Research interests

Associate Professor Hill's interdisciplinary research in translational oncology focuses on two areas; (1) biomarker discovery and development into clinical tests, and (2) molecular mechanism of obesity on cancer development and progression, with current focus on cholesterol-rich membrane microdomains.

Research projects

  • Mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of exercise in cancer prevention and treatment.
  • Combined computational and experimental studies on the role of cholesterol in cancer progression.
  • Clinical cancer diagnostic test development from biomarker discovery and validation using mass spectrometry techniques, clinical assay development and testing, to clinical studies using these biomarkers.
  • Lipid raft-mediated regulation and function of tumour cell-derived extracellular vesicles (exosomes) in cancer 

Researcher biography

With her experience in cell biology, biochemistry, proteomics and mass spectrometry, Associate Professor Michelle Hill is leading her team in two areas of translational cancer research. The clinical diagnostics team aims to develop new clinical tests for the management of cancer, including early detection, prognosis and personalized therapy selection. The cancer mechanisms team is dissecting the link between metabolism (obesity) and cancer, with current focus on the role of cholesterol-rich membrane microdomains in cancer spreading (metastasis).

A/Prof Hill obtained her PhD investigating insulin signalling using phosphoproteomics with Prof David James at the University of Queensland. She undertook two postdoctoral positions in Switzerland (Dr Brian Hemmings) and Ireland (Prof Seamus Martin) before returning Brisbane where she worked with Prof Rob Parton and Prof John Hancock on signalling from lipid rafts and caveolae. In 2009, Michelle established the Cancer Proteomics Group at UQ Diamantina Institute, Princess Alexandra Hospital, supported by an National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Fellowship. Her novel approach to understanding cellular lipid raft function was recognised by award of a prestigious Australian Research Council Future Fellowship in 2012.

A/Prof Hill is an elected member of the international Human Proteome Organisation (HUPO) Council (2016-2018) and recently completed her service on the Australasian Proteomics Society Executive Committee.

Areas of research