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Personal profile

Biography

Professor Renea Taylor is an Associate Dean, Centres and Institutes, in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University. She the Co-Head of the Cancer Program in the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and co-leads the Prostate Cancer Research Group in the Department of Physiology.  Prof Taylor performed inter-disciplinary training in stem cell and prostate biology through prestigious post-doctoral and mid-career training fellowships from National Health and Medical Research Council, U.S. Army Department of Defense, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and Victorian Cancer Agency. This training led to her developing an independent research career built around a translational research program that is directly applicable to urology and oncology clinical practice. 

Prof Taylor has established a translational approach to her research, developing and applying clinically relevant models to study prostate cancer, in collaboration with urology, pathology and oncology colleagues. She is an Executive Founder of the Melbourne Urological Research Alliance (MURAL) which involved the establishment of the largest Australian patient-derived xenograft (PDX) collection that is highly sought after by academia and industry partners (34 approved projects and >120 PDX samples distributed in 2020-21). PDXs are experimental models are created by tumour tissue engraftment. These models accurately represent the biology and heterogeneity of different cancers and recapitulate tumour microenvironment that facilitate the prioritisation of optimal therapies, identify subtypes of likely responders, determines biomarkers, and detects resistance mechanisms of prostate cancer tumours.

Using the PDX experimental approach, Prof Taylor’s research program investigates the hormonal regulation of prostate stem cells and their interaction with the tumour microenvironment. She has also identified several genetic risk factors that underpin aggressive prostate cancer, including BRCA2 germline mutations. Her team has focused on elucidating the endocrine and metabolic changes that occur in obesity that may contribute to prostate cancer disease progression. More recently, she has led several preclinical studies that have demonstrated efficacy of a novel drug combinations for prostate cancer which have led to rapid translation into ongoing phase I/II clinical trials.

Based on her expertise in obtaining prostate cancer specimens for research, she is the Chair of the Australian Prostate Cancer Bioresource (APCB) Executive Committee, leading the Victorian node of the national bioresource. Founded in 2005, the APCB has recruited in excess of 8,500 men, who have contributed >167,000 samples, and distributed >11,000 samples to prostate cancer research projects nationally and internationally. The research emerging from the APCB collection is published in over 120 articles in high quality journals, and contributes to other Australasian cohorts in large scale studies, including the PRACTICAL Genome Wide Association Study, Irish Biomarker Consortium and the Movember Global Action Plan initiative. Biomarkers developed and validated through the APCB have been progressed toward clinical and commercial translation.

Prof Taylor has an extensive track record of international research excellence, impact and leadership in prostate cancer. She has published >107 articles (60% in last 5 yrs, 56% as corresponding author, overall FWCI 2.38; 4,450 citations), which have made contributions to benefit to health. She has obtained $18.1M in competitive grant funding, including 8 NHMRC grants, 3 US Army Department of Defense awards (Ideas & Synergy/Impact awards), 2 PCF-Aus Idea/Concept Awards, Cancer Australia, Cancer Council Victoria (CCV), Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF; Prostate Cancer Research Alliance), PCFA, ARC, industry collaborations and others. Scientific leadership is evident by her inclusion in large program and Australian- and US-funded consortia involved in advancing prostate cancer research and patient outcomes, including international teams.

Prof Taylor’s national and international profile is reflected by invitations to present at 55 Australian and 15 international scientific meetings, including Gordon Research Conference (Maine, USA), Cambridge Translational Science Meeting (UK) and US. Endocrine Society (Boston, MA), plus invited speaker at Endocrine Society of Australia, Barossa Cell Signaling in Cancer Biology, Lorne Cancer Conference and ComBio.

Prof Taylor's scientific leadership is evident positions in professional societies and international consortia. She is a senior (handling) editor for Endocrine and Cancer journals (Endocrine Connections, Endocrine Oncology), and holds other relevant editorial board positions (The Prostate, American Journal for Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism).  She has guest edited two special issues in ‘Critical Reviews in Oncogenesis’ (Novel Therapeutic Targets and Biomarkers in Prostate Cancer; 2021) and ‘Endocrine Oncology’ (Impact of Cancer Therapies on Reproductive Health; 2022). She is a member of the Research Standing Committee for Cancer Council Victoria, Biospecimen Committee for kConFab and Prostate Cancer Translational Subgroup for Australian and New Zealand Clincal Trials Group (ANZUP). She is actively involved in conference program organsiation, including Program Chair, Endocrine Society of Australian (2018-2020), Cell Signalling and its Therapeutics Intervention (CSTI: 2021, 2023), Translational Program Chair, ANZUP Annual Scientific Meeting (2023).  At Monash, she is an integral member of the Academic Board, Monash University Research Impact Working Group, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Centres and Institute Committee (CINC), and Academic Progress Committee.

Prof Taylor currently supervises 6 PhD students, and has supervised 8 PhD students to completion. She has supervised 18 Honours students and <20 undergraduate students completing research projects. She has participated on PhD review panels for <30 students at Monash, and 8 students from other Institutions. In addition, she has formally mentored both ECR and undergraduate students through the Monash Mentoring Programs in Biomedicine.

In her academic role as a Teaching and Research Fellow at Monash University, she is committed to training the future research scientists in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Endocrinology and Cancer Biology and is a particular advocate for young women.

Prof Taylor leads the Monash University Research Prostate Cancer Support Group within the PCFA Network. Renea actively engages with consumer representatives and seeks their input into research design and implementation, as well as dissemination of research outcomes and advances in the field. She plays a key role in science communication and dedicates significant time to the promotion of prostate cancer awareness in the community. Her team have a proud and longstanding relationship with the EJ Whitten Foundation (now RULE Prostate Cancer), working together towards research and advocacy for prostate cancer.

 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

External positions

Chair, Research Committee, Australian Prostate Cancer Bio-Resource

20182019

Editorial Board, American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology & Metabolism

2017 → …

Executive Member, Australian Prostate Cancer Bio-Resource

20162017

Chair - Open Day Committee (Dept of Physiology)

2016 → …

Convenor of Program Committee, Endocrine Society of Australia

20162018

Member of International Xenografting Consortium - Endocrinology & Metabolism, Movember Foundation

20162017

Grant Review Panel Member - Cancer Biology Panel 5C, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (Australia)

2016

Editorial Board, The Prostate

2016 → …

Member of the Academic Progress Committee, Monash University

2015 → …

Grant Review Panel Member - Cancer Biology Panel 1E, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (Australia)

2014

External Reviewer, AISRF - Australia India Strategic Research Fund

2012

Grant Review Panel Member - Cancer Biology Panel 1E, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (Australia)

2012

Member of Review Panel, Independent Consultant - Australia

2011 → …

External Reviewer, Repat Foundation Incorporated (trading as Foundation Daw Park Inc)

2011

External Reviewer, American Institute for Biological Sciences (AIBS)

2010

Grant Review Committee Member, Cancer Australia

2010

Convenor, Seminar Series, MIMR-PHI Institute of Medical Research

20082009

Grant Review Panel Member - Cancer Biology Panel 1D, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (Australia)

20082009

External Reviewer, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

2008 → …

External Reviewer, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (Australia)

2007 → …

Member - Early Careers Innovators Network, Victorian Cancer Agency

20072008

Member, Australian Prostate Cancer Bio-Resource

20032005

Victorian Board Member, Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR)

20032010

Member - Student Open Day Committee, Monash University

20032004

Student Member, Monash University

2000

Student Liason for Monash Institute of Reproduction & Development - Monash Graduate Association, Monash University

19992000

Student Representative - Postgraduate Student Committee, Monash Institute of Reproduction and Development, Monash University

19992000

Research area keywords

  • Prostate Cancer
  • Stem Cells
  • Tumour Microenvironment
  • cancer
  • stromal cells
  • experimental models
  • immune-deficient models
  • stem cell-microenvironment interactions
  • tissue-specific stem cells
  • embryonic stem cells
  • exper
  • castration
  • steroid receptors
  • selective estrogen receptor modulators
  • cell cell interaction
  • stromal epithelial signaling
  • reproductive and developmental biology
  • stem ce
  • ex vivo culture
  • hsp90 inhibitors
  • human explants
  • proliferation
  • prostate cancer
  • xenografting
  • tissue recombination
  • immuno-compromised mice
  • stromal niche
  • prostate
  • stem cell differentiation
  • stem cell research
  • adult
  • tissue culture
  • androgen receptor
  • stem cells
  • urogenital sinus mesenchyme epithelium induction differentiation recombinant surothelium secretion e

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or