Anne Galea

Senior Lecturer

Research Contribution

My work has primarily been focused on investigating the mechanism of action of the DNA-damaging anti-tumour drug, cisplatin, and related compounds. My Honours and PhD projects explored anti-tumour drug-DNA interactions in a reconstituted chromatin system and the gene expression response of human cells to drug treatments.

When the influence of chromatin structure on cisplatin DNA damage was investigated in a reconstituted nucleosome system, the major significant finding was that the preferred site of cisplatin DNA binding was in the linker region of nucleosomal DNA. Three different cisplatin analogues were investigated using the same reconstituted nucleosome system and were also found to target the linker region of the nucleosome. The finding that the presence of nucleosome core proteins inhibits the reaction of cisplatin (and analogues) with DNA in chromatin has several important implications for the design of anti-tumour drugs based on cisplatin. The gene expression work was conducted using human cells and microarray technology. The purpose of this study was to clarify the molecular events that are important to the anti-tumour activity of cisplatin, using gene expression profiling techniques. Human foreskin fibroblast cells were treated with cisplatin or its clinically inactive isomer, transplatin. Dual-fluor microarray experiments comparing treated and untreated cells were then performed.

Drug-induced gene expression profiles constructed from the resulting data consistently described a subset of genes that are significantly regulated in response to drug treatment. In addition, several genes were identified that display different expression responses in cisplatin- and transplatin-treated cells. The discovery of expression traits unique to compounds with clinically effective anti-tumour properties, like cisplatin, could enable the identification of new drug targets and ultimately permit the design and development of improved cancer chemotherapeutic agents with less harmful side effects. Alternative functional studies are now being considered in order to investigate the potential role of such genes in mediating a cytotoxic response.

Professional Experience

  • 2000-2005: PhD student, casual tutor and demonstrator
  • 2006-2010: Associate Lecturer, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, UNSW
  • 2011-2019: Lecturer, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, UNSW
  • 2018-current: Deputy Director of Teaching, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, UNSW
  • 2019-current: Senior Lecturer, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, UNSW

Honours & Awards

  • Australian Postgraduate Award
  • 2012: UNSW Faculty of Science Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • 2018: UNSW Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching

PUBLICATIONS

Journal articles
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Delaney SK; Mills J; Galea A; LeBard RJ; Wilson J; Gibson K; Kornfeld G; Ashraf G, 2017, 'Analysis of Alternative Strategies for the Teaching of Difficult Threshold Concepts in Large Undergraduate Medicine and Science Classes', Medical Science Educator, vol. 27, pp. 673 - 684, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40670-017-0453-x
2017
Murray V; Chen JK; Galea AM, 2014, 'The potential of acridine carboxamide Pt complexes as anti-cancer agents: A review', Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 14, pp. 695 - 705, http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/18715206113136660361
2014
Murray V; Chen JK; Galea AM, 2014, 'The anti-tumor drug bleomycin preferentially cleaves at the transcription start sites of actively transcribed genes in human cells', Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, vol. 71, pp. 1505 - 1512, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00018-013-1456-4
2014
Kava HW; Galea AM; Md. Jamil F; Feng Y; Murray V, 2014, 'Characterising the atypical 5′-CG DNA sequence specificity of 9-aminoacridine carboxamide Pt complexes', Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, vol. 19, pp. 997 - 1007, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00775-014-1144-3
2014
Murray V; Chen JK; Galea AM, 2014, 'Enhanced DNA repair of bleomycin-induced 3'-phosphoglycolate termini at the transcription start sites of actively transcribed genes in human cells', Mutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis, vol. 769, pp. 93 - 99, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2014.06.006
2014
Nguyen HT; Galea AM; Murray V, 2013, 'The interaction of cisplatin with a human telomeric DNA sequence containing seventeen tandem repeats', Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, vol. 23, pp. 1041 - 1045, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2012.12.021
2013
Yang H; Sytnyk V; Crossley M; Galea AM, 2012, 'Controlling the size of lipid droplets: Lipid and protein factors', Current Opinion in Cell Biology, vol. 24, pp. 509 - 516, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ceb.2012.05.012
2012
Murray V; Galea AM, 2012, 'Gene expression profiling of the cancer chemotherapeutic agent, Cisplatin, compared with its ineffective isomer, Transplatin.', Journal of Computer Science and Systems Biology, vol. 5, pp. 37, http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/0974-7230.S1.02
2012
Brown AJ; Galea AM, 2010, 'Cholesterol as an evolutionary response to living with oxygen.', Evolution, vol. 64, pp. 2179 - 2183, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01011.x
2010
Galea AM; Brown AJ, 2009, 'Special relationship between sterols and oxygen: Were sterols an adaptation to aerobic life?', Free Radical Biology and Medicine, vol. 47, pp. 880 - 889, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2009.06.027
2009
Galea AM; Murray VM, 2008, 'The anti-tumour agent, Cisplatin, and its clinically ineffective isomer, Transplatin, produce unique gene expression profiles in human cells', Cancer Informatics, vol. 6, pp. 315 - 355
2008
Galea AM; Murray V, 2002, 'The interaction of cisplatin and analogues with DNA in reconstituted chromatin', Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Structure and Expression, vol. 1579, pp. 142 - 152, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0167-4781(02)00535-3
2002
Galea AM; Murray VM, 2002, 'Cisplatin preferentially targets the linker region of the nucleosome', Biochim Biophys ACTA, vol. 1579, pp. 142 - 152
2002
Conference Papers
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Murray V; Galea AM, 2009, 'The Unique Gene Expression Profile of the Anti-tumour Agent, Cisplatin, Compared with its Clinically Ineffective Isomer, Transplatin.', in Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Engineering, IEEE, Singapore, presented at 2nd International Conference on Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Engineering, Singapore, 02 December 2009 - 04 December 2009, http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ICBPE.2009.5384103
2009
Galea AM; Murray VM, 2002, 'Gene expression profiling of human tumour cells using cDNA microarrays: a model test system for anti-tumour drug development', in 2nd Australian Microarray Meeting, 2nd Australian Microarray Meeting, Sth Stradbroke Island, Australia, presented at 2nd Australian Microarray Meeting, Sth Stradbroke Island, Australia, 01 January 2002
2002
Galea AM; Murray VM, 2002, 'The interaction of anti-tumour agents with nucleosomal core DNA in reconstituted chromatin', in ComBio Conference, ComBio Conference, Sydney, presented at ComBio Conference, Sydney, 01 January 2002
2002
Galea AM; Murray VM, 2002, 'Investigating the effect of cisplatin on human gene expression using cDNA microarrays', in Takayama K (ed.), School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences 1st Annual Symposium, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences 1st Annual Symposium, Sydney, presented at School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences 1st Annual Symposium, Sydney, 08 November 2002
2002
Galea AM; Murray VM, 2001, 'The Interaction of cisplatin with DNA in reconstituted chromatin', in Genome Conference 2001: 22nd Annual Conference on the Organisation and Expression of the Genome, Genome Conference 2001: 22nd Annual Conference on the Organisation and Expression of the Genome, Lorne, Victoria, pp. 44 - 44, presented at Genome Conference 2001: 22nd Annual Conference on the Organisation and Expression of the Genome, Lorne, Victoria, 17 February 2002 - 21 February 2002
2001
Theses / Dissertations
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Galea AM, 2006, Investigating the mechanism of action of the chemotherapeutic agent, cisplatin: drug-DNA interactions in reconstituted chromatin and human gene expression profiling.
2006