Dr Kevin Fenix
Dr Kevin Fenix is a recently awarded THRF Early Career Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2018) working on the role of the immune system in colorectal cancer liver metastasis. He completed his PhD on the 31st of July 2017 investigating the role of chemokine receptor in CD8+ T cell biology.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) commonly known as bowel cancer is the second most common form of cancer in Australia and the third most common cancer world-wide. Other than its costs to human health, CRC presents a huge financial burden. In Australia, it costs at least 1 billion dollars per year to try to treat this disease. This year alone, it is predicted that 17,000 Australians will be diagnosed with CRC and 4,000 Australians will succumb to this disease. The majority of people who die from bowel cancer, die because the cancer metastasizes and spreads to the liver (late stage CRC). This increases the patient’s mortality rate from 30% to 70%. Critically, patients who have undergone surgical removal (resection) of liver metastasized-tumours will most-likely (90%) re-develop liver metastasis. What’s even more alarming is that the incidence of young people (age 20-39) being diagnosed with CRC has been increasing by 1-2% per year since 1990. Patients diagnosed with CRC at a young age (<55) are 58% more likely to be diagnosed with late stage CRC than older people. At present, there are no effective tools to predict a CRC patient’s risk of developing liver metastasis and for liver-resected CRC patient’s risk of re-developing liver metastasis. Current treatments are insufficient in controlling CRC once it has metastasized. Thus, there is an urgent clinical need to (1) define improved diagnostic markers for metastatic CRC to reduce death rates by identifying metastasizing cancers earlier and to (2) identify improved treatments that can prevent the spread of CRC to the liver and treat existing liver metastasis.
My research addresses these needs by studying the immune system present in the tumour with the goals of:
1. Identifying distinct tumour-infiltrating immune cells with prognostic capacity for CRC liver metastasis and survival.
2. Characterizing these novel tumour-infiltrating immune cell subsets by advanced proteomic and transcriptomic approaches.
3. Understanding how these immune cells shape tumour progression.
|2018||THRF Early Career Postdoctoral Research Fellow||The University of Adelaide|
|2018||Fellowship||The Hospital Research Foundation Early Career Fellowship||The Hospital Research Foundation||Australia||—|
|2017||Award||Dean’s Commendation for Thesis Excellence||The University of Adelaide||Australia||—|
|2012||Scholarship||Australian Postgraduate Award||The University of Adelaide||Australia||—|
|2010||Research Award||Derrick Rowley Prize for Honours in Microbiology and Immunology||The University of Adelaide||Australia||—|
|English||Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review|
|Filipino; Pilipino||Can read, write, speak and understand spoken|
|2017||University of Adelaide||Australia||PhD|
|2010||University of Adelaide, Adelaide||Australia||Bsc (Hons)|
|2009||University of Adelaide, Adelaide||Australia||Bsc (Biomedical Science)|
|2018||Study of bioactivity of Hengshan Astragalus Shiitake as biological response modifiers in cancer therapy ( Flinders University Innovation Patnership Seed Grant and Shanxi Yulongxiang agricultural development Co., Ltd)||Ma L., Fenix K., Hauben E., Liang Q.||$100,000 ($25,000+ $75,000)|
Identification of a Diagnostic Marker for Assessment and Management of Psoriasis. ( New Adventures Fund UniSA and The Hospital Research Foundation )
Grubor-Bauk B., Wijesundara D., Fenix K., Kopecki Z.
|2018||Using Tissue-Resident T cells to develop new prognostics and treatments against bowel cancer. ( The Hospital Research Foundation Early Career Fellowship)||Fenix K.||$240,000|
|2017||Australasian Society for Immunology||46th Annual Scientific Meeting of Australasian Society for Immunology (Brisbane, Australia)||$1400|
|2016||International Congress of Immunology||International Congress of Immunology 2016 (Melbourne, Australia)||$1000|
|2014||School of Molecular and Biomedical Science and Australasian Society for Immunology||Annual Scientific Meeting of Australasian Society for Immunology (Wollongong, Australia)||$1500|
|2018 - ongoing||Member||Basil-Hetzel Institute Management Committee||Basil-Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research||Australia|
|2017 - ongoing||Member||Adelaide Immunology Retreat Organzing Committee||Australasian Soceity for Immunology||Australia|
|2017 - ongoing||Member||Day of Immunology (Adelaide) Organizing Committee||Australsian Society for Immunology||Australia|
|2018 - ongoing||Member||Cancer Voices SA||Australia|
|2013 - ongoing||Member||Australasian Society for Immunology||Australia|
|2018 - ongoing||Invited Speaker for The Longest Table Event (City of Charles Sturt)||Public Community Engagement||The Hospital Research Foundation||Australia|
|2018 - ongoing||Science Alive! Booth Volunteer (BHI)||Public Community Engagement||Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research||Australia|
|2018 - ongoing||Newsletter Article in The Hospital Research Foundation||Public Community Engagement||The Hospital Research Foundation||—|
|2018 - ongoing||Radio Interview for Coast FM||Public Community Engagement||The Hospital Research Foundation||Australia|
|2018 - ongoing||Invited Speaker for the Day of Immunology BHI Lab Tour||Public Community Engagement||Australasian Society for Immunology||Australia|
|Date||Role||Editorial Board Name||Institution||Country|
|2018 - ongoing||Editor||Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology||The University of Adelaide||Australia|