Dr Frances Byrne

Lecturer/Postdoctoral Fellow (Hoehn Lab)
Level 3 Biological Sciences, E26 Building
+61 2 9385 9399



  • 2018- current Cancer Institute NSW Early Career Fellow (UNSW) 
  • 2014-2017 Hope Funds for Cancer Research Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Virginia/UNSW
  • 2012-2014 Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Virginia (USA)
  • 2008-2012 Anthony Rothe Memorial Trust PhD Scholar, Children’s Cancer Institute (UNSW)
  • 2005-2008 Research Assistant, Children’s Cancer Institute (UNSW)
  • 2002-2005 Methods Development Scientist, GroPep Bioreagents (Adelaide)


Cancer cells must reprogram their metabolism to facilitate aggressive growth and metastasis. Dr Byrne’s research is focussed on developing therapeutic strategies to block this metabolic transition and selectively kill cancer cells. She has extensive expertise in evaluating cancer cell and drug-induced phenotypes in vitro and in vivo, mouse models of cancer, drug pharmacokinetics in mice, genetic and protein analysis of human cancer samples, animal physiology and imaging, metabolic flux assays using radiolabelled tracers, and altering gene expression using siRNA and CRISPR-Cas9 technologies. Her contributions include the development of 3 novel mouse models of cancer. The first involved labelling cancer cells with a luminescent marker to monitor their metastasis in vivo and ex vivo in an orthotopic mouse model of neuroblastoma (aggressive childhood cancer). The second model she developed was a mouse model of endometrial cancer that mimics the initiation and progression of this common cancer in women. Finally, she developed and metabolically phenotyped the first glucose transporter GLUT6 knockout mouse, which her lab is exploring as a potential anti-cancer target. Dr Byrne has published in high-quality journals including Molecular Cell, Cancer Research, and Oncogene. Her current research involves identifying novel drugs that target cancer cell metabolism and investigating how diet and obesity contribute to cancer development.


Click here for Dr Byrne's publication list