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 research focuses on how the ECM and ECM remodelling influences cancer progression, therapy response, and metastatic dissemination in solid tumours. In particular we work on the role of post-translational modification of the ECM, including Lysyl Oxidase (LOX) and Lysyl Oxidase Like (LOXL) family members. Our work looks at the importance of these changes in regulating both the biochemical and biomechanical properties of the ECM during fibrosis, cancer progression and metastasis. These ECM changes lead to significant alterations in cellular response to drugs, and we work to understand how we can use dual therapy approaches to improve drug efficacy. Our research includes multidisciplinary, international collaborative projects working with biologists, physicists, engineers and clinicians to study disease progression at a systems biology level.

Click here to read more about Thomas’ career

Lab Members


Thomas R. Cox
Group Leader
Conjoint Senior Lecturer (UNSW Sydney)


Elysse Filipe
Post Doctoral Research Fellow


Jessica Chitty
Post Doctoral Research Fellow


Joanna Skhinas
Research Assistant


Michelle Yam
Research Assistant


Gretel Major
Research Assistant


Michael Papanicoloau
Ph.D Student


Yordanos Setargew
Honours Student
(UNSW Sydney)


Shivanjali Ratnaseelan
Honours Student
(UNSW Sydney)

Matrix & Metastasis Lab Alumni

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
Colorectal Cancer
Cancer Metastasis


See here for a full publication list


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

NHMRC Logo 1 SGK logo 2017
Sydney Catalyst CINSW