Mr John   Kokkinos
Casual Academic

Mr John Kokkinos

Medicine & Health
Sch of Pathology

I am a Scientia PhD Scholar at UNSW exploring nanomedicine as a potential therapeutic for pancreatic cancer. I am supervised by Associate Professor Phoebe Phillips, Professor David Goldstein, Dr George Sharbeen, Associate Professor Joshua McCarroll, and Professor Cyrille Boyer. Supported by the highly prestigious UNSW Scientia PhD Scholarship, my project is titled: Reprogramming the Stroma using Gene Silencing Nano-Drugs to Inhibit Pancreatic Tumours. I have won several awards during my PhD including Winner of the 2019 UNSW 3-Minute Thesis Competition, and have presented my work at several national and international conferences. I have also been awarded a grant from Tour de Cure to develop a novel pre-clinical model of pancreatic cancer.

Publications

  • Journal articles | 2021
    Kokkinos J; Jensen A; Sharbeen G; McCarroll JA; Goldstein D; Haghighi KS; Phillips PA, 2021, 'Does the microenvironment hold the hidden key for functional precision medicine in pancreatic cancer?', Cancers, vol. 13, pp. 2427 - 2427, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13102427
    Journal articles | 2021
    Sharbeen G; McCarroll JA; Akerman A; Kopecky C; Youkhana J; Kokkinos J; Holst J; Boyer C; Erkan M; Goldstein D; Timpson P; Cox TR; Pereira BA; Chitty JL; Fey SK; Najumudeen AK; Campbell AD; Sansom OJ; Ignacio RMC; Naim S; Liu J; Russia N; Lee J; Chou A; Johns A; Gill AJ; Gonzales-Aloy E; Gebski V; Guan YF; Pajic M; Turner N; Apte MV; Davis TP; Morton JP; Haghighi KS; Kasparian J; McLean BJ; Setargew YF; Phillips PA, 2021, 'Cancer-associated fibroblasts in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma determine response to slc7a11 inhibition', Cancer Research, vol. 81, pp. 3461 - 3479, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-2496
    Journal articles | 2021
    Kokkinos J; Ignacio RM; Haghighi K; Kopecky C; Sharbeen G; Gonzales-Aloy E; Youkhana J; Butler L; Goldstein D; McCarroll J; Phillips P, 2021, 'Patient-derived pancreatic tumours in a dish: implications for real-time precision medicine', HPB, vol. 23, pp. S235 - S235, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hpb.2020.11.590
    Journal articles | 2021
    Kokkinos J; Sharbeen G; Haghighi KS; Ignacio RMC; Kopecky C; Gonzales-Aloy E; Youkhana J; Timpson P; Pereira BA; Ritchie S; Pandzic E; Boyer C; Davis TP; Butler LM; Goldstein D; McCarroll JA; Phillips PA, 2021, 'Ex vivo culture of intact human patient derived pancreatic tumour tissue', Scientific Reports, vol. 11, pp. 1944, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-81299-0
    Journal articles | 2020
    Kokkinos J; Ignacio RMC; Sharbeen G; Boyer C; Gonzales-Aloy E; Goldstein D; McCarroll JA; Phillips PA, 2020, 'Targeting the undruggable in pancreatic cancer using nano-based gene silencing drugs', Biomaterials, vol. 240, pp. 119742, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2019.119742
    Journal articles | 2019
    Ong KL; Campbell S; Wu BJ; McClelland RL; Kokkinos J; Szklo M; Polak JF; Allison MA; Rye KA, 2019, 'Relationship of fibroblast growth factor 21 with subclinical atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events: Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis', Atherosclerosis, vol. 287, pp. 46 - 53, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2019.06.898
    Journal articles | 2019
    Ong KL; McClelland RL; Allison MA; Kokkinos J; Wu BJ; Barter PJ; Rye KA, 2019, 'Association of elevated circulating fibroblast growth factor 21 levels with prevalent and incident metabolic syndrome: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis', Atherosclerosis, vol. 281, pp. 200 - 206, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2018.10.011
    Journal articles | 2017
    Kokkinos J; Tang S; Rye KA; Ong KL, 2017, 'The role of fibroblast growth factor 21 in atherosclerosis', Atherosclerosis, vol. 257, pp. 259 - 265, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2016.11.033
    Journal articles |
    Kokkinos J; Sharbeen G; Haghighi KS; Ignacio RMC; Kopecky C; Gonzales-Aloy E; Youkhana J; Pandzic E; Boyer C; Davis TP; Butler LM; Goldstein D; McCarroll JA; Phillips PA, 'Bringing the pancreas patient back to the bench: Ex vivo culture of intact human patient derived pancreatic tumour tissue', , http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.30.223925
  • Preprints |
    Sharbeen G; McCarroll JA; Akerman A; Kopecky C; Youkhana J; Holst J; Boyer C; Erkan M; Goldstein D; Timpson P; Cox TR; Pereira BA; Chitty JL; Fey S; Najumudeen AK; Campbell AD; Sansom OJ; Ignacio RMC; Naim S; Liu J; Russia N; Lee J; Chou A; Johns A; Gill A; Gonzales-Aloy E; Kokkinos J; Gebski V; Turner N; Apte M; Davis TP; Morton JP; Haghighi K; Phillips PA, Cancer-associated fibroblasts in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma determine response to SLC7A11 inhibition, http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.12.199638
    Journal articles | 2021
    Kokkinos J; Jensen A; Sharbeen G; McCarroll JA; Goldstein D; Haghighi KS; Phillips PA, 2021, 'Does the microenvironment hold the hidden key for functional precision medicine in pancreatic cancer?', Cancers, vol. 13, pp. 2427 - 2427, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13102427
    Journal articles | 2021
    Kokkinos J; Sharbeen G; Haghighi KS; Ignacio RMC; Kopecky C; Gonzales-Aloy E; Youkhana J; Timpson P; Pereira BA; Ritchie S; Pandzic E; Boyer C; Davis TP; Butler LM; Goldstein D; McCarroll JA; Phillips PA, 2021, 'Ex vivo culture of intact human patient derived pancreatic tumour tissue', Scientific Reports, vol. 11, pp. 1944, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-81299-0
    Journal articles | 2021
    Sharbeen G; McCarroll JA; Akerman A; Kopecky C; Youkhana J; Kokkinos J; Holst J; Boyer C; Erkan M; Goldstein D; Timpson P; Cox TR; Pereira BA; Chitty JL; Fey SK; Najumudeen AK; Campbell AD; Sansom OJ; Ignacio RMC; Naim S; Liu J; Russia N; Lee J; Chou A; Johns A; Gill AJ; Gonzales-Aloy E; Gebski V; Guan YF; Pajic M; Turner N; Apte MV; Davis TP; Morton JP; Haghighi KS; Kasparian J; McLean BJ; Setargew YF; Phillips PA, 2021, 'Cancer-associated fibroblasts in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma determine response to slc7a11 inhibition', Cancer Research, vol. 81, pp. 3461 - 3479, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-2496
    Journal articles | 2021
    Kokkinos J; Ignacio RM; Haghighi K; Kopecky C; Sharbeen G; Gonzales-Aloy E; Youkhana J; Butler L; Goldstein D; McCarroll J; Phillips P, 2021, 'Patient-derived pancreatic tumours in a dish: implications for real-time precision medicine', HPB, vol. 23, pp. S235 - S235, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hpb.2020.11.590
    Journal articles | 2020
    Kokkinos J; Ignacio RMC; Sharbeen G; Boyer C; Gonzales-Aloy E; Goldstein D; McCarroll JA; Phillips PA, 2020, 'Targeting the undruggable in pancreatic cancer using nano-based gene silencing drugs', Biomaterials, vol. 240, pp. 119742, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2019.119742
    Journal articles | 2019
    Ong KL; McClelland RL; Allison MA; Kokkinos J; Wu BJ; Barter PJ; Rye KA, 2019, 'Association of elevated circulating fibroblast growth factor 21 levels with prevalent and incident metabolic syndrome: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis', Atherosclerosis, vol. 281, pp. 200 - 206, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2018.10.011
    Journal articles | 2019
    Ong KL; Campbell S; Wu BJ; McClelland RL; Kokkinos J; Szklo M; Polak JF; Allison MA; Rye KA, 2019, 'Relationship of fibroblast growth factor 21 with subclinical atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events: Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis', Atherosclerosis, vol. 287, pp. 46 - 53, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2019.06.898
    Journal articles | 2017
    Kokkinos J; Tang S; Rye KA; Ong KL, 2017, 'The role of fibroblast growth factor 21 in atherosclerosis', Atherosclerosis, vol. 257, pp. 259 - 265, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2016.11.033
    Journal articles |
    Kokkinos J; Sharbeen G; Haghighi KS; Ignacio RMC; Kopecky C; Gonzales-Aloy E; Youkhana J; Pandzic E; Boyer C; Davis TP; Butler LM; Goldstein D; McCarroll JA; Phillips PA, 'Bringing the pancreas patient back to the bench: Ex vivo culture of intact human patient derived pancreatic tumour tissue', , http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.30.223925

Awards

  • Outstanding Contribution to Research Award, Faculty of Medicine & Health UNSW
  • Young Investigator Award, American Pancreatic Association
  • Outstanding Achievement in Research Award, Australian Society for Medical Research
  • Winner at UNSW 3-Minute Thesis Final 2019
  • Health & Medical Research Early Career Award – Open Junior Division, Tow Coast Association
  • Bioscience Reports Best Poster Award, Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation
  • Tour de Cure PhD Support Scholarship
  • UNSW Scientia PhD Scholarship
  • Shortlisted by UNSW for CSL Florey Next Generation Award

Grants

Media

Pancreatic cancer is the deadliest of all major cancers. A major driver of the aggressive nature of this hideous disease is the dense fibrotic scar tissue surrounding pancreatic tumours which acts like a fortress to protect and support the tumour. In my PhD, our team has developed an innovative method to grow whole pieces of human pancreatic tumours in the lab, thus mimicking the tumour and its surrounding 'fortress'. Down the track, this breakthrough will allow us to test chemotherapy drugs on each patient's individual tumour to inform personalised treatment for pancreatic cancer. Our multidisciplinary team is also developing a state-of-the-art nanomedicine to break through the tumour 'fortress' and deliver death signals to pancreatic cancer cells.