Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Jane Visvader is Joint Head of the Division of Stem Cells and Cancer and the Breast Cancer Laboratory at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. She carried out PhD studies in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Adelaide, and held subsequent positions as a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute, San Diego, and Research Associate and Instructor at the Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston. In 1998, she was appointed to the Victorian Breast Cancer Research Consortium as a laboratory head in the area of mammary gland development and cancer. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and holds an Australia Fellowship. Important contributions that her group has made to the breast cancer field have been the prospective identification and isolation of the mammary stem cell in mouse and human, elucidation of the functions of steroid hormones and key transcriptional regulators in cell fate decisions and differentiation, and the identification of luminal progenitor cells as the cell of origin for basal-like breast cancers in BRCA1 mutation carriers. Current efforts are directed towards further dissecting stem cells and identifying pathways that modulate their activity using a combination of transplantation and cell lineage tracing studies, and preclinical studies using an extensive bank of patient-derived xenografts.