Personal profile


Lee did her PhD at Monash University. Her post-doctoral work at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute marked the beginning of her chromosome biology studies. In 2012, she established her own lab, the Epigenetics and Chromatin (EpiC) Research Laboratory, in the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Monash.

The main areas focus of Lee's group to identify new epigenetic factors that regulate centromere and telomere function. With this, she aims to uncover mechanisms that control chromosome stability and genetic transmission, of which are pertinent to cell growth, tissue differentiation and embryo development.

Recent studies have identified the frequent mutations of histone variant H3.3 and its chaperone ATRX in human cancers including childhood brain cancers. The current aim of her team is to define the normal function of H3.3 and ATRX in controlling transcription silencing at the telomeres and in the global genome. They also investigate genome-wide epigenetic defects associated with H3.3 and ATRX mutations in cancers. 

Related Links: 


  • Chromatin
  • Cancer epigenetics
  • Telomeres
  • Centromeres
  • Histone variants
  • Brain cancers

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Projects 2010 2019

Research Output 1996 2017

Gut microbial metabolites limit the frequency of autoimmune T cells and protect against type 1 diabetes

Marino, E. , Richards, J. L. , McLeod, K. H. , Stanley, D. , Yap, Y. A. , Knight, J. , McKenzie, C. , Kranich, J. , Oliveira, A. C. , Rossello, F. J. , Krishnamurthy, B. , Nefzger, C. M. , Macia, L. , Thorburn, A. , Baxter, A. G. , Morahan, G. , Wong, L. H. , Polo, J. M. , Moore, R. J. , Lockett, T. J. & 4 others Clarke, J. M., Topping, D. L., Harrison, L. C. & Mackay, C. R. May 2017 In : Nature Immunology. 18, 5, p. 552-562 13 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Compromised telomeric heterochromatin promotes ALTernative lengthening of telomeres

Voon, H. P. J., Collas, P. & Wong, L. H. 1 Mar 2016 In : Trends in Cancer. 2, 3, p. 114-116 3 p.

Research output: Other - peer-reviewReview Article

New players in heterochromatin silencing: Histone variant H3.3 and the ATRX/DAXX chaperone

Voon, H. P. J. & Wong, L. H. 14 Jan 2016 In : Nucleic Acids Research. 44, 4, p. 1496-1501 6 p.

Research output: Other - peer-reviewShort Survey

Open Access

A novel role for the Pol I transcription factor UBTF in maintaining genome stability through the regulation of highly transcribed Pol II genes

Sanij, E., Diesch, J., Lesmana, A., Poortinga, G., Hein, N., Lidgerwood, G., Cameron, D. P., Ellul, J., Goodall, G. J., Wong, L. H., Dhillon, A. S., Hamdane, N., Rothblum, L. I., Pearson, R. B., Haviv, I., Moss, T. & Hannan, R. D. 2015 In : Genome Research. 25, 2, p. 201 - 212 12 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Open Access

CHK1-driven histone H3.3 serine 31 phosphorylation is important for chromatin maintenance and cell survival in human ALT cancer cells

Chang, T. M. . F., Chan, F. L., McGhie, J. D. R., Udugama, M. I. K., Mayne, L., Collas, P., Mann, J. R. & Wong, L. H. 2015 In : Nucleic Acids Research. 43, 5, p. 2603 - 2614 12 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Open Access


ARC Future Fellowship

Lee Hwa Wong (Recipient), 2015

Prize: Competitive Fellowships