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Contact Details

+64 3 364 0544
Research Associate Professor
Department of Pathology and Biomedical Science (Christchurch)
Research summary
Cancer research


I am interested in how the tumour microenvironment affects tumour growth, tumour cell metastasis and tumour response to therapy. The local tumour microenvironment is the milieu within which the tumour develops, and includes tumour blood vessels, other cells types (e.g. immune cells, fibroblasts, adipocytes), soluble growth factors and signalling molecules. All the various components of the tumour microenvironment can influence tumour growth and spread and, conversely, tumour cells can influence the local tumour microenvironment. A further layer of complexity exists because the wider tumour microenvironment (i.e. the body within which the tumour develops) alters with age and health, and is affected by systemic changes in metabolism, hormones and immunity.

Our group has been investigating the contribution of stromal cells and the tumour microenvironment to human tumour biology since the inception of our research group in 1998. Initially, our research focused on tumour blood vessel development and anti-angiogenic therapies. However, since 2009 my interests have expanded to include the contribution to tumour progression made by tumour infiltrating immune cell populations, breast cancer stem cell-like populations, and obesity-related factors.


Topham, B., de Vries, M., Nonis, M., van Berkel, R., Pullar, J. M., Magon, N. J., Vissers, M. C. M., Currie, M. J., Robinson, B. A., Gibbs, D., Ang, A., & Dachs, G. U. (2024). Blood vitamin C levels of patients receiving immunotherapy and relationship to monocyte subtype and epigenetic modification. Epigenomes, 8, 17. doi: 10.3390/epigenomes8020017 Journal - Research Article

van der Woude, H., Phan, K., Kenwright, D. N., Goossens, L., Hally, K. E., Currie, M. J., … Henry, C. E. (2024). Development of a long term, ex vivo, patient-derived explant model of endometrial cancer. PLoS ONE, 19(4), e0301413. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0301413 Journal - Research Article

Donovan, K. A., Beaglehole, B., Frampton, C. M. A., Currie, M., Boden, J. M., & Jordan, J. (2023). Tōku Oranga: The subjective wellbeing and psychological functioning of postgraduate and medical students in Ōtautahi Christchurch. New Zealand Medical Journal/Te ara tika o te hauora hapori, 136(1586), 51-62. Retrieved from Journal - Research Article

Morley-Bunker, A., Currie, M., Pearson, J., Mukundan, R., Gavruskin, A., Hemmings, C., Eglinton, T., & Walker, L. (2023, August). Utilisation of digital pathology and AI methods for the detection of MSI status in colorectal cancer. Verbal presentation at the 33rd Queenstown Molecular Biology Meeting (QMB), Queenstown, New Zealand. Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Yunianto, I., Currie, M., Chitcholtan, K., & Sykes, P. (2023). Potential drug repurposing of ruxolitinib to inhibit the JAK/STAT pathway for the treatment of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Research, 49, 2563-2574. doi: 10.1111/jog.15761 Journal - Research Other

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