About Us

Derek Richard

Derek Richard


  • Scientific Director, Cancer and Ageing Research Program, Faculty of Health, QUT

Contact Details

+61 7 3443 7236


  • PhD, University of Dundee, UK
  • BSc (Hons) University of Dundee, UK


A/Prof Richard is an expert on DNA stability and repair pathways. Of note, he discovered the human SSB family of proteins and characterised their critical role in maintaining genetic stability. This work led to two patent applications and the commercialization of technology he developed. In the past 5 years, he has published 28 manuscripts and been invited to present his work at 18 international and 8 national conferences/seminars/symposia. Dr Richard has published in Nature, Genes and Development, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Pathology, Nucleic Acids Research and Journal of Biological Chemistry. He has received over $2.2M in research funding in the past 5 years.

A/Prof Richard obtained his PhD in microbial biochemistry from the University of Dundee (Scotland) in 1999. His research interest then moved from the bacterial domain of life to the archaea where he worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Prof Malcolm White studying archaeal DNA repair systems. A/Prof Richard moved to Queensland in 2004 to join the team of Prof Kum Kum Khanna at QIMR before moving his research team to the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at QUT in Feb 2011. Since moving to Queensland he has licensed technologies to and works as a consultant for Cancer Therapeutics. His latest research has led to the initiation of a clinical trial sponsored by Cancer Research UK.

Awards and grants


2012 Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre - Queensland
2012-2014 Australian Research Council The Role of Human Single Stranded DNA Binding Protein 1 in the Repair of Stalled DNA Replication Forks Richard D
2011-2014 ARC The role of human single-stranded binding protein (hSSB1) in DNA damage repair and tumorogenesis Richard D
2011 IHBI Midcareer Researcher Development Initiative The role of MyRip in genomic stability and disease Richard D, Clements J, Fennell D
2010-2012 Cancer Council Queensland Richard D
2010-2011 Cancer Council Queensland The role of the hSSB1 protein in protecting our genetic code and preventing cancer Richard D, West S, Cubeddu L, Khanna KK, Price K
2008-2010 National Health and Medical Research Council Genome maintenance and hSSB1, a novel player in the DNA damage response pathway Khanna KK, Richard D
2008 Queensland Branch of the Masonic Lodge Deltavision Microscope Richard D
2003-2006 Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council UK White M, Richard D

Research interests

cellular processes, genomic stress, bench to bedside, clinical trials, prostate cancer, biomarkers, therapeutics

Current research projects


  • Identify Biomarkers to Discriminate Indolent from Aggressive Prostate Cancer and Mechanisms of Therapeutic Resistance



  • Development of therapeutics for castrate resistant prostate cancer - targeting androgen synthesis in the prostate and the role of insulin

Top publications

  • Richard DJ, Bolderson E, Cubeddu L, Wadsworth RI, Savage K, Sharma GG, Nicolette ML, Tsvetanov S, McIlwraith MJ, Pandita RK, Takeda S, Hay RT, Gautier J, West SC, Paull TT, Pandita TK, White MF, and Khanna KK.  Single-stranded DNA-binding protein hSSB1 is critical for genomic stability. Nature, May 2008; 453(7195): 677-81. (Impact factor 34.5)
  • Richard DJ, Schumacher V, Royer-Pokora B, and Roberts SGE.  Par4 is a coactivator for a splice isoform-specific transcriptional activation domain in WT1. Genes & Dev., Feb 2001; 15: 328.
  • Wykes  M, Richard D J, Jason KG, Manderson A, Liu XQ, Brown D L. Rodent blood-stage Plasmodium survive in dendritic cells that infect naive mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2011; 108(27):11205-11210
  • Richard DJ, Savage K, Bolderson E, Cubeddu L, So S, Ghita M, Chen DJ, White MF, Richard K, Prise KM, Schettino G, and Khanna KK.  hSSB1 rapidly binds at the sites of DNA double-strand breaks and is required for the efficient recruitment of the MRN complex. Nucleic Acids Res., Mar 2011; 39: 1692 - 1702.
  • Richard DJ, Cubeddu L, Urquhart AJ, Bain A, Bolderson E, Menon D, White MF, and Khanna KK.  hSSB1 interacts directly with the MRN complex stimulating its recruitment to DNA double-strand breaks and its endo-nuclease activity. Nucleic Acids Res., May 2011; 39: 3643 - 3651.


  • Aaron Urquhart
  • Brad Hoad
  • Vincent Leong
  • Jacob Tickner
  • Nicholas Ashton
  • Joshua Burgess


  • Prof Dean Fennell
  • Prof Ken O'Byrne
  • Prof Malcolm White
  • Prof Kevin Price
  • Dr Catherine Botting
  • Dr Liza Cubeddu
  • Dr Kienan Savage
  • Dr Giuseppe Schettino