Drug Discovery Laboratory

Prof Peter Parsons

Professor Peter Parsons
T +61 7 3362 0316
E Peter.Parsons@qimr.edu.au


Key Publications

Current Projects

Student Projects


Drug Discovery Group

Group Leader         

Professor Peter Parsons


The Drug Discovery Group combines expertise in cancer biology with drug discovery.

Our drug discovery focuses on two areas:

(a) The chemistry and manufacturing aspects of the novel anticancer drug, EBC-46. This includes devising and testing a satisfactory formulation for formal toxicology, prior to clinical trial.

(b) Development of suitable assays for primary screening of a rain forest plant extract library, looking for anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities.

This laboratory has access to:
  • A unique library of natural products from the rainforest of northern Australia, some with potential for treatment of various types of cancer;
  • A selected set of human tumour cell lines for discovery and evaluation of new anti-cancer agents; and
  • Functional biological assays to determine efficacy of novel compounds for anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic activities.
Our cancer biology work currently focuses on understanding the development and progression of cancers of the skin and oral cavity. Specifically, we are investigating the molecular mechanisms involved in the progression and metastasis of melanoma, head and neck cancer, as well as cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. The identification and understanding of aberrantly regulated pathways in these cancers is crucial prior to the design or identification of suitable agents to treat the diseases. Our research programs are synergistic and complementary.

Conditions researched

Current research


Group Leader: Professor Peter Parsons

Senior Research Officer: Dr Graeme Walker, Herlina Handoko

Postdoctoral staff: Dr Glen Boyle, Dr Lidia Maslovskaya

Research Assistants: Jenny Johns, Carly Pierce, Michelle Bauer, Natalie Britton, Blake Ferguson

Postgraduate students: Marjorie D'Souza, Ryan Adams, Timothy Warren

Visiting student: Camille Bouyer

Visiting scientist: Associate Professor Kiarash Khosrotehrani


We gratefully acknowledge the support from the following funding agencies:

  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Cancer Council Queensland.
  • Perpetual Trustees.
  • EcoBiotics Ltd


Professor Giovanni Appendino, Piedmont, Italy

Dr Craig Williams, The University of Queensland

Professor Ben Panizza, Princess Alexandria Hospital

Professor Denis Moss, EBV Biology, QIMR

Professor Denise Doolan, Molecular Vaccinology, QIMR


Bookmark and Share