Australian Melanoma Genome Project

Melanoma Genome Project

Melanomas develop following the accumulation of genetic mutations that enable the cells to grow uncontrollably. The Australian Melanoma Genome Project is using cutting-edge whole genome sequencing technologies to identify the common genetic mutations that cause melanoma so that doctors can better personalise its treatment.

The project has made major progress by comparing the genetic code of normal cells and melanoma tumours and identifying all the mutations present in nearly 500 Australian melanoma patients. It is the largest melanoma research effort ever undertaken in this country, with a national coalition of over 50 researchers from Melanoma Institute Australia, The University of Sydney, Royal Prince Alfred HospitalWestmead Institute for Medical Research and the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute working together.


  1. Fully characterise all the genomic alterations in over 500 melanomas patients (currently 468 melanomas sequenced). 
  2. Identify mutagenic processes and carcinogens responsible for the development of a range of melanomas.
  3. Discover new drug targets and better select patients for current therapeutics.

Highlights so far

Current projects


The Australian Melanoma Genome Project was funded directly by Melanoma Institute Australia, the NSW Ministry of Health, Cancer Council NSW and the Australian Government through Bioplatforms Australia.

The project has been enabled by Program Grants and Fellowships of the National Health and Medical Research Council, Translational Program Grants of Cancer Institute NSW, and infrastructure of the University of Sydney, Bioplatforms Australia, Westmead Institute for Medical Research, NSW Health Pathology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, The Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute and Melanoma Institute Australia.

Project leads

From Melanoma Institute Australia:

From QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute: