Janet Coller

Dr Janet Coller

Senior Lecturer

School of Biomedicine

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

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

Dr Janet Coller is a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Pharmacology, the School of Medicine at the University of Adelaide. She has significant undergraduate teaching (into 6 courses) and administrative duties, including course coordination and Honours program coordination, accounting for 50% of her time. The remaining 50% is spent running her research program in clinical pharmaco- and immuno-genetics as head of the Clinical Pharmacogenomics Laboratory and member of the Cancer Treatment Toxicities Group

Cancer Treatment Toxicities Group

Our group members include undergraduate students, through to Honours and PhD, as well as postdoctoral researchers. We conduct research projects using cell culture models, transgenic rodents, and in patient cohorts (detailed below). Our mission is to improve cancer outcomes through personalising treatment and supportive care.

Available Research Projects

Research Project 1

Title: Gut microbiome composition as a predictive marker for cancer treatment outcomes

Project description: Patients with cancer are at high risk of microbiome dysbiosis (lack of bacterial diversity and/or overabundance of pathogenic species) due to frequent hospital visits, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, other medications (notably prophylactic antibiotics), changes in diet, and the presence of cancer itself. Having a diverse gut microbiota is considered protective against chemotherapy-induced infections, and pre-clinical work points to bacterial diversity as a key determinant of tumour response, gastrointestinal toxicity, and neuroinflammation. Thus the objective of this project is to explore links between microbiota, inflammatory responses, and chemotherapy treatment outcomes. Research techniques include mouse models of cancer treated with chemotherapy, bacterial gene sequencing, and a patient trial analysing longitudinal changes in microbiome composition following different cancer therapies.

Projects available for: Honours / HDR

Location: Helen Mayo Building

Research project start: Semester 1 and 2

Special requirements: Nil


Research Project 2

Title: Toll-like receptor 4 and cancer treatment toxicities

Project description: Drugs and radiation used to treat cancer commonly cause damage to the normal gastrointestinal lining, leading to adverse symptoms such as intestinal inflammation and ulceration. There are currently no effective preventative strategies and a lack of understanding surrounding the mechanisms initiating damage. Recently, the innate immunity receptor, Toll-like Receptor 4 (TLR4), has been proposed to play a role in cancer therapy-induced gastrointestinal damage. As such, this project will investigate the effects of TLR4 gene deletion, or pharmacological inhibition, on the development of gastrointestinal inflammation in response to chemotherapy. This project will use rodent models treated with irinotecan. Research techniques include histological analysis, immunofluorescence, real time PCR and small animal handling. Results of this study will provide direct evidence of TLR4 signalling in mediating this important side effect of therapy.

Projects available for: Third Year / Honours / HDR

Location: Helen Mayo Building

Research project start: Semester 1 and 2

Special requirements: Nil


Research Project 3

Title: Role of microbial ablation on diarrhoea risk during treatment with EGFR inhibitors for breast cancer

Project description: Breast cancers that overexpress the human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2) are treated by targeted small molecule inhibitors such as neratinib. HER2 and other members of the growth factor family are also expressed in the intestines, and treatment with neratinib is associated with chronic low-grade enterocolitis. We have developed a rat model in conjunction with our industry partners to explore the relationship between the composition of resident microbes in the intestine and the risk of severe treatment-related diarrhoea. The project will explore how different antibiotics impact the microbiome and how this affects onset and severity of neratinib diarrhoea. Techniques will include histopathology, immunohistochemistry and mucosal barrier permeability analysis.  

Projects available for: HDR (PhD and M.Phil)

Location: Helen Mayo Building

Research project start: Semester 1 and 2

Special requirements: Nil

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2015 - ongoing Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2013 - 2014 Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2008 - 2012 FTT Fricker Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    2004 - 2007 Postdoctoral Researcher University of Adelaide
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2007 Research Award Young Tall Poppy Science Award Australian Institute of Policy Science Australia -
    2006 Research Award ASCEPT Mid-Career Best Paper Award ASCEPT Australia -
    2004 Research Award APSA New Investigator Award Australasian Pharmaceutical Science Association Australia -
    2002 Research Award ASCEPT Denis Wade Johnson & Johnson New Investigators Award ASCEPT Australia -
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2013 - 2013 University of Adelaide Australia Graduate Certificate in Education (Higher Education)
    1996 - 2000 University of Adelaide Australia PhD (Medicine)
    1995 - 1995 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Science (Honours Pharmacology)
    1992 - 1994 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Science
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    2002 - 2004 NHMRC CJ Martin Research Fellow University of Adelaide Australia
    2000 - 2002 NHMRC CJ Martin Research Fellow Dr Margarete Fischer Bosch Institute of Clinical Pharmacology Germany
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    2015 Dangerous Goods Certification World Courier Aust Pty Ltd Australia
    2014 AQIS Quarantine Approved Premises (Classes 2 to 8) Accreditation Australian Government Department of Agriculture Australia
    2014 First Aid Certification St John Ambulance Australia Australia
  • Research Interests

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

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2024 Co-Supervisor What impact could greenspace exposure have on lower respiratory outcomes? Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Amanda Maddern
    2023 Co-Supervisor Chronic abdominal pain in Australian adolescents and nature-based intervention Master of Philosophy (Medical Science) Master Part Time Mrs Trish Serocki
    2019 Co-Supervisor Using Pharmacokinetic Principles to Improve the Safety of Tacrolimus in Kidney Transplant Recipients Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Mirabel Alonge
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - 2023 Co-Supervisor The Role of TLR4 in Chemotherapy-Induced Toxicity, Immunity and Tumour Growth Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Elise Ellen Crame
    2018 - 2022 Co-Supervisor Exploring the Effects of Toll-Like Receptor 4 Antagonism on Gastrointestinal Mucositis and Tumour Activity Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Shu Yie Janine Tam
    2017 - 2021 Co-Supervisor Exploration of the gut microbiome as a predictive factor for cancer treatment-induced gastrointestinal toxicity Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Kate Rebecca Secombe
    2016 - 2020 Principal Supervisor Identifying potential genetic, phenotypic and epigenetic predictive markers in the Toll-like receptor/Interleukin-1 domain innate immune signalling pathway for severe gastrointestinal toxicity risk following 5-Fluorouracil-based therapy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Samantha Kaitlyn Korver
    2015 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Genetics of Tacrolimus Pharmacokinetics and Kidney Transplant Outcomes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Rong Hu
    2011 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Mycophenolic Acid Pharmacokinetics and Clinical Outcomes in Renal Transplantation: Effect of ABCC2 Haplotype Analysis and Distribution into Lymphocytes and Kidney Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Zaipul Izwan Md Dom
    2010 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Pharmacogenetics of Ketamine Metabolism and Immunopharmacology of Ketamine Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Yibai Li
    2010 - 2015 Co-Supervisor A Study Linking Toll-like Receptors and Irinotecan-induced Gastrointestinal Mucositis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Khloud Ghazi Fakiha
    2009 - 2011 Co-Supervisor CNS Immune Signalling and Drug Addiction: Role of Interleukin-1 Beta Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Liang Liu
    2008 - 2011 Co-Supervisor The Neuroimmunopharmacology of Alcohol Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Yue Wu
    2005 - 2010 Co-Supervisor Pharmacogenomics of ABCB1 in Maintenance Pharmacotherapies for Opioid Dependence Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Daniel Barratt
    2003 - 2008 Co-Supervisor The Stereoselective Pharmacokinetics of the Enantiomers of Perhexiline in Poor and Extensive Metabolisers of the Cytochrome P450 2D6 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Benjamin Davies
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2016 - ongoing Member MASCC United States
    2012 - ongoing Member PNIRS United States
    2004 - ongoing Member APSA Australia
    1998 - 2015 Member ISSX United States
    1995 - ongoing Member ASCEPT Australia
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2012 - ongoing Board Member Frontiers in Pharmacogenetics - -
    2007 - 2012 Board Member The Open Drug Metabolism Journal - -
  • Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Phone: 83133906
  • Email: janet.coller@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 82240685
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Helen Mayo North, floor 5
  • Org Unit: Medical Sciences

Connect With Me
External Profiles