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Dr Kevin Fenix

Kevin Fenix
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Adelaide Medical School
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

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.

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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.

Appointments

Date Position Institution name
2018 THRF Early Career Postdoctoral Research Fellow The University of Adelaide

Awards and Achievements

Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
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

Language Competencies

Language Competency
English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
Filipino; Pilipino Can read, write, speak and understand spoken

Education

Date Institution name Country Title
2017 University of Adelaide Australia PhD
2010 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia Bsc (Hons)
2009 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia Bsc (Biomedical Science)

Research Interests

Journals

Year Citation
2018 Kara, E., Bastow, C., McKenzie, D., Gregor, C., Fenix, K., Babb, R., . . . McColl, S. (2018). Atypical chemokine receptor 4 shapes activated B cell fate. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 215(3), 801-813.
DOI Scopus1 Europe PMC1
2017 McKenzie, D., Kara, E., Bastow, C., Tyllis, T., Fenix, K., Gregor, C., . . . McColl, S. (2017). IL-17-producing γδ T cells switch migratory patterns between resting and activated states. Nature Communications, 8, 15632-1-15632-13.
DOI Scopus7 WoS7 Europe PMC4
2016 Leong, Y., Chen, Y., Ong, H., Wu, D., Man, K., Deleage, C., . . . Yu, D. (2016). CXCR5⁺ follicular cytotoxic T cells control viral infection in B cell follicles. Nature Immunology, 17(10), 1187-1196.
DOI Scopus63 WoS56 Europe PMC50
2015 Kara, E., McKenzie, D., Bastow, C., Gregor, C., Fenix, K., Ogunniyi, A., . . . McColl, S. (2015). CCR2 defines in vivo development and homing of IL-23-driven GM-CSF-producing Th17 cells. Nature Communications, 6(1), 8644-1-8644-1 7.
DOI Scopus33 WoS32 Europe PMC28
2014 Kara, E., Comerford, I., Fenix, K., Bastow, C., Gregor, C., McKenzie, D., & McColl, S. (2014). Tailored immune responses: novel effector helper T cell subsets in protective immunity. PLoS Pathogens, 10(2), 1003905-1-1003905-15.
DOI Scopus25 WoS20 Europe PMC18
2013 Kara, E., Comerford, I., Bastow, C., Fenix, K., Litchfield, W., Handel, T., & McColl, S. (2013). Distinct chemokine receptor axes regulate Th9 cell trafficking to allergic and autoimmune inflammatory sites. Journal of Immunology, 191(3), 1110-1117.
DOI Scopus26 WoS22 Europe PMC19
2010 Comerford, I., Bunting, M., Fenix, K., Haylock-Jacobs, S., Litchfield, W., Harata-Lee, Y., . . . McColl, S. (2010). An immune paradox: how can the same chemokine axis regulate both immune tolerance and activation? CCR6/CCL20: a chemokine axis balancing immunological tolerance and inflammation in autoimmune disease. Bioessays, 32(12), 1067-1076.
DOI Scopus60 WoS59 Europe PMC42

 

Competitive Research Grants
Year Title Investigators Amount
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)
2018
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.
$28,619
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

 

Travel Awards
Year Source Conference Amount
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

 

Committee Memberships

Date Role Committee Institution Country
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

Memberships

Date Role Membership Country
2018 - ongoing Member Cancer Voices SA Australia
2013 - ongoing Member Australasian Society for Immunology Australia

Community Engagement

Date Title Engagement Type Institution Country
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

Editorial Boards

Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
2018 - ongoing Editor Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology The University of Adelaide Australia
Position
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Phone
82227392
Building
TQEH - Basil Hetzel Institute, floor 1
Org Unit
Adelaide Medical School

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