About Us

Brett Hollier

Brett Hollier


  • Head, Invasion & Metastasis, APCRC-Q

Contact Details

+61 7 3443 7242


PhD, Cell Biology, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, 2008

BAppSc (Hons), Molecular Biology, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, 2003


Dr Brett Hollier’s research investigates the mechanisms that mediate cancer metastasis, in particular, the Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF) family and the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program. Dr Hollier’s research focus is to better define the EMT program operating in cancer and its relevance to metastasis in order to identify novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets of EMT to better prognosticate and treat aggressive forms of cancer.

Dr Hollier was awarded a PhD in April 2008, in which he described for the first time the critical signalling events and transcriptional networks responsible for cancer cell migration induced by novel growth factor complexes. He conducted postdoctoral training at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX, USA) investigating the role of embryonic transcription factors in EMT, cancer stem cells and metastasis. During this 2 year training he was awarded a Susan G Komen for the Cure® Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, which resulted in 6 peer reviewed articles in high impact international journals, 1 book chapter and 1 provisional patent application.

He returned to Australia in late 2010 where he initiated an independent research laboratory at QUT. In 2012, he joined the APCRC-Q where he leads the Invasion and Metastasis laboratory. To date he has published 20 peer reviewed articles, including 15 original journal articles, 2 invited reviews, 1 invited commentary and 2 book chapters. He is an author on a further 8 manuscripts currently in final preparation or under review (4 as senior author). He is also an inventor on 3 patent applications and has held supervisory responsibilities for 2 postdoctoral researchers, 10 PhD students (4 Primary and 6 Associate) and 2 International exchange students.

Dr Hollier was awarded a 3 year Queensland Smart Futures Fund Fellowship (2012-2015) to design smarter targeted therapies for cancer progression and is excited about the future opportunities to extend his research in these fields. In recognition of his research and his rapidly emerging national and international profile in the fields of Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) biology and mechanisms of  cancer metastasis, particularly the EMT program, he has been invited and presented his findings at both national and international conferences as well as external research institutes.

Awards and grants

2015-2017 Project Grant, Cancer Australia/Cure Cancer Australia Foundation/Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia
2015 Endeavour Research Fellowship, Australian Government
2012-2015    Smart Futures Fund Fellowship, Queensland Government, Australia
2011-2012    Early Career Researcher Scheme Grant, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
2009-2010 Susan G Komen for the Cure Postdoctoral Fellowship, USA.
2008- EMBARK Postdoctoral Fellowship, Irish Research Council, Ireland (Not taken up)

Top publications

  • Thibaudeau, L, Taubenberger, AV, Holzapfel, BM, Quent, VM, Fuehrmann, T, Hesami, P, Brown, TD, Dalton, PD, Power, CA, Hollier, BG, Hutmacher, DW. (2014). A tissue-engineered humanized xenograft model of human breast cancer metastasis to bone. Disease Models & Mechanisms. In Press 2014.
  • Hollier BG, Tinnirello A, Werden S, Evans K, Taube J, Sarkar T, Sphyris N, Shariati M, Kumar S, Battula V,  Herschkowitz J, Guerra R, Chang J, Miura N, Rosen JM, Mani SA. FOXC2 expression links epithelial-mesenchymal transition and stem cell properties in breast cancer. Cancer Res. 2013 Mar 15;73(6):1981-92. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-2962. Epub 2013 Feb 1. PMID: 23378344.
  • Lubik AA, Gunter JH, Hollier BG, Ettinger S, Fazli L, Stylianou N, Hendy SC, Adomat HH, Gleave ME, Pollak M, Herington A, Nelson CC. IGF2 increases de novo steroidogenesis in prostate cancer cells. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2013 Mar 22;20(2):173-86. doi: 10.1530/ERC-12-0250. Print 2013 Apr. PMID: 23319492.
  • Taube JH, Herschkowitz JI, Komurov K, Zhou AY, Gupta S, Yang J, Hartwell K, Onder TT, Gupta PB, Evans KW, Hollier BG, Ram PT, Lander ES, Rosen JM, Weinberg RA, Mani SA. Core epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition interactome gene-expression signature is associated with claudin-low and metaplastic breast cancer subtypes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Aug 31;107(35):15449-54. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1004900107. Epub 2010 Aug 16. Erratum in: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Nov 2;107(44):19132. PMID: 20713713.
  • Hollier BG, Evans K, Mani SA. The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and cancer stem cells: a coalition against cancer therapies. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2009 Mar;14(1):29-43. doi: 10.1007/s10911-009-9110-3. Epub 2009 Feb 26. PMID: 19242781.
More publications are available on PubMed


Ms Nataly Stylianou, PhD Candidate, APCRC-Q

Ms Esha Shah, PhD Candidate, APCRC-Q

Ms Ellca Ratther, PhD Candidate, APCRC-Q

Ms Akanksha Upadhaya, PhD Candidate, APCRC-Q

Ms Phoebe Sarkar, PhD Candidate, APCRC-Q

Mr Ali Shokoohmand, PhD Candidate, IHBI, QUT

Ms Lipsa Monhanty, PhD Candidate, IHBI, QUT

Mr Lucas Wagner, PhD Candidate, IHBI, QUT

Mr Andrew Lai, PhD Candidate, IHBI, QUT

Mr Dominic Gauzon. PhD Candidate, IHBI, QUT

Professional memberships and associations

2011–present Australia-Canada Prostate Cancer Research Alliance
2010–present Metastasis Research Society
2009–present Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition International Association (TEMITA)
2005–present The IGF (insulin-like growth factors) Society
2002–present Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR)