The University of Adelaide (SA)

Professor Lisa Butler

Professor Lisa Butler is a full-time academic researcher in the South Australian Immunogenomics Cancer Institute (SAiGENCI) and the Freemasons Centre for Male Health and Wellbeing (FCMHW) at the University of Adelaide, and is Director of the Solid Tumour Program at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). She holds key executive positions in the FCMHW, the Australian Prostate Cancer BioResource, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and the Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate Cancer Trials Group.

Prof Butler has established an internationally-recognised research program focused on targeting androgen signalling in prostate cancer, discovering innovative biomarkers of response to treatment, and testing the efficacy of novel drugs for prostate cancer.

Prof Butler undertook postdoctoral studies at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York from 1998-2001. Her work there directly contributed to the clinical development of histone deacetylase inhibitors as anticancer agents and formed the basis of her interests in translational research. Since returning to Australia, a major focus of her research program has been the development of preclinical models that more closely represent the individual responses in men with prostate cancer. She developed the unique ex vivo tumor culture model, which has been applied to multiple tissues and resulted in the adoption of the technique by scientists from the University of Leuven, Belgium, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, UT Southwestern, Dallas and the Royal Marsden Hospital, London. Prof Butler’s research group has used this model to demonstrate the anti-proliferative efficacy of the novel heat shock protein 90 inhibitor AUY922 and the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor ribociclib in prostate cancer tissues (Clin Cancer Res 18:3562), and funding was subsequently awarded by Cancer Australia in 2013 to translate these preclinical studies into an ongoing clinical trial of ribociclib for prostate cancer.

From 2015-21 she led a Movember Revolutionary Team to investigate the role of lipids in prostate cancer and their potential for new biomarkers of disease aggressiveness, and in 2019 she and her collaborators were awarded funding from the US Department of Defense to further study the role of lipid metabolising enzymes in prostate cancer. Her other major research interests include development of novel combinatorial strategies to target the androgen receptor and lipid metabolism pathways in prostate cancer.

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