Dr Ai-Leen Chan is a member of the Germline Stem Cell Biology Research group in the Centre for Reproductive Health.
Areas of interest
Dr Ai-Leen Chan is a Postdoctoral Scientist in the Germline Stem Cell Biology Group led by Associate Professor Robin Hobbs at the Centre for Reproductive Health, Hudson Institute of Medical Research. She is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University.
Dr Chan’s research investigates molecular mechanisms underlying the maintenance of adult stem cells. This is often dependent on a resident population of stem cells that have the ability to self-renew and generate differentiating daughter cells. As a model system, she studies germline stem cells from the mouse testis that are essential for life-long production of spermatozoa and fertility. Appropriate control of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation is critical for tissue homeostasis while disruption of the balance between these processes can contribute to tissue degeneration or cancer.
Dr Chan completed her PhD at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. She studied the regulation of tumour suppressors in prostate and colon cancers. Using xenograft mouse models, she demonstrated that down-regulation of E3 ligase E6AP prevents tumour initiation and growth by restoring PML tumour suppression function. She also identified the regulation of E6AP through phosphorylation by the tyrosine kinase c-Abl in response to stress. These studies highlight the therapeutic potential of E3 ligases in tumour suppression. She has also collaborated with Cancer Therapeutics to convert a lab-based assay that measures E3 ligase activity into a high-throughput screen.
Besides her research work, Dr Chan is actively involved in representing Early Career Researchers at Hudson. She works closely with the post-graduate student committee to coordinate the PhD-ECR mentoring program.