About The Lab

Targetting the Extracellular Matrix in Cancer Metastasis

The Matrix and Metastasis Lab is based at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research Kinghorn Cancer Centre in Sydney, Australia.

Our work is focused on tackling the knowledge gap in, and re-defining our understanding of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in diseases such as cancer. The lab strives to identify new matrix targets and matrix targeting approaches, as well as develop ways to maximise the effectiveness of pre-clinical cancer models for personalising new and/or current anti-cancer agents.

Our labs research vision integrates matrix biology with precision oncology to achieve the following goals

(1) Expand our repertoire of anti-cancer therapeutic targets to include matrix molecules and their effectors, critical component of all solid tumours, and drive forward our already established pipeline of anti-ECM drugs.

(2) Continue to develop and utilise powerful, state-of-the-art, physiologically relevant in vitro and in vivo 3D models that include native ECM to assay and streamline the evaluation of novel and existing therapies.

(3) Reshape the way we view the matrix, as an active contributor to cancer, not just a passive bystander, and leverage this to better stratify cancer patients for personalised stromal targeting in solid tumours.

Click here to read more about Thomas’ career

Lab Members


Thomas R. Cox
Group Leader
Associate Profesor (Conjoint) – UNSW Sydney


Amelia Parker
Post Doctoral Research Fellow
Associate Lecturer (Conjoint) – UNSW Sydney

Elysse Filipe
Post Doctoral Research Fellow
Associate Lecturer (Conjoint) – UNSW Sydney


Jessica Chitty
Post Doctoral Research Fellow
Associate Lecturer (Conjoint) – UNSW Sydney


Michelle Yam
Research Assistant

Yordanos Setargew (Matrix and Metastasis Lab)

Yordanos Setargew
Research Assistant

Kaitlin Wyllie

Kaitlin Wyllie
Research Assistant

Michael Papanicolaou

Michael Papanicoloau
Ph.D Student


Rhiannon Grant
Honours Student

Matrix & Metastasis Lab Alumni

Gretel Major [2019-2020] – Research Assistant
Joanna Skhinas
[2017-2020] – Research Assistant
Yordanos Setargew [2019] – Honours Student (UNSW) – Graduated 1st Class Honours
Shivanjali Ratnaseelan [2019] – Honours Student (UNSW) – Graduated 1st Class Honours
Elvan Kaya [2018] Visiting M.Sc. Student (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)
Tessa Boyles [2018-19] – Visiting Scientist (Dept. of Oncology, Herlev Hospital, Denmark)

Research Interests

Extracellular Matrix
Cellular Microenvironment
Lysyl Oxidases
Targeted therapies
Kinase signalling
Systems Biology
Network Medicine
Breast Cancer
Lung Cancer
Colorectal Cancer
Cancer Metastasis


See here for a full publication list


Work in the Matrix and Metastasis Lab is supported by the following funders:

NHMRC Logo 1SGK logo 2017
Sydney Catalyst