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Contact Details

+64 3 479 3453
Senior Lecturer
Department of Pathology (Dunedin)
Research summary
Translational cancer research
  • Research student supervision: 2 Summer Studentships, 2 Honours students, 1 PhD, 1 MSc candidate
  • Lecturer for PATH 201, PATH 301 and PATH 302
  • Tutor for ELM2 (Pathology and Chemical Pathology)
  • Member, International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), 2012-present
  • Member, International Mesothelioma Interest Group (iMig), 2011-present
  • Associate member, Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Discovery (MWC) 2018–present
  • Member, New Zealand Society for Oncology (NZSO) 2018–present


My research focuses on two main areas.

Understanding the phenomenon of drug tolerance in cancer

Many melanoma and lung cancer patients frequently show dramatic responses when treated with targeted therapies (kinase inhibitors). Unfortunately, these responses are short-lived and patients relapse with resistant tumours. Together with Dr Cath Drummond, I am investigating the ability of cancer cells to shift to drug-tolerant states, allowing their initial survival – and eventual resistance – following treatment with targeted therapies. This work is funded by a Marsden project grant.

Translational research into the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare but very aggressive cancer with one of the lowest 5-year survival rates. There are no early detection markers and few effective therapies. My work focuses on the role of microRNAs in the biology of MPM and encompasses biomarker discovery and novel therapeutic approaches. This research is a continuation of the work I led in Sydney which identified tumour and blood markers and resulted in a phase I clinical trial of microRNA replacement therapy (NCT 02369198).

Research Projects

There are several research projects available, ranging from honours and master’s to PhD. Interested graduate and postgraduate students are encouraged to make contact to further discuss these projects.

  1. New nucleic acid-based drugs for cancer therapy. Level: honours / master's
  2. The impact of KRAS expression levels on the emergence of drug tolerance in lung cancer. Level: honours / master’s
  3. Manipulating microRNAs to manage mesothelioma. Level: honours / master’s
  4. Too much of a good thing? A potential role for untranslated p53 mRNA in cancer biology. Level: honours / master’s
  5. A phoenix from the ashes: The role of dying cancer cells in the emergence of drug tolerance. Level: honours / master’s
  6. Inhibiting adaptive mutability to prevent the emergence of drug resistance. Level: honours / master’s


Schelch, K., Eder, S., Zitta, B., Phimmachanh, M., Emminger, D., Wenninger-Weinzierl, A., … Reid, G., & Grusch, M. (2024). YB-1 regulates mesothelioma cell migration via Snail but not EGFR, MMP1, EPHA5 or PARK2. Molecular Oncology, 18(4), 815-831. doi: 10.1002/1878-0261.13367 Journal - Research Article

Reid, G. (2023). Modulating microRNA expression to treat thoracic cancer [Invited]. Proceedings of the New Zealand Controlled Release Society (NZCRS) Symposium. Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Ahmadzada, T., Vijayan, A., Vafaee, F., Azimi, A., Reid, G., Clarke, S., … Hosseini-Beheshti, E. (2023). Small and large extracellular vesicles derived from pleural mesothelioma cell lines offer biomarker potential. Cancers, 15, 2364. doi: 10.3390/cancers15082364 Journal - Research Article

Johnson, B., Zhuang, L., Rath, E. M., Yuen, M. L., Cheng, N. C., Shi, H., … Reid, G., & Cheng, Y. Y. (2022). Exploring microRNA and exosome involvement in malignant pleural mesothelioma drug response. Cancers, 14(19), 4784. doi: 10.3390/cancers14194784 Journal - Research Article

Zheng, Q., Reid, G., Eccles, M. R., & Stayner, C. (2022). Non-coding RNAs as potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets in polycystic kidney disease [Mini review]. Frontiers in Physiology, 13, 1006427. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2022.1006427 Journal - Research Other

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