Eric Smith

Eric Smith

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Dr Eric Smith is a Senior Grant Funded Scientist in the Colorectal Cancer Research Group, Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and a Visiting Research Fellow in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

He was awarded his PhD, from The University of Adelaide in 2010, for his thesis entitled “Aberrant DNA methylation in oesophageal cancer and Barrett’s oesophagus”. His thesis was composed of eight original research articles published in peer reviewed journals (six as first author), for which he received a commendation from the Dean of Graduate Studies. Following the award of his PhD, he was employed as Professional Staff at The University of Adelaide, providing administrative, technical, teaching, and research support. In 2016, an opportunity to work in a more research focused position arose and he commenced employment as a Senior Grant Funded Scientist in the Department of Haematology and Oncology, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

My research has focused on increasing our understanding of premalignant and malignant diseases of the colorectum, oesophagus, prostate and breast. I have developed and applied novel and cutting-edge molecular and cellular biology techniques to answer clinically relevant questions, expand our knowledge of disease development, progression and treatment response, identify prognostic biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets, with the overall aim of improving healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.  I have established and directed a range of research programs requiring the robust validation of a variety of molecular and cellular biology assays.  I have researched networks and pathways associated with the regulation of coding and non-coding RNA in disease development and progression, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, fibroblast-epithelial cell cross-talk, identification of prognostic factors and novel therapeutic targets. I have evaluated the efficacy of novel drugs using a range of pre-clinical in vitro and in vivo experimental models with clear clinical translation.

 

Research Project 1 

Title:  Identification and characterisation of fibroblast subsets using single cell RNA-sequencing to improve outcomes in patients with rectal cancer.

Project description:  Preoperative (neoadjuvant) chemoradiotherapy (nCRT) followed by surgery is widely accepted as the standard of care for patients with rectal cancer.  However, most will endure nCRT without clear benefit because currently there is no way to predict which patients will respond.  Identification of non-responders before treatment would be enormously beneficial.  They would not be at risk of the side effects, and surgery or alternative treatments could be undertaken without unnecessary delay.  Significantly, an improved understanding of the factors associated with nCRT resistance could lead to identification of novel targets for intervention and suggest new avenues of research.

This project will investigate the role of cancer associated fibroblasts in the response to nCRT using a combination of innovative and emergent methodologies including single cell RNA-sequencing, multicolour fluorescence immunohistochemistry, and a range of fibroblast-cancer cell co-culture experimental models to identify, characterise and validate novel fibroblast subsets.

Projects available for: Honours / HDR / Masters / Mphil

Location:  Basil Hetzel Institute/The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Research project start: Semester 1 and 2

Special requirements:  None

 

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2016 - 2018 Senior Grant Funded Scientist CALHN (TQEH)
    2016 Visiting Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    2010 - 2016 Senior Research Officer The University of Adelaide
    2009 - 2015 Casual Lecturer Flinders University of South Australia
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2019 Award AGIGT 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting : Site Scholarship Award Australasian Gastro-Instetinal Trials Group (AGIGT) Australia
    2018 Award The Hospital Research Foundation Research Travel Awards 2018 The Hospital Research Foundation Australia
    2010 Award Commendation from the Dean of Graduate Studies University of Adelaide
    2007 Award Winner of 2007 inaugural Faculty of Health Science Postgraduate Research Expo Poster Presenter Award
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2010 University of Adelaide Australia Doctor of Philosophy
    University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Science
    University of South Australia Australia Associate Diploma in Medical Laboratory Science
    University of South Australia Australia Certificate in Medical Laboratory Science
  • Research Interests

  1. Cancer Council SA (APP1138776) Personal and family history of type 2 diabetes and risk for colorectal cancer in young adults. Chief investigators: Young J, Price T, Tomlinson I, Rosty C, Ruszkiewicz A, Schrieber A, Platell C, Hardingham J, Smith E, Drew P$75,000, 2018.
  2. The Hospital Research FoundationParacrine and juxtacrine signalling between prostate cancer cells and fibroblasts. Chief Investigators: Smith E, Drew PA. $75,000, 2013-2014.
  3. SAHMRI (APP1031549). Oesophageal adenocarcinoma from patients with or without Barrett’s oesophagus: different gene expression and DNA methylation profiles, biomarkers for survival and response to treatment, and cancer biology.Chief Investigators: Drew PA, Underwood TJ, Ruszkiewicz AR, Jamieson GG, Associate Investigators: Smith E, Kelly JJ, Devitt PG, Thompson SK. $87,500, 2012-2013.                                               
  4. Discipline of Medicine RIGB Equipment GrantWaterless bead baths for busy Tissue Culture laboratory used in multiple research groups within the Faculty of Health Sciences. Bray S, Grubor-Bauk B, Trotta A, Smith E. $6,260, 2012.
  5. Cancer Council SA Research Grant (APP1005078).Dissecting out what influences the progression from non-dysplastic Barrett's oesophagus to invasive oesophageal adenocarcinoma. Chief Investigators: Drew PA, Jamieson GG, Ruszkiewicz AR, Underwood T, Smith E, Kelly JJ. $86,394, 2010.       
  6. Cancer Council SA Research Grant (APP565194). Improving diagnosis and treatment of reflux and cancer of the oesophagus by studying changes in microRNAs.Chief Investigators: Jamieson GG, Drew PA, Smith E, Ruszkiewicz AR, Kelly JJ, Liu J-F. $72,250, 2009.
  7. Cancer Council SA Research Grant (APP453588). Barrett's oesophagus: insights from and into fundoplication and oesophagectomy. Chief Investigators: Jamieson GG, Drew PA, Devitt PG, Ruszkiewicz AR, Smith E, Liu J-F, Kelly JJ. $71,750, 2007.
  8. RAH/IMVS Research Committee Project Grant.The expression of miRNAs in oesophageal disease. Chief Investigators: Jamieson GG, Devitt PG, Drew PA, Smith E, Kelly JJ, Thompson SK. $19,720, 2007.                                                                                                                                  
  9. NHMRC Project Grant (APP275504). Barrett's oesophagus and reflux oesophagitis: efficacy of medical vs surgical management. Chief Investigators: Watson DI, Drew PA, Ruszkiewicz A, Jamieson GG, Bianco-Miotto T, DJ Hussey, Associate Investigators: Miners J, Hayward N, Smith E$500,250, 2004-2006.   
  10. RAH/IMVS Research Committee Clinical Project Grant.Application for the purchase of a tissue microarrayer for the construction of tissue microarrays for use in studies into colorectal and oesophageal cancer. Chief Investigators: Jamieson GG, Ruskiewicz AR, Drew PA, Smith E$10,000.     2004
  11. RAH/IMVS Research Committee Clinical Project Grant.Discovery of new genes important in Barrett's oesophagus and adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus by in vitro demethylation of cell and tissue cultures. Chief Investigators: Bianco-Miotto T, Jamieson GG, Watson DI, Smith E, Drew PA. $20,000, 2003.                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  12. The University of Adelaide Small Research Grants.A novel model for studying the effects of aspirin on proliferation, apoptosis and implantation of tumour cells in vivo. Chief Investigators: Jamieson GG, Watson DI, Drew PA, Smith E$7,445, 2001.

The University of Adelaide
2009 Semester 2, Research in Surgery 2920_RSCHMED_8112

2010 Semester 1, Research in Surgery 3010_RSCHMED_8112
2010 Semester 2, Research in Surgery 3020_RSCHMED_8112

2015 Semester 1, Cellular and Systems Neurobiology 3510_PHYSIOL_3001
2015 Semester 2, Integrative and Applied Systems Physiology 3520_PHYSIOL_3000

 

 

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 Co-Supervisor Clinicopathological and Molecular Characteristics of Early Onset Colorectal Cancer Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Reger Romi Mikaeel
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2013 - 2018 External Supervisor Fibroblasts, Androgen Signalling and Oesophageal Adenocarcinoma Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Helen Palethorpe
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Identification of microRNA predictive of response to therapeutic agents in colorectal cancer The University of Adelaide Honours Full Time Steven Ha
    2019 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Is aquaporin 1 expression a poor prognostic marker in colorectal cancer? The University of Adelaide Honours Full Time James Clarke
    2019 - ongoing Co-Supervisor scRNA Analysis of Tumour Samples The University of Adelaide Master of Biotechnology (Biomedical Science) Master Junwei Wang
    2015 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Androgen signalling in oesophageal carcinoma The University of Adelaide 3rd year research project for 3520_PHYSIOL_3000 and 3510_PHYSIOL_3001 Other Part Time Nathan Borg
    2015 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Androgen signalling in oesophageal adenocarcinoma The University of Adelaide 3rd year research project for 3520_PHYSIOL_3000 and 3510_PHYSIOL_3001 Other Alice Short
    2015 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Androgen signalling in oesophageal adenocarcinoma The University of Adelaide 3rd year research project for 3520_PHYSIOL_3000 and 3510_PHYSIOL_3001 Other Part Time Alexandra Burdakova
    2015 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Androgen signalling in oesophageal adenocarcinoma The University of Adelaide 3rd year research project for 3520_PHYSIOL_3000 and 3510_PHYSIOL_3001 Other Part Time Yang Hu
    2007 - 2007 Co-Supervisor Methylation of Wnt pathway genes in oesophageal cancer The University of Adelaide Honours Full Time Karissa Phillis
  • Mentoring

    Date Topic Location Name
    2018 - ongoing Investigation of the Mechanism of Action of a Ginsenoside Compound on Tumour Growth and Angiogenesis in Advanced Breast Cancer The University of Adelaide Maryam Nakhjavani
    2017 - ongoing New drug candidates targeting aquaporin 1 show efficacy in reducing colon cancer metastasis in a murine model – pre-clinical work-up for first-in-human trials The University of Adelaide Dr Helen Palethorpe
    2015 - ongoing Pharmacological Blocking of Aquaporin 1 to Restrict Tumour Angiogenesis and Metastasis in Pre-Clinical Models of Human Colon Cancer The University of Adelaide Dr Yoko Tomita
    2015 - ongoing Does Inhibition of Cation Conductance in Aquaporin-1 Channels Expressed in Tumour Cells Impede Tumour Cell Migration? The University of Adelaide Michael Lucio De Ieso
    2012 - 2012 Steroid Receptor Crosstalk in Breast Cancer Cells The University of Adelaide Miss Erin Elizabeth Swinstead
    2012 - 2012 Curcumin Action in Prostate Cancer Cells and Fibroblasts The University of Adelaide Miss Lauren Giorgio
    2010 - 2014 Androgen signalling in the prostate cancer microenvironment The University of Adelaide Damien Alexander Leach
    2008 - 2009 DNA methylation in oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma The University of Adelaide/Royal Adelaide Hospital Dr Shigeru Tsunoda
    2006 - 2007 The effect of long-term control of reflux by fundoplication on aberrant deoxyribonucleic acid methylation in patients with Barrett esophagus The University of Adelaide/Royal Adelaide Hospital Mr John Jamie Kelly
    2004 - 2005 Aspirin and indomethacin for the prevention of experimental port-site metastases The University of Adelaide/Royal Adelaide Hospital Dr Shoichi Kinugasa
    2003 - 2004 DNA methylation in oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma The University of Adelaide/Royal Adelaide Hospital Dr Zi-Qiang Tian
    2002 - 2003 Tumor implantation during laparoscopy using different insufflation gases - an experimental study using cultured cancer cells The University of Adelaide/Royal Adelaide Hospital Dr Robert Ludemann
    1999 - 2000 Oesophageal cancer The University of Adelaide Professor Jun-Feng Liu
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  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2019 - ongoing Member Basil Hetzel Insitute Equipment Prioritisation Subcommittee Basil Hetzel Insitute Australia
    2015 - ongoing Member Basil Hetzel Institute Biosafety Committee Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research Australia
    2015 - 2012 Member Basil Hetzel Institute Management Committee Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research Australia
    2012 - 2014 Member Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation Research Committee Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation Australia
    2012 - ongoing Member Basil Hetzel Institute Strategic Directions Committee Basil Hetzel Institute Australia
    2009 - 2016 Member The University of Adelaide Open Day Organisation Committee The University of Adelaide Australia
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2018 - ongoing Member The Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Cancer Trials Group (AGITG) Australia
  • Community Engagement

    Date Title Engagement Type Institution Country
    2016 - ongoing THRF Community Awareness Program for the Tea Tree Gully Probus Club Public Community Engagement The Hospital Research Foundation Australia
    2015 - ongoing Oesophageal Cancer Awareness Public Community Engagement Adelaide’s CoastFM 88.7
    2013 - ongoing Prostate Cancer Awareness Public Community Engagement Adelaide’s CoastFM 88.7

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