About Associate Professor Geraldine O'Neill

Inspired by TV's Curiosity Show as a child, Geraldine continues to be driven by a desire to know how things work.

Associate Professor Geraldine O'Neill established her research team in 2003 and together they have made significant advances in studies of the Cas family proteins and their roles in cell migration and survival in the cell biology of cancer.

Geraldine's research uniquely probes the mechanisms regulating adhesion function in cancer cell survival and migration by focusing on the regulation and expression of the Cas family of proteins.  In her post-doctoral research in the USA, Geraldine demonstrated a novel and intriguing role for one Cas protein in cell death and migration.  These studies have formed the basis for recent reports by others identifying this molecule as a key pro-metastatic factor in cancer.  Since establishing her research group, included among the group's significant research achievements is the first demonstration that adhesion signaling plays a role in resistance to the anti-estrogen, tamoxifen, a commonly used anti-breast cancer therapy.  More recently, Geraldine attracted funding to establish a high-fidelity live cell imaging system and her research group is now actively employing this technology to establish novel assays of adhesion dynamics.  Prizes and awards received by Geraldine include:  NHMRC Howard Florey Centenary Research Fellowship (2001 – 2002), NSW Cancer Council Career Development Fellowship (2003 – 2008), The Children's Hospital at Westmead Clinical School Teaching Award (2005) and a Young Tall Poppy Science Award from the Australian Institute for Policy and Science (2006).  Geraldine has a strong focus on career development for members of her group, reflecting this, students under Geraldine's supervision have been awarded a number of prizes: departmental prizes for Honours student theses, an Australian post-graduate award scholarship and a research scholar award from the NSW Cancer Institute.  She has attracted over $1.4 million in funding from nationally competitive grants and fellowships.  Her standing in the field is recognized by invitations to act as a grant reviewer for NHMRC, Cancer Council, Cure Cancer Australia and the Heart Research Foundation, along with invitations to review manuscripts for the cancer journals Oncogene, Carcinogenesis and Clinical and Experimental Metastasis.  Her national profile is indicated by invitations to serve on conference organizing committees and chairing conference symposia. Geraldine is actively involved in a number of professional societies, holding key positions in the Australian and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology and previously in the Australian Society for Medical Research.

Selected publications

For a comprehensive list of Associate Professor O'Neill's publicatons, please visit her Sydney Medical School profile page.