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Contact Details

Senior Lecturer
Department of Pathology (Dunedin)
BPhEd BSc PGDipSci PhD(Otago)
Research summary
Molecular mechanisms underlying cancer, with a particular focus on aberrant expression of developmental pathways in cancer progression
  • MICN 201
  • MICN 301
  • PHTY 315
  • PHCY 353
  • PATH 201
  • PATH 302
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Australian Neuroscience Society
  • Australian and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Federation of University Women
  • Dunedin Company of Physiologists
  • Neural Systems Theme, University of Otago
  • Development Theme, University of Otago
  • TEMTIA (Society of Epithelial-Mesenchymal transition)
  • Research committee (Pathology)
  • Teaching committee (Pathology)
  • Space committee (Pathology)


The main focus of my research is the investigation into the role of the oncoprotein YB-1 in cancer, with a particular focus on breast cancer. As a developmental biologist I am particularly interested in aberrations in developmental pathways underpinning cell cycle regulation in relation to cancer progression. Specific threads of research contributing to these investigations specifically investigate the role of YB-1 in the regulation of:

  • phosphatases such as DUSP4
  • specific miRNAs (in a tissue dependent manner)
  • the p53-binding protein (PACT-1)
  • EMT

Techniques used in these investigations include:

  • cell culture
  • gene knockdown and overexpression
  • quantitative RT-PCR
  • protein analysisby western blot
  • Microscopy; brightfield, immunofluorescent, confocal, correlative

Model systems used are:

  • Human cancer cell lines
  • Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

I have a number of other research interests including the role of BRCA1 in ovarian cancer and genes regulating invasiveness in melanoma.


Wiles, A. K., Mehta, S., Millier, M., Woolley, A. G., Li, K., Parker, K., Kazantseva, M., Wilson, M., Young, K., Bowie, S., Ray, S., Slatter, T. L., Stamp, L. K., Hessian, P. A., & Braithwaite, A. W. (2023). Activated CD90/Thy-1 fibroblasts co-express the Δ133p53β isoform and are associated with highly inflamed rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Research & Therapy, 25, 62. doi: 10.1186/s13075-023-03040-8 Journal - Research Article

Shields, N. J., Peyroux, E. M., Campbell, K., Mehta, S., Woolley, A. G., Counoupas, C., Neumann, S., & Young, S. L. (2022). Calpains released from necrotic tumor cells enhance antigen cross-presentation to activate CD8+ T cells in vitro. Journal of Immunology, 209(9), 1635-1651. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.2100500 Journal - Research Article

McDougall, L., Kueh, J. T. B., Ward, J., Tyndall, J. D. A., Woolley, A. G., Mehta, S., Stayner, C., Larsen, D. S., & Eccles, M. R. (2021). Chemical synthesis of the PAX protein inhibitor EG1 and its ability to slow the growth of human colorectal carcinoma cells. Frontiers in Oncology, 11, 709540. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2021.709540 Journal - Research Article

Mehta, S., Algie, M., Al-Jabry, T., McKinney, C., Kannan, S., Verma, C. S., … Parker, K., Henderson, L., Gould, M. L., Bhatia, P., Harfoot, R., … Kleffmann, T., … Woolley, A. G., … Braithwaite, A. (2020). Critical role for cold shock protein YB-1 in cytokinesis. Cancers, 12, 2473. doi: 10.3390/cancers12092473 Journal - Research Article

Mehta, S., McKinney, C., Algie, M., Verma, C. S., Kannan, S., Harfoot, R., … Gould, M. L., Parker, K., … Cunliffe, H. E., … Kleffmann, T., Braithwaite, A. W., & Woolley, A. G. (2020). Dephosphorylation of YB-1 is required for nuclear localisation during G2 phase of the cell cycle. Cancers, 12(2), 315. doi: 10.3390/cancers12020315 Journal - Research Article

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