About Dr Sumit Sahni

My research focusses on new, innovative treatments for pancreatic cancer, specifically targeting the speed with which the disease metastasises.

I have focussed my studies on examining the role of cell survival pathway such as autophagy in cancer progression and metastasis. Solid Tumours, such as pancreatic cancers, have very stressful micro-environment, being hypoxic, nutrient deprived, acidic, etc. These stressful conditions leads to upregulation of autophagic pathway in cancer cells, which then results in cancer growth and metastasis. I am investigating novel pathways by which we can suppress autophagy in cancer cells to block their growth and metastasis. In particular, I am examining the effects of metastasis suppressor protein NDRG1 on autophagy. Notably, our laboratory has developed novel anti-cancer agents which can upregulate NDRG1 in cancer cells. Thus, these studies are highly translatable in nature and will lead to development of novel anti-cancer therapies.

I am a young cancer researcher having been awarded my PhD in Medicinal Chemistry (cGPA: 3.80/4.0) in Dec 2011 from the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA. I am currently appointed as a Research Fellow (Lecturer; Level B) at the University of Sydney, SMS, where I lead the "Tumour Microenvironment and Cancer Progression" Group within the Molecular Pharmacology and Pathology Program, Department of Pathology. My research has been focused on understanding the mechanisms via which novel thiosemicarbazone based drugs developed in our program mediate their anti-cancer effects. Notably, since joining the University of Sydney in May 2012, I have already published 45 articles (I have a total of 47 articles) in high quality international journals (e.g., J Biol Chem, BBA Mol Cell Res, Mol. Pharmacol., Autophagy, BBA Rev Cancer, etc.).

I have been awarded a total of 16 grants (already achieved $930,000 funding in total; see below) and 6 Prizes. Recently, I have received a Category-1 2017/2019 Cancer Australia PdCCRs grant ($199,384) as a sole CI (examined by an NHMRC Project Grant Panel). I am also a co-CI on a successful 2018 and 2017 Innovation Grant ($100,000) from the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. I have successfully supervised 5 Honours students and one Graduate Diploma student, who all received a grade of First Class at USYD. I am currently supervising three PhD students (Ms. Krishan, Mr. Park and Mr. Taufik). Moreover, I was also appointed as a Section Editor for Biochimica Biophysica Acta - General Subjects (IF 4.7); Review Editor for Frontiers in Integrative Physiology (IF: 4.13); and I am on the Editorial Board of the J. Clinical Pathology (a BMJ Journal; IF 2.68).

Selected publications

For a full list of Dr Sahni's publications please see his Sydney Medical School Academic Profile page: here