BSc Australian National University (1975)
MAppSci NSW Institute of Technology (1984)
PhD University of New South Wales (1988)
Professor Murray Norris obtained his PhD at UNSW in 1988 and subsequently undertook Postdoctoral positions at the Prince of Wales Children’s Hospital (Randwick) and then at the University of Illinois, Chicago, USA. In 2000, he was appointed as the Deputy Director of the Children’s Cancer Institute, where he is the Co-Head of the Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics Theme, and also heads the Molecular Oncology Group. From 2010-19, Professor Norris was Director of the ACRF Drug Discovery Centre, where he pioneered the development of cell-based high-throughput screening methodology of small-molecule libraries for child cancer and developed highly potent inhibitors of drug resistance proteins (MRPs) as well as licensing of MRP4 inhibitors to the global biotech company, Abcam Plc. Since 2015, he has been the Director of the UNSW Centre for Childhood Cancer Research.
His research interests focus on utilising new molecular genetic technologies to improve the diagnosis, risk classification and treatment of childhood cancer, and he has been responsible for developing and implementing unique technology enabling the early prediction of relapse in children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. This technology has become a powerful tool for the early detection of relapse in children with leukaemia and has affected a major change in the clinical management of patients with this disease. Professor Norris has earned an international reputation as an expert in neuroblastoma research, particularly with regards to the molecular analysis of genes and their relationship with clinical variables. He has spent over 30 years investigating childhood cancers at the molecular level, and has undertaken extensive research into the characterisation of genes involved in mediating resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs in paediatric leukaemia and neuroblastoma. His research is increasingly focused on understanding the regulation of the MYCN oncogene and its downstream targets, with the goal of developing molecular targeted therapies, and his findings in this area are being translated into a number of early phase clinical trials.
2011 Invited speaker, Minimal Residual Disease and Targeted Therapy in Children with ALL and neuroblastoma The Institute of Cancer Research / The Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, UK
2011 Invited Speaker, 70th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Cancer Conference, Nagoya, Japan “Targeting multidrug transporters in neuroblastoma”
2012 Invited Speaker, 3rd FEBS Special Meeting on ABC Proteins, Innsbruck, Austria 2012, “Targeting ABC transporters in childhood cancer”
2012 Cancer Institute NSW Premier’s Award for Translational Cancer Research
2012 NHMRC Program Grant was recognised in the “10 of the Best” Research Projects 2012
2014 Invited Speaker, 2014 International Academy of Pathology Meeting, Bangkok, Thailand
2014-2016 Elected Incoming President, Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Association
2015 Appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia, for significant service to medical research as a molecular biologist and through pioneering development of treatments for cancer in children
2015 Shortlisted as a Finalist for The Australian Innovation Challenge Award, pioneering work in improving the survival rates of children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
2016-2018 President, Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Association
2019 Inaugural Sally Crossing Award for an Outstanding Outcome in Cancer Research, for his development of a new treatment approach for acute lymphoblastic leukeamia – doubling survival rates to over 70% today ($50,000)
2019-2020 Member, National Steering Committee, National Drug Discovery Centre, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne, VIC
2021-2024 NHMRC Childhood Cancer Research (MRFF)
'Improving outcomes for children with high risk cancer'
2020-2023 Cancer Australia PdCCRS APP1188234/The Kids Cancer Project
'Enhanced polyamine depletion as a novel therapy for aggressive childhood cancers'
2020-2023 Australian Cancer Research Foundation
'The ACRF Child Cancer Liquid Biopsy Program'
2019-2021 Cancer Australia
'Targeting the NAD pathway as a new therapeutic strategy for high-risk leukaemia in children')
2019 Tour de Cure Foundation
A personalised medicine approach to the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia in children'
2018-2020 NHMRC Development Grant
'Multidrug Resistance Protein 1 inhibitors to sensitise cancers to chemotherapy'
2018-2022 NHMRC Program Grant
'More effective therapeutic targeting of high-risk childhood cancer: Neuroblastoma as a model'