Dr Joanna   Achinger-Kawecka
Conjoint Lecturer

Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka

PhD in Pharmacogenomics 2014 (University of Tuebingen, Germany)

Masters of Biotechnology 2011 (Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland)

Bachelor of Science 2009 (Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland)

St Vincent's Clinical School

Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka’s research focuses on investigating the role of the 3D epigenome in cancer, particularly in driving tumour progression and treatment resistance in breast and prostate cancer. Joanna completed her PhD at the University of Tuebingen, Germany, investigating microRNA signatures as predictive biomarkers for breast cancer treatment outcome. Following her PhD, Joanna joined the laboratory of Prof Susan Clark at the Garvan Institute, where she established cutting-edge experimental and computational approaches to study the 3D genome organization during development and progression of cancer.

Garvan Institute of Medical Research


  • Journal articles | 2021
    Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka
    Giles KA; Gould CM; Achinger-Kawecka J; Page SG; Kafer GR; Rogers S; Luu PL; Cesare AJ; Clark SJ; Taberlay PC, 2021, 'BRG1 knockdown inhibits proliferation through multiple cellular pathways in prostate cancer', Clinical Epigenetics, vol. 13, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13148-021-01023-7
    Journal articles | 2020
    Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka
    Achinger-Kawecka J; Valdes-Mora F; Luu PL; Giles KA; Caldon CE; Qu W; Nair S; Soto S; Locke WJ; Yeo-Teh NS; Gould CM; Du Q; Smith GC; Ramos IR; Fernandez KF; Hoon DS; Gee JMW; Stirzaker C; Clark SJ, 2020, 'Epigenetic reprogramming at estrogen-receptor binding sites alters 3D chromatin landscape in endocrine-resistant breast cancer', Nature Communications, vol. 11, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-14098-x
    Journal articles | 2020
    Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka
    Khoury A; Achinger-Kawecka J; Bert SA; Smith GC; French HJ; Luu PL; Peters TJ; Du Q; Parry AJ; Valdes-Mora F; Taberlay PC; Stirzaker C; Statham AL; Clark SJ, 2020, 'Constitutively bound CTCF sites maintain 3D chromatin architecture and long-range epigenetically regulated domains', Nature Communications, vol. 11, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13753-7
    Journal articles | 2019
    Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka
    Giles KA; Gould CM; Du Q; Skvortsova K; Song JZ; Maddugoda MP; Achinger-Kawecka J; Stirzaker C; Clark SJ; Taberlay PC, 2019, 'Integrated epigenomic analysis stratifies chromatin remodellers into distinct functional groups', Epigenetics and Chromatin, vol. 12, pp. 12, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13072-019-0258-9
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka
    Fuksiewicz M; Kotowicz B; Rutkowski A; Achinger-Kawecka J; Wagrodzki M; Kowalska MM, 2018, 'The assessment of clinical usage and prognostic value of YKL-40 serum levels in patients with rectal cancer without distant metastasis', Technology in Cancer Research and Treatment, vol. 17, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1533033818765209
    Journal articles | 2017
    Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka
    Achinger-Kawecka J; Clark SJ, 2017, 'Disruption of the 3D cancer genome blueprint', Epigenomics, vol. 9, pp. 47 - 55, http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/epi-2016-0111
    Journal articles | 2016
    Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka
    Achinger-Kawecka J; Taberlay PC; Clark SJ, 2016, 'Alterations in three-dimensional organization of the cancer genome and epigenome', Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, vol. 81, pp. 41 - 51, http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/sqb.2016.81.031013
    Journal articles | 2016
    Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka
    Taberlay PC; Achinger-Kawecka J; Lun ATL; Buske FA; Sabir KS; Gould CM; Zotenko E; Bert SA; Giles KA; Bauer D; Smyth GK; Stirzaker C; O Donoghue SI; Clark SJ, 2016, 'Three-dimensional disorganisation of the cancer genome occurs coincident with long range genetic and epigenetic alterations', Genome Research, vol. 26, pp. 719 - 731, http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gr.201517.115
    Journal articles | 2013
    Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka
    Hoppe R; Achinger-Kawecka J; Winter S; Fritz P; Lo WY; Schroth W; Brauch H, 2013, 'Increased expression of miR-126 and miR-10a predict prolonged relapse-free time of primary oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer following tamoxifen treatment', European Journal of Cancer, vol. 49, pp. 3598 - 3608, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2013.07.145
    Journal articles |
    Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka
    Achinger-Kawecka J; Stirzaker C; Chia K-M; Portman N; Campbell E; Du Q; Laven-Law G; Nair SS; Yong A; Wilkinson A; Clifton S; Milioli HH; Schmitt A; Wong ES; Hickey TE; Lim E; Clark SJ, 'Epigenetic therapy suppresses endocrine-resistant breast tumour growth by re-wiring ER-mediated 3D chromatin interactions', , http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.06.21.449340
    Journal articles |
    Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka
    Giles KA; Gould CM; Achinger-Kawecka J; Page SG; Kafer G; Luu P-L; Cesare AJ; Clark SJ; Taberlay PC, 'BRG1 promotes transcriptional patterns that are permissive to proliferation in cancer cells', , http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.03.187385
  • Conference Abstracts | 2019
    Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka
    Stirzaker C; Chia KM; Portman N; Milioli HH; Clifton S; Achinger-Kawecka J; Nair S; Lim E; Clark S, 2019, 'DNA demethylation agents as a therapeutic approach in endocrine-resistant breast cancer', in Oncolabs, presented at 7th PacRim Breast & Prostate Cancer Meeting, http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/oncolabs.1.P049
    Conference Papers | 2013
    Dr Joanna Achinger-Kawecka
    Hoppe R; Achinger-Kawecka J; Winter S; Fritz P; Lo W-Y; Schroth W; Brauch H, 2013, 'Abstract 1938: Increased miR-126 and miR-375 expression in primary ER-positive breast cancer predict longer relapse-free time following treatment with tamoxifen.', in Molecular and Cellular Biology, American Association for Cancer Research, presented at Proceedings: AACR 104th Annual Meeting 2013; Apr 6-10, 2013; Washington, DC, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1538-7445.am2013-1938


2019 - Best Selected Speaker Prize, 2019 Post-Doc Symposium, Garvan Institute

2018 - CASS Foundation Travel Grant

2017 - The Ian Potter Foundation Travel Grant

2016 - Best Postdoc Prize, 24th St Vincent’s Campus Research Symposium

2016 - Heliflite Young Explorer Award

2015 - Best Oral Presentation Prize, 23rd St Vincent’s Campus Research Symposium

2011 – EU FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network “Fighting Drug Failure” Fellowship




Title of Project and Chief Investigators Role in Project Funding Organisation Start Date Duration Total Grant Amount

Targeting the Three-Dimensional Epigenome in Endocrine Resistant Breast Cancer


CIA Cancer Council NSW Project Grant 2020 3 years $434,000

Decoding 3D genome architecture in individual single-cells to establish molecular mechanisms of gene regulation in cancer (Achinger-Kawecka J, Clark S, Schmitt A, Rokny H)


PI UNSW Cellular Genomics Futures Institute Seed Grant 2020 1 year $99,000

Single-Cell Hi-C: A Novel Tool to Identify Key Epigenetic Drivers of Endocrine Resistant Breast Cancer


PI Estee Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Campaign 2019 1 year


Genetic perturbations to the 3D genome architecture: Implications for endocrine resistance in breast cancer (Clark S, Achinger-Kawecka J)

Co-I National Breast Cancer Foundation 2017 1 year