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)

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

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


Jessica Chitty
Post Doctoral Research Fellow
Conjoint Associate Lecturer (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 1 SGK logo 2017
Sydney Catalyst