannon

Position

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Smith Group
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
College of Engineering, Science and Environment

Contact Details

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

Office

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