Professor Paul Clarke, Director, UQ Diamantina Institute


Defects in chromosome segregation during mitosis can result in aneuploidy and chromosome instability, which are associated with cancer. The propagation of chromosome abnormalities is restricted by the induction of cell death in cells that fail to complete chromosome segregation during mitosis. The propensity of a cell to undergo mitotic cell death is determined by the function of the spindle assembly checkpoint, which holds the cell in mitosis, and by regulation of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway during mitotic arrest. In addition, cells entering mitosis with DNA damage have an increased tendency to undergo mitotic cell death. We show that mitotic cell death is linked to the progression of mitosis through protein phosphorylation and protein degradation, and is under the control of the products of oncogenes and tumour suppressors. These mechanisms provide opportunities to enhance the response of cancer cells to chemotherapy and to develop improved strategies for treating cancer.

Speaker bio

Professor Paul ClarkePaul Clarke is Director of The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute (UQDI), a leading translational medical research centre studying cancer, autoimmune diseases, infection and immunity, and the genetic basis of disease.

Professor Clarke's current research interests are the molecular mechanisms of cell division, chromosome instability and mitotic cell death. He also carries out research into the cellular responses to anti-cancer drugs.

Paul Clarke joined UQ in 2017 from the University of Dundee in Scotland where he was Professor of Cancer Cell Biology and Associate Dean (Research) in the School of Medicine. As an undergraduate, he studied Biochemistry at the University of Bristol and, for his PhD, carried out research on the control of metabolism with D. Grahame Hardie FRS at Dundee. Subsequently he was a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow working on control of the cell cycle at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg (1991-1994) and a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Manchester (1994-1998).

He joined the University of Dundee as a Senior Lecturer in 1998 and was awarded a personal chair in 2005. Professor Clarke has received a UK Medical Research Council Career Establishment Award (2001), Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award (2003) and research fellowships from The Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.


About Seminar Series

The School of Pharmacy Seminar Series involves regular formal presentations of high-quality scholarly work with broad appeal.

The wider School community is invited to attend, including academic and professional staff, special guests, visitors, as well as HDR, postgraduate, masters and honours students.

Seminars are held on Fridays from 12pm–1pm in room 5034 in the Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence, 20 Cornwall St Woolloongabba (next to TRI and the PA Hospital).

Confirmed 2021 seminars

Date Presenter
12-1pm, Friday 19 March
(PACE R5034 and Zoom)
Professor Paul Clarke, Director Diamantina Institute        
12-1pm, Friday 16 April
(Zoom only)
Associate Professor Francine Marques, Monash University     
12-1pm, Friday 23 April
(Zoom only)
Associate Professor Ben Colagiuri, Sydney University 
12-1pm, Friday 7 May
(Zoom only)
Dr Laurence Cheung, Curtin University
12-1pm, Friday 30 July
(location TBC)
Dr Gary Chan, UQ CYSUR
12-1pm, Friday 13 August
(Zoom only)
Professor Sanjay Garg, University of South Australia
12-1pm, Friday 3 September
(PACE R5034 and Zoom)
Associate Professor Michael Barras, UQ Pharmacy
12-1pm 10 September
(Online via Zoom)

Professor Josephine Forbes, Mater Research


12-1pm, Friday 17 September
(PACE R5034 and Zoom)

Professor Nigel McMillan, Program Director: Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Menzies Health Institute QLD, Griffith University

12-1pm, Friday 24 September
(Location TBC)
Denuja Karunakaran, IMB Fellow, Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), UQ


Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence, 20 Cornwall St, Woolloongabba
Online via Zoom (register via link), and in-person in room 5034