A/Prof Marina Pajic Garvan Institute of Medical Research Australia

Marina Pajic is a leader in pancreatic cancer research. Since returning from a successful post doc at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and establishing her lab at the Garvan in 2013, Associate Professor Marina Pajic has developed an innovative program that builds on the unique infrastructure she has generated, a wealth of integrated human cancer genomic and gene product expression profiles, complex 3D and patient-derived mouse models, rapidly evolving technologies, and close clinical links, to reveal new insights into the deregulation of molecules commonly hijacked in pancreatic cancer, which drive tumour (i) heterogeneity (ii) metastasis and (iii) chemoresistance. She has built an integrated program with Australian and International collaborators and is using this knowledge to inform the rational design of novel, tailored treatment options for pancreatic cancer. As strategic Co-Lead of the Precision Cancer Medicine Research Program (Garvan 2030 strategy) and member of Garvan senior leadership, she is developing the 10-year research strategy for the program, leading the collaborative program, promoting integrative transdisciplinary research, development of relevant platforms and support for effective clinical translation in this important space.
Her research is supported by the NHMRC, Cancer Australia, Cancer Council NSW, ACRF, CINSW and most recently recognised via the Snow Medical Research Fellowship. As a Snow Medical Fellow, she has established a translational precision oncology program, which will include establishment of two new trials for pancreatic cancer, based on precision medicine principles and from her discovery work, during the fellowship. With over 90 high quality and highly cited publications in the field (>18,000 citations), Marina’s contributions have been recognised by several prestigious awards including the Australian Academy of Science 2020 Ruth Stephens Gani Medal for achievements in the field of applied cancer genomics and precision medicine for pancreatic cancer, the NSW Premier’s Outstanding Cancer Research Fellow Award and the Cancer Institute NSW Wildfire and Rising Star Awards.