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Personal profile


Dr Momeneh (Sepideh) Foroutan obtained her PhD in computational cancer biology from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) and University of Melbourne Department of Surgery, St Vincent’s Hospital in 2018. She was a research fellow at the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research (UMCCR) for over a year, and is currently a research fellow in Huntington’s Cancer Immunotherapy Lab at Monash University.

During her PhD, Dr Foroutan identified molecular signatures and biomarkers associated with cancer progression and metastasis, developed an algorithm (singscore) to stratify individual patients based on the concordance between their transcriptomic profiles and molecular signatures in the context of personalised medicine, and generated computational models to predict response outcome in breast cancer patients. After her PhD, by combining transcriptomics and genomics data from patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, she contributed to identification of molecular features involved in therapy resistance and compounds that can re-sensitize resistant samples to therapy. In addition, using data from single-cell technologies from melanoma and colorectal cancer samples, Dr Foroutan studied immune cell composition and predicted patient survival. In December 2020, she received a Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award (PCF-YI) to study the role of natural killer (NK) cells in response of prostate cancer patients to radio- and immunotherapy.

Community service

Dr Foroutan co-founded the R-Ladies Melbourne in September 2016, was the President in 2019, when she led the team to become an incorporation, and is currently one of the advisory board members of the R-Ladies Melbourne Inc. This group was the first R-Ladies chapter in Australia and currently has > 1700 members (https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/rladies-melbourne/). Our aim is to promote gender diversity in the R community by organizing seminars, workshops and networking events, and by providing a friendly environment for women and people of minority gender to learn R and thrive.

In recognition to their contribution as part of the R-Ladies team, Dr Foroutan and other committee members received the Kellaway Excellence Award for Education from WEHI in Dec 2019. Dr Foroutan was also recognised as one of the 12 STEM women Change Makers across Asutralia by the Australian Academy of Science in Feb 2020.

Education/Academic qualification

Computational Cancer Biology, PhD, University of Melbourne

Award Date: 20 Dec 2018

Molecular Genetics, MSc, Shahid Beheshti University

Award Date: 1 Aug 2012

Cellular and Molecular Biology - Genetics, BSc, Shahrekord University

Award Date: 10 Jul 2010

Research area keywords

  • Computational Biology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Cancer Research
  • Cancer Immunology
  • Immunotherapy
  • Natural Killer Cells
  • NK cells
  • Single-Cell RNA Sequencing
  • Transcriptomics
  • Spatial Transcriptomics
  • Personalised Therapy
  • Prediction Analysis
  • Drug Resistance
  • R programming
  • Data Visualisation


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