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Professor Crispin Dass

  • Cancer

Since majoring in Medical Biotechnology with a first class Honours and obtaining his PhD from Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, Crispin has been busy racking up 25 years of research experience specialising in cancer therapy.

As a cancer cell biologist with CHIRI, Crispin channels his skills in molecular techniques, in vivo experimentation, cell culture testing and drug formulation into research aimed at improving outcomes and reducing treatment failure rates for cancer patients.

Having worked on bigpharma projects in oncology and drug testing (Amgen, Novartis, Glaxo-Wellcome, Johnson & Johnson), Crispin contributes valuable commercial and pharmaceutical insights to our research. He’s currently part of a collaboration between CHIRI, Curtin University and Hollywood Hospital, looking at the association between oestrogen and a potent tumour-inhibiting protein, called pigment epithelium-derived factor, in breast cancer spread to bone – a painful and debilitating stage of the disease.

The team, which includes expert pathologists from Western Diagnostics, is hopeful that they will be able to conduct a clinical trial within the next 3-5 years and improve outcomes for this devastating disease in Australia and globally. As a research leader, Crispin has trained more than 100 students and research staff in cancer research techniques, associated cell biology and pharmaceutics in NSW, VIC and WA.

Research interests – formulation development and testing in vitro and in vivo; development and testing of safer cancer therapeutics; cell biology – specifically metabolism, stress, survival and death; mitochondrial function – how it affects cell viability; mechanisms of insulin resistance; finding better ways to deliver insulin in the body; testing of agents that shield normal cells from harmful effects of chemotherapy; development of orthotopic models for cancer; oestrogen regulation of breast cancer; bone tissue regeneration; finding better lipofection reagents.

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