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Personal profile


A/Prof McCormack’s research centers on understanding the role of master transcription factors in haematopoiesis and leukaemia. He completed his PhD at the University of Adelaide in the Laboratory of Prof. Tom Gonda, studying the role of activated cytokine signaling in myeloid leukaemia. In 1999 he commenced Postdoctoral studies at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK in the laboratory of Prof. Terence Rabbitts, where he commenced work on the role of the LMO2 oncogene in T-cell leukaemia. He helped to identify LMO2 as a common target of insertional mutagenesis during gene therapy, leading to publications in Science and New Engl J Med. 

In 2003 he returned to Australia at the Royal Melbourne Hospital where he continued to study the role of LMO2 and in 2010 made the key discovery that Lmo2 causes thymocyte self-renewal, published in Science.

He was appointed Laboratory Head at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in 2011 and in 2016 moved his research group to the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, Monash University. He continues to study the role of transcription factors in T-cell leukaemia and has recently initiated a second research program to understand the role of homeobox transcription factors in myeloid leukaemia. His research has led to over 30 publications in high profile journals including Science, New Engl J Med, Cancer Cell, Genes Dev, J Clin Invest, Blood, Leukemia and Oncogene.




Supervision interests

Current - 1 PhD, 2 Honours

Past - 1 PhD, 2 Honours


  • Haematology
  • Leukaemia
  • Transcription factors
  • Epigenetics
  • T-cell Leukaemia

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Projects 2016 2019

Research Output 1997 2018

Analysis of histone modifications in acute myeloid leukaemia using chromatin immunoprecipitation

Shields, B. J., Keniry, A., Blewitt, M. E. & McCormack, M. P., 1 Jan 2018, Inflammation and Cancer: Methods and Protocols. Jenkins, B. J. (ed.). New York : Humana Press, p. 177-184 8 p. (Methods in Molecular Biology; vol. 1725).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

Hhex induces promyelocyte self-renewal and cooperates with growth factor independence to cause myeloid leukemia in mice

Jackson, J. T., Ng, A., Shields, B. J., Haupt, S. M., Haupt, Y. & McCormack, M. P., 27 Feb 2018, In : Blood Advances. 2, 4, p. 347-360 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Thymocyte self-renewal and oncogenic risk in immunodeficient mouse models: relevance for human gene therapy clinical trials targeting haematopoietic stem cell populations?

Ginn, S. L., McCormack, M. P. & Alexander, I. E., 1 Dec 2018, In : Mammalian Genome. 29, 11-12, p. 771-776 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Hhex Regulates Hematopoietic Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Stress Hematopoiesis via Repression of Cdkn2a

Jackson, J. T., Shields, B. J., Shi, W., Di Rago, L., Metcalf, D., Nicola, N. A. & Mccormack, M. P., Aug 2017, In : Stem Cells. 35, 8, p. 1948-1957 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Limiting Thymic Precursor Supply Increases the Risk of Lymphoid Malignancy in Murine X-Linked Severe Combined Immunodeficiency

Ginn, S. L., Hallwirth, C. V., Liao, S. H. Y., Teber, E. T., Arthur, J. W., Wu, J., Lee, H. C., Tay, S. S., Hu, M., Reddel, R. R., McCormack, M. P., Thrasher, A. J., Cavazzana, M., Alexander, S. I. & Alexander, I. E., 17 Mar 2017, In : Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids. 6, p. 1-14 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access