Professor Peter Gibbs

Professor Peter Gibbs



Peter Gibbs



MBBS Melbourne MD Melbourne FRACP

Laboratory Head

I am a clinician scientist studying bowel cancer. My research group has collected tissue samples and data collected from many thousands of patients with bowel cancer. This unique resource allows us to investigate how cancers develop and spread, and better ways to treat them. By working with multiple local and international clinical and laboratory collaborators, we aim to:

  • Develop better screening tests for colorectal cancer.
  • Personalise the treatment for people with established cancers by tailoring the treatment to specific patient and tumour characteristics.
  • Develop new anti-cancer agents.

Research interest

Working from a clinical perspective, we aim to identify and validate multiple predictive and prognostic biomarkers for colorectal cancer. This research is largely based on a resource of tissue samples and data now collected from many thousands of colorectal cancer patients.

We collaborate with clinicians at multiple Melbourne hospitals who manage patients according to standard protocols and collect comprehensive, prospective data related to patient and tumour characteristics, multidisciplinary care and early and late outcomes.

Together with the Vogelstein laboratory we are exploring circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) as a biomarker for cancer screening, as a marker of residual disease following colorectal and pancreatic cancer surgery, and as an early marker of treatment response in the adjuvant and advanced disease settings.

We are also interested in understanding the local and systemic immune response to colorectal cancer. We are investigating whether this could be used to better define patient prognosis and optimise treatment. 

Philip Hemstritch Pancreatic Cancer Research Program

A collaborative research program has been created to identify new treatments for patients with pancreatic cancer.

The Philip Hemstritch Pancreatic Cancer Research Program aims to:

  • Identify new drugs or combination of drugs to treat pancreatic cancer
  • Identify and validate biomarkers that predict tumour progression or monitor a patient’s response to current chemotherapies
  • Determine if circulating tumour DNA in the blood can be used for diagnosing pancreatic cancer and for monitoring a patient’s response to treatments
Associate Professor Peter Gibbs with a patient

Our researchers are trialling a new 'liquid biopsy', which may be able to identify signs of cancer DNA in a patient's blood.