Patrick Humbert

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Phone number: +61 3 9479 5155

Who am I

I am a multidisciplinary cancer researcher with a focus on understanding the origins of cancer to inspire the design of new cancer prevention strategies. I lived my early formative years in Normandie and Provence in France, then Perth, Western Australia, and I am grateful to currently call beautiful Melbourne, Australia, my home. After completing a PhD in Immunology at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (Melbourne, Australia), I undertook postdoctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA) where I made key contributions to the understanding of how cancer cells multiply. In 2000, I set up my own independent research laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Australia. There I devoted much of my energy on understanding how the genetic program that controls the organisation of cells within an organ can prevent the development of tumours of the breast and prostate. To support this work, I was awarded consecutive national and international Career Development Fellowships and grant funding, including most recently a Senior Research Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. In 2016, I relocated my laboratory to La Trobe University to help oversee its Cancer Research program as the inaugural Professor of Cancer Biology. In 2018, I established and became the Director of the La Trobe University Research Centre for Molecular Cancer Prevention where I am currently leading a multidisciplinary team to develop and implement innovative therapies for the prevention of cancer.


I have been fortunate to be able to devote most of my scientific career to the understanding of the many different facets of cancer whilst working in extremely inspiring scientific environments with wonderful colleagues. My 16 years at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne in particular provided me with deep insights as to the patient experience, cancer survivorship and patient-driven cancer research. I am now focused on cancer prevention as the future path to tackle the many devastating and deadly diseases that is Cancer.


My research interests are in the field of cancer prevention, understanding the earliest initiating steps of human cancer, in particular in the context of breast and prostate cancer, and from an evolutionary point of view, how cancer originated in the very first multicellular animals on Earth, all of this with the aim of developing new cancer prevention approaches.

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