Prof Peter Lobie’s laboratory focuses on the capacity of hormones or secreted proteins to initiate or progress cancer, particularly breast and endometrial carcinoma. His group has identified a number of known genes as powerful oncogenes with the capacity to oncogenically transform a normal cell and is currently also characterizing a number of novel oncogenic proteins. Specific interest lies in the role of these proteins in cancer cell self renewal and metastasis and the mechanistic interactions with targeted therapeutics used clinically. Evaluation of individual molecules for their potential therapeutic application and commercial exploitation also forms an important component of the work.

Targeted therapies, which block the growth and spread of cancer cells by targeting specific molecules required for tumour development and progression, are currently one of the most exciting prospects for the treatment of cancer. The research focus of my group is the identification of novel secreted or membrane bound therapeutic targets for the treatment of mammary and other carcinoma. The overarching aim of our work is to characterize the biology of, and develop methods of inhibition of, novel and clinically relevant proteins involved in the pathophysiology of breast cancer.

With the advent of high-throughput global genomic strategies, many potential novel genes specifically associated with cancer have been tentatively identified. The putative proteins coded by these functionally non-characterized genes may possess both diagnostic and therapeutic implications. Among the most useful proteins in the clinical setting are those that are associated with the cancer cell membrane, including those that are membrane-bound and those that are secreted extracellularly. Membrane-bound proteins include surface antigen targets for diagnosis or treatment, receptors for external factors that regulate cell growth, and proteins that regulate cell adhesion and metastases. Secreted proteins and peptides can also be used as circulating tumour markers for diagnosis and monitoring in addition to providing therapeutic target if they are functional effector molecules.

Our own laboratory based experimental approaches and bioinformatics have been used to identify potential therapeutic oncogenes for this project. Thus we focus on the characterization of novel secreted or membrane bound proteins, all with demonstrated clinical relevance to survival outcome of patients with breast cancer. We aim to develop proof of principle inhibitory strategies to demonstrate the potential utility of these targets in breast and other cancers.

We are also pursuing work on the biology of existing targets studied in our laboratory, such as hGH, TFF1 and TFF3, particularly as it relates to epithelial-mesenchymal transition, metastasis and drug resistance.

Selected Publications:

  1. Wu ZS, Yang K, Wan Y, Qian PX, Chiesa J, Perry JK, Mertani HC, Zhu T, Lobie PE (2011) Tumor expression of hGH and hPRL predict worse survival outcome in patients with mammary and endometrial carcinoma. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 96: 1619-1629
  2. Banerjee A, Wu ZS, Qian PX, Kang J, Pandey V, Liu DX, Zhu T, Lobie PE (2011) Artemin synergizes with TWIST1 to promote metastasis and poor survival outcome in patients with ER negative mammary carcinoma. Breast Cancer Res, 13 :R112
  3. Chiesa J, Arnould C, Vouyovitch C, Diaz JJ, Ferrer C, Mares C, Marty-Double C, Morel G, Wu ZS, Zhu T, Lobie PE, Mertani HC (2011) Autocrine proliferative effects of growth hormone are maintained in primary cultures of human breast cancer cells. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 96:1418-1426
  4. Tang JZ, Kong XJ, Muniraj N, Pandey V, Steiner M, Perry JK, Zhu T, Liu DX, Lobie PE (2010) STAT3a is oncogenic for endometrial carcinoma cells and mediates the effects of autocrine human growth hormone. Endocrinology, 151:4133-4145.
  5. Kannan N, Kang J, Kong X, Tang JZ, Perry JK, Mohankumar KM, Miller LD, Liu ET, Mertani HC, Zhu T, Grandison PM, Liu DX, Lobie PE (2010) Trefoil factor-3 is oncogenic and mediates antiestrogen resistance in human mammary carcinoma. Neoplasia 12:1041-1053.
  6. Kang J, Qian PX, Fielder G, Perry JK, Zhu T, Liu DX, Lobie PE (2010) Artemin is estrogen regulated and mediates anti-estrogen resistance in mammary carcinoma cells. Oncogene 29:3228-3240.
  7. Tang JZ, Zuo ZH, Kong XJ, Steiner M, Perry JK, Yin Z, Zhu T, Liu DX, Lobie PE (2010) STAT5A and STAT5B differentially regulate human mammary carcinoma cell behaviour. Endocrinology 151:43-55.
  8. Kang J, Liu DX, Pandey V, Mei B, Qian P, Zhu T, Perry JK, Lobie PE (2009) Artemin is oncogenic for human mammary carcinoma cells. Oncogene 28:2034-2045
  9. Pandey V, Perry JK, Mohankumar KM, Kong XJ, Liu S-M, Wu Z-S, Mitchell MD, Zhu T, Lobie PE (2008) Autocrine growth hormone stimulates oncogenicity of endometrial carcinoma cells. Endocrinology 149:3909-19.
  10. Shafiei F, Rahnama F, Pawella L, Mitchell MD, Gluckman PD, Lobie PE (2008) DNMT3A and DNMT3B mediate autocrine hGH repression of plakoglobin gene transcription and consequent phenotypic conversion of mammary carcinoma cells. Oncogene 27:2602-2612.
Name Peter LOBIE
Affiliations Senior Principal Investigator, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, NUS
Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS
Email csipel[at]


Institute Degree (if applicable) Year(s)
University of Queensland, Australia B.Med.Sci (Distinction) 1990
University of Queensland, Australia M.B.B.,B.S (1st Hons) 1992
Karolinska Institute, Sweden Ph.D. 1994

Professional Experience

Senior Principal Investigator, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore 2010 – Present
Professor, Department of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore 2010 – Present
Associate Director and Professor, The Liggins Institute, University of Auckland. 2005 – 2010
Associate Director and Associate Professor, The Liggins Institute, University of Auckland. 2003 – 2005
Associate Professor, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore. 2002 – 2003
Principal Investigator, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore. 1996 – 2001
Research Fellow, Karolinska Institute, Sweden. 1995
Guest Scientist, Karolinska Institute, Sweden. 1993 – 1994

CHONG Qingyun

Research Fellow

The role of Trefoil Factor 3 in drug resistance in mammary carcinoma.

Vijay Kumar PANDEY

Research Fellow

Role of secreted molecules in mammary carcinoma.

Ainiah Rushdiana RAQUIB

Research Assistant

Assist with screening of drugs for breast cancer therapy.

SAW Kai Qian

Laboratory Executive

Responsible for lab management and carrying out experiments.

CHEN Rumei

PhD Student

The role of TP53-signaling in TFF3-mediated oncogenic transformation of immortalized human mammary epithelial cells.

POH Han Ming

PhD Student

The role of TFF3 in chemo-resistance breast cancer.

WANG Yanxin

PhD Student

Investigation of oncogenic transformation directly promoted by monosaccharides.

ZHANG Mengyi

PhD Student

The functional role of TFF3 in lung adenocarcinoma and its paracrine effect on squamous cell lung carcinoma.

Chinese Government Friendship Award 2014
Huang He Friendship Award, Hubei Provincial Government 2013
Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand 2006
Singapore National Academy of Science Young Scientist Award 2002
The University Medal for Outstanding Scholarship, University of Queensland 1992