Dr Theresa Hickey

Theresa Hickey
Senior Research Fellow - DRMCRL
Adelaide Medical School
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Dr Hickey is a Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) Research Foundation Career Development Fellow at the Dame Rome Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories (DRMCRL), School of Medicine, University of Adelaide. She was the single recipient of this highly competitive award. Dr Hickey was awarded a PhD in Medicine by the University of Adelaide in December 2006 for research on androgen receptor (AR) signalling in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), receiving the Vice Chancellor’s special commendation for contribution to field of study. Her work in the Research Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Adelaide spanned more than 10 years, evolving through the positions of Senior Research Officer, PhD Student and early Post-Doctoral Scientist. During this time, Dr Hickey performed internationally recognized research on AR signalling in human ovarian tissues, with 4 highly cited (~300) publications arising from her PhD and a land-mark paper as senior author on PCOS published in the Lancet (2007; 410 citations; marked as a Highly Cited paper in Web of Science). Upon receipt of an NHMRC postdoctoral award in 2007, Dr Hickey transferred to the DRMCRL, where she continued work on ovarian biology and began work in human breast tissues. Dr Hickey’s current research focuses on AR signalling in human breast biology and breast cancer, funded up to 2020 by various awards including a highly competitive fellowship from the US DOD (achieving the highest score that year) and research grants from the NHMRC, Cancer Australia and National Breast Cancer Foundation, with continuous funding as a CI from 2007-2020. Dr Hickey’s innovative work in this area has attracted substantial national and international interest as evidenced by invited lectures, publications, and professional activities. From July 2012-Dec 2014, Dr Hickey was a visiting academic at Cancer Research UK, Cambridge Institute, performing collaborative work with A/Prof Jason Carroll, a world leader in molecular determinants of estrogen signalling in breast cancer. During this time, she developed expertise in contemporary techniques for whole genome interrogation of transcription factor chromatin binding (ChIPseq, Chipexo) and novel proteomic techniques to interrogate protein interactions (RIME; SILAC-RIME). To date, Dr Hickey has published 42 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 4 book chapters in her fields of research. Her ongoing collaboration with A/Prof Carroll’s laboratory in Cambridge has resulted in a recent Nature paper (2015), and co-authorship of a paper in Nature Genetics (2016) with another Cambridge colleague, Dr. Kerstin Meyer, both of which received extensive media coverage both nationally and internationally.

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Dr Theresa Hickey

Dr Hickey is a Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) Research Foundation Career Development Fellow at the Dame Rome Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories (DRMCRL), School of Medicine, University of Adelaide. She was the single recipient of this highly competitive award. Dr Hickey was awarded a PhD in Medicine by the University of Adelaide in December 2006 for research on androgen receptor (AR) signalling in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), receiving the Vice Chancellor’s special commendation for contribution to field of study. Her work in the Research Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Adelaide spanned more than 10 years, evolving through the positions of Senior Research Officer, PhD Student and early Post-Doctoral Scientist. During this time, Dr Hickey performed internationally recognized research on AR signalling in human ovarian tissues, with 4 highly cited (~300) publications arising from her PhD and a land-mark paper as senior author on PCOS published in the Lancet (2007; 410 citations; marked as a Highly Cited paper in Web of Science). Upon receipt of an NHMRC postdoctoral award in 2007, Dr Hickey transferred to the DRMCRL, where she continued work on ovarian biology and began work in human breast tissues. Dr Hickey’s current research focuses on AR signalling in human breast biology and breast cancer, funded up to 2020 by various awards including a highly competitive fellowship from the US DOD (achieving the highest score that year) and research grants from the NHMRC, Cancer Australia and National Breast Cancer Foundation, with continuous funding as a CI from 2007-2020. Dr Hickey’s innovative work in this area has attracted substantial national and international interest as evidenced by invited lectures, publications, and professional activities. From July 2012-Dec 2014, Dr Hickey was a visiting academic at Cancer Research UK, Cambridge Institute, performing collaborative work with A/Prof Jason Carroll, a world leader in molecular determinants of estrogen signalling in breast cancer. During this time, she developed expertise in contemporary techniques for whole genome interrogation of transcription factor chromatin binding (ChIPseq, Chipexo) and novel proteomic techniques to interrogate protein interactions (RIME; SILAC-RIME). To date, Dr Hickey has published 42 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 4 book chapters in her fields of research. Her ongoing collaboration with A/Prof Carroll’s laboratory in Cambridge has resulted in a recent Nature paper (2015), and co-authorship of a paper in Nature Genetics (2016) with another Cambridge colleague, Dr. Kerstin Meyer, both of which received extensive media coverage both nationally and internationally.

A major contribution to the field of breast cancer in the past 5 years has been application of a novel ex vivo culture technique that sustains architecture and functionality of clinical human breast tissues to (a) demonstrate the technique is a valuable preclinical model for evaluating new drugs (Cell Cycle, 2012); (b) demonstrate that the androgen receptor (AR) can inhibit estrogen receptor (ER)-mediated growth (Menopause, 2014);  (c) show that AR target therapy upregulates AR variants involved in therapy resistance (Oncotarget, 2015); (d) show that progestin inhibits estrogen-stimulated proliferation of primary ER+ breast tumours (Nature, 2015; considered the key evidence for clinical relevance of the study); (e) define an androgen-regulated transcriptome in normal and malignant breast tissues to identify AR biomarkers of response to AR target therapies (Nature; pending submission).  This work has led to considerable interest in using the ex vivo culture technique as a pre-clinical model in several different tumour types and invitations to speak worldwide.

Appointments

Date Position Institution name
2015 - 2018 Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) Research Foundation 2015 Florey Fellow University of Adelaide
2011 - 2015 US Department of Defence Breast Cancer Early Career Research Fellow University of Adelaide
2007 - 2010 Peter Doherty NHMRC Post-doctoral Research Fellow (Academic Level B; Step 2) Interdisciplinary project between the Research Centre for Reproductive Healthy and the Department of Medicine, Hanson Institute/IMVS/University of Adelaide
2006 - 2006 Postdoctoral Research Scientist University of Adelaide
1998 - 2006 Senior Research Officer University of Adelaide
1997 - 1997 Research Officer University of Adelaide
1991 - 1996 NHMRC Research Assistant Flinders University

Keywords

Cancer Cell Biology, Cancer Therapy

Journals

Date Citation
2017 Carroll,J, Hickey,T, Tarulli,G, Williams,M, Tilley,W, 2017, Deciphering the divergent roles of progestogens in breast cancer, Nature Reviews Cancer, 17, 1, 54-64 10.1038/nrc.2016.116
2016 Hu,D, Selth,L, Tarulli,G, Meech,R, Wijayakumara,D, Chanawong,A, Russell,R, Caldas,C, Robinson,J, Carroll,J et al, 2016, Androgen and estrogen receptors in breast cancer coregulate human UDP-glucuronosyltransferases 2B15 and 2B17, Cancer Research, 76, 19, 5881-5893 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-3372
2016 Philp,L, Day,T, Butler,M, Laven-Law,G, Jindal,S, Hickey,T, Scher,H, Butler,L, Tilley,W, 2016, Small glutamine-rich tetratricopeptide repeat-containing protein alpha (SGTA) ablation limits offspring viability and growth in mice, Scientific Reports, 6, 28950-1-28950-14 10.1038/srep28950
2016 Singhal,H, Greene,ME, Tarulli,G, Zarnke,AL, Bourgo,RJ, Laine,M, Chang,YF, Ma,S, Dembo,AG, Raj,GV et al, 2016, Genomic agonism and phenotypic antagonism between estrogen and progesterone receptors in breast cancer, Science Advances, 2, 6, - 10.1126/sciadv.1501924
2016 Lim,E, Tarulli,G, Portman,N, Hickey,T, Tilley,W, Palmieri,C, 2016, Pushing estrogen receptor around in breast cancer, Endocrine-Related Cancer, 23, 12, T227-T241 10.1530/ERC-16-0427
2015 Hickey,T, Irvine,C, Dvinge,H, Tarulli,G, Hanson,A, Ryan,N, Pickering,M, Birrell,S, Hu,D, Mackenzie,P et al, 2015, Expression of androgen receptor splice variants in clinical breast cancers, Oncotarget, 6, 42, 44728-44744 10.18632/oncotarget.6296
2015 Tarulli,G, Laven-Law,G, Shakya,R, Tilley,W, Hickey,T, 2015, Hormone-sensing mammary epithelial progenitors: emerging identity and hormonal regulation, Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia, 20, 1-2, 75-91 10.1007/s10911-015-9344-1
2015 Tuck,A, Robker,R, Norman,R, Tilley,W, Hickey,T, 2015, Expression and localisation of c-kit and KITL in the adult human ovary, Journal of Ovarian Research, 8, 1, 31-1-31-12 10.1186/s13048-015-0159-x
2015 Mohammed,H, Russell,I, Stark,R, Rueda,O, Hickey,T, Tarulli,G, Serandour,A, Birrell,S, Bruna,A, Saadi,A et al, 2015, Erratum: Progesterone receptor modulates ERα action in breast cancer (Nature (2015) 523 313-317 DOI:10.1038/nature14583), Nature, 526, 7571, 144- 10.1038/nature14959
2015 Mohammed,H, Russell,I, Stark,R, Rueda,O, Hickey,T, Tarulli,G, Serandour,A, Birrell,S, Bruna,A, Saadi,A et al, 2015, Progesterone receptor modulates ERα action in breast cancer, Nature, 523, 7560, 313-317 10.1038/nature14583
2015 Castro,M, De Santiago,I, Campbell,T, Vaughn,C, Hickey,T, Ross,E, Tilley,W, Markowetz,F, Ponder,B, Meyer,K et al, 2015, Regulators of genetic risk of breast cancer identified by integrative network analysis, Nature Genetics, 48, 1, 12-21 10.1038/ng.3458
2014 Robinson,J, Hickey,T, Warren,A, Vowler,S, Carroll,T, Lamb,D, Papoutsoglu,N, Neal,D, Tilley,W, Carroll,J et al, 2014, Elevated levels of FOXA1 facilitate androgen receptor chromatin binding resulting in a CRPC-like phenotype, Oncogene, 33, 50, 5666-5674 10.1038/onc.2013.508
2014 Hu,D, Hickey,T, Irvine,C, Wijayakumara,D, Lu,L, Tilley,W, Selth,L, MacKenzie,P, 2014, Identification of androgen receptor splice variant transcripts in breast cancer cell lines and human tissues, Hormones and Cancer, 5, 2, 61-71 10.1007/s12672-014-0171-4
2014 Tarulli,G, Butler,L, Tilley,W, Hickey,T, 2014, Bringing androgens up a NOTCH in breast cancer, Endocrine-Related Cancer, 21, 4, T183-T202 10.1530/ERC-14-0248
2014 McNamara,K, Moore,N, Hickey,T, Sasano,H, Tilley,W, 2014, Complexities of androgen receptor signalling in breast cancer, Endocrine-Related Cancer, 21, 4, T161-T181 10.1530/ERC-14-0243
2014 Ochnik,A, Moore,N, Jankovic-Karasoulos,T, Bianco-Miotto,T, Ryan,N, Thomas,M, Birrell,S, Butler,L, Tilley,W, Hickey,T et al, 2014, Antiandrogenic actions of medroxyprogesterone acetate on epithelial cells within normal human breast tissues cultured ex vivo, Menopause, 21, 1, 79-88 10.1097/gme.0b013e3182936ef4
2014 Tuck,AR, Mottershead,DG, Fernandes,HA, Norman,RJ, Tilley,WD, Robker,RL, Hickey,TE, 2014, Mouse GDF9 decreases KITL gene expression in human granulosa cells, Endocrine, 2014, 2, 1-10 10.1007/s12020-014-0335-6
2013 Butler,M, Ricciardelli,C, Tilley,W, Hickey,T, 2013, Androgen receptor protein levels are significantly reduced in serous ovarian carcinomas compared with benign or borderline disease but are not altered by cancer stage or metastatic progression, Hormones and Cancer, 4, 3, 154-164 10.1007/s12672-013-0135-0
2013 Philp,L, Butler,M, Hickey,T, Butler,L, Tilley,W, Day,T, 2013, SGTA: A new player in the molecular co-chaperone game, Hormones and Cancer, 4, 6, 343-357 10.1007/s12672-013-0151-0
2013 Butler,M, Yang,X, Ricciardelli,C, Liang,X, Norman,R, Tilley,W, Hickey,T, 2013, Small glutamine-rich tetratricopeptide repeat-containing protein alpha is present in human ovaries but may not be differentially expressed in relation to polycystic ovary syndrome, Fertility and Sterility, 99, 7, 2076-2083 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.01.140
2012 Moore,N, Hickey,T, Butler,L, Tilley,W, 2012, Multiple nuclear receptor signaling pathways mediate the actions of synthetic progestins in target cells, Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 357, 1-2, 60-70 10.1016/j.mce.2011.09.019
2012 Dean,J, McClendon,A, Hickey,T, Butler,L, Tilley,W, Witkiewicz,A, Knudsen,E, 2012, Therapeutic response to CDK4/6 inhibition in breast cancer defined by ex vivo analyses of human tumors, Cell Cycle, 11, 14, 2756-2761 10.4161/cc.21195
2012 Hickey,T, Robinson,J, Carroll,J, Tilley,W, 2012, Minireview: the androgen receptor in breast tissues: growth inhibitor, tumor suppressor, oncogene?, Molecular Endocrinology, 26, 8, 1252-1267 10.1210/me.2012-1107
2012 Moore,N, Buchanan,G, Harris,J, Selth,L, Bianco-Miotto,T, Hanson,A, Birrell,S, Butler,L, Hickey,T, Tilley,W et al, 2012, An androgen receptor mutation in the MDA-MB-453 cell line model of molecular apocrine breast cancer compromises receptor activity, Endocrine-Related Cancer, 19, 4, 599-613 10.1530/ERC-12-0065
2011 Janse,F, Eijkemans,M, Goverde,A, Lentjes,E, Hoek,A, Lambalk,C, Hickey,T, Fauser,B, Norman,R, 2011, Assessment of androgen concentration in women: liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and extraction RIA show comparable results, European Journal of Endocrinology, 165, 6, 925-933 10.1530/EJE-11-0482
2011 Augello,M, Hickey,T, Knudsen,K, 2011, FOXA1: Master of steroid receptor function in cancer, EMBO Journal, 30, 19, 3885-3894 10.1038/emboj.2011.340
2010 Hickey,T, Norman,R, 2010, Biomarkers: Polycystic ovary syndrome: steroid assessment for diagnosis, Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 6, 6, 305-307 10.1038/nrendo.2010.68
2010 Yang,X, Dunning,K, Linyan Wu,L, Hickey,T, Norman,R, Russell,D, Liang,X, Robker,R, 2010, Identification of Perilipin-2 as a lipid droplet protein regulated in oocytes during maturation, Reproduction Fertility and Development, 22, 8, 1262-1271 10.1071/RD10091
2009 Prodoehl,M, Hatzirodos,N, Irving-Rodgers,H, Zhao,Z, Painter,J, Hickey,T, Gibson,M, Rainey,W, Carr,B, Mason,H et al, 2009, Genetic and gene expression analyses of the polycystic ovary syndrome candidate gene fibrillin-3 and other fibrillin family members in human ovaries, Molecular Human Reproduction, 15, 12, 829-841 10.1093/molehr/gap072
2007 Norman,R, Dewailly,D, Legro,R, Hickey,T, 2007, Polycystic ovary syndrome, Lancet, 370, 9588, 685-697 10.1016/S0140-6736(07)61345-2
2006 Gilchrist,R, Ritter,L, Myllymaa,S, Kaivo-Oja,N, Dragovic,R, Hickey,T, Ritvos,O, Mottershead,D, 2006, Molecular basis of oocyte-paracrine signalling that promotes granulosa cell proliferation, Journal of Cell Science, 119, 18, 3811-3821 10.1242/jcs.03105
2006 Hickey,T, Legro,R, Norman,R, 2006, Epigenetic modification of the X chromosome influences susceptibility to polycystic ovary syndrome, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 91, 7, 2789-2791 10.1210/jc.2006-0069
2005 Hickey,T, Marrocco,D, Amato,F, Ritter,L, Norman,R, Gilchrist,R, Armstrong,D, 2005, Androgens augment the mitogenic effects of oocyte-secreted factors and growth differentiation factor 9 on procine granulosa cells, Biology of Reproduction, 73, 4, 825-832 10.1095/biolreprod.104.039362
2004 Norman,R, Hickey,T, Moran,L, Boyle,J, Wang,J, Davies,M, 2004, Polycystic ovary syndrome - diagnosis and etiology, International Congress Series, 1266, 225-232 10.1016/j.ics.2004.01.108
2004 Hickey,T, Marrocco,D, Gilchrist,R, Norman,R, Armstrong,D, 2004, Interactions between androgen and growth factors in granulosa cell subtypes of porcine antral follicles, Biology of Reproduction, 71, 1, 45-52 10.1095/biolreprod.103.026484
2002 Hickey,T, Chandy,A, Norman,R, 2002, The androgen-receptor CAG repeat polymorphism and X-chromosome inactivation in Australian Caucasian women with infertility related to polycystic ovary syndrome, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 87, 1, 161-165 10.1210/jc.87.1.161

Book Chapters

Date Citation
2014 Moore,NL, Centenera,MM, Butler,LM, Hickey,TE, Tilley,WD, 2014, Androgens and the Androgen Receptor (AR), Cambridge University Press, United States, pp. 378-391 10.1017/CBO9781139046947.033
1985 Kochhar,D, Hickey,T, 1985, Goals and potential value of alternative teratogenicity tests, Karger, pp. 6-15

Conference Papers

Date Citation
2016 Tarulli,GA, Laven-Law,G, Tilley,WD, Hickey,TE, 2016, Unraveling an identity for the androgen receptor-expressing mammary epithelial cell, Annual Scientific Meeting of the Endocrine-Society-of-Australia, Adelaide, AUSTRALIA
2012 Ochnik,AM, Moore,NL, Birrell,SN, Butler,LM, Jindal,S, Selth,L, Tilley,WD, Hickey,TE, 2012, The combined actions of DHT and MPA lead to altered AR signaling in normal and malignant post-menopausal breast epithelial cells 10.1158/1538-7445.AM2012-274
2009 Jankovic-Karasoulos,T, Birrell,SN, Cops,EJ, Jindal,S, Ochnik,A, Thomas,M, Tilley,WD, Hickey,TE, 2009, Evaluation of Testosterone Supplementation during Anastrozole Therapy in a Breast Explant Model, 32nd Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, San Antonio, TX

Conference Items

Date Citation
2014 Hickey,TE, Robinson,JL, Moore,NL, Russell,R, Selth,L, Rueda,O, Caldas,C, Carroll,JS, Tilley,WD, 2014, The Androgen Receptor Restricts Estrogen Receptor Alpha DNA Binding in Breast Cancer Cells
2013 Tilley,WD, Hickey,TE, 2013, Androgen-receptor: A two-edge sword?, European Cancer Congress 2013 - 17th ECCO / 38th ESMO / 32nd ESTRO, Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS

NHMRC Endorsed Guidelines

Date Citation
2011 Boyle,J, Brennan,L, Brinkworth,G, Brown,W, Burger,H, Clarke,I, Corbould,A, Costello,M, Cussons,A, Davies,M et al; 2011; Evidence-based guideline for the assessment and management of polycystic ovary syndrome. The Jean Hailes Foundation, ISBN Print: 978-0-646-55470-9

CIC: NHMRC Project Grant (2017-2020); CIC: Cancer Australia Project Grant (2016-2018); Royal Adelaide Hospital Research Foundation Career Development Fellowship (2015-2017); CIB: NHMRC Project Grant (2015-2017); CIB: Cancer Australia project grant (2013-2015) CIA: US Department of Defence Breast Cancer Research Program Fellowship (2010-2014)

Supervision of Staff and Students
Date Principal Supervisor Co-Supervisor
2016 Principal supervisor to 3 post-doctoral researchers, one Research Associate and one Honour’s Student Co-supervisor to two 2nd year University of Adelaide Summer Students
2015    
2014    
2013    
2012    
2011    

Supervision of Staff and Students:

  • 2016: Principal supervisor to 3 post-doctoral researchers, one Research Associate and one Honour’s Student. Co-supervisor to two 2nd year University of Adelaide Summer Students.
  • 2015: Principal supervisor to 2 post-doctoral researchers and one Research Associate.
  • 2014: Principal supervisor to 1 PhD student who submitted her thesis and acquired a national postdoctoral position. Overseeing 3 junior post-doctoral projects and one Research Associate.
  • 2013: Principal supervisor to 1 PhD student who completed her thesis and acquired a national postdoctoral position and 1 PhD student in her final year of study. Overseeing 2 junior post-doctoral projects and one Research Assistant.
  • 2012: Co-supervisor to 1 Hounour’s student who received a first class qualification. Prinicipal supervisor to 1 PhD who completed her thesis and acquired an international post-doctoral position and 2 PhD students in mid-final years of study.
  • 2011: Principal supervisor to 1 PhD student who completed her thesis and acquired an international post-doctoral position and 3 PhD students still in progress.
  • 2008: Principal supervisor to one Masters student, 4 PhD students (including one on a collaborative program from China), 2 Research Assistants, and 2 casual staff. One of the PhD students won the Adelaide Research & Innovation Award and another received a special commendation for her presentation at the University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health Sciences’ Postgraduate Research Day (July 2008).
  • 2007  Principal supervisor to one Master’s student, two Honour’s students, and 2 Research Assistants commencing work  in 2007. One of the Honour’s students had the highest marks and won the Honours Student Award from the School of Paediatrics & Reproductive Health, University of Adelaide.
  • 2004-2005 Co-supervisor to two Honour’s students who are currently engaged in PhD studies at the University of Adelaide
  • 2003-2006 Primary supervisor for 4 work experience students, two of whom proceeded to do an Honour’s year, one of whom became employed as a Research Assistant at the University of Adelaide, and one of whom is continuing work experience in 2007.

2003  Primary supervisor for two 3rd year Physiology students from the University of Adelaide

 

 

Position
Senior Research Fellow - DRMCRL
Phone
82223261
Fax
8222 3217
Campus
Institute of Medical & Veterinary Science
Building
IMVS - Hanson Institute Building
Room Number
4 20
Org Unit
Medical Specialties

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