The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Nik Zeps

Adj/A/Prof Nik Zeps

Adjunct Associate Professor
Colorectal Cancer Research Unit (SJoG)

Contact details
Colorectal Cancer Research Unit
The University of Western Australia (M509)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 400 223 097
+61 8 9346 2416
PhD (Dec 2000) University of Western Australia.
BSc with 1st Class Honours (1992) King’s College, University of London.

Date of Birth:23 September, 1969
Citizenship:British/ Australian (Dual Citizenship)

Key research
Dr Zeps is a PhD scientist involved in translational research in breast, gastrointestinal and gynecological malignancies. In 2008 he established a translational research program at St John of God HealthCare which is integrated into clinical care. This work has included establishing a research biobank, a molecular diagnostic service and the provision of laboratory services for clinical trials for a large private metropolitan hospital.
1.Thomas E, Lee-Pullen T, Rigby P, Hartmann P, Xu J, Zeps N Receptor Activator of NF-κB Ligand Promotes Proliferation of a Putative Mammary Stem Cell Unique to the Lactating Epithelium. Stem Cells. 2012 Jun;30(6):1255-64. doi: 10.1002/stem.1092

2.Marianna J. Bledsoe, William E. Grizzle, Brian J. Clark Nikolajs Zeps Practical Implementation Issues and Challenges for Biobanks in the Return of Individual Research Results. Genet Med. 2012 Feb 9. doi: 10.1038/gim.2011.67. [Epub ahead of print]

3.Arango D, Williams D, Al-Obaidi S, Dopeso J, Mazzolini R, Corner G, Byun D-S, Murone C, Togel L, Zeps N, Aaltonen L, Iacopetta B and Mariadason JM Villin expression is frequently lost in poorly differentiated colon cancer. Am J Pathol. 2012 Feb 17 [Epub ahead of print]

4.Chew A, Salama P, Robbshaw A, Klopcic B, Zeps N, Platell C, Lawrance IC SPARC, FOXP3, CD8 and CD45 Correlation with Disease Recurrence and Long-Term Disease-Free Survival in Colorectal Cancer PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e22047. Epub 2011 Jul 26.

5.Thomas E, Zeps N, Rigby P, Hartmann P Reactive oxygen species initiate luminal but not basal cell death in cultured human mammary alveolar structures: a potential regulator of involution Cell Death Dis. 2011 Aug 4;2:e189. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2011.69.

6.Joly Y, Zeps N, Knoppers BM Genomic databases access agreements: legal validity and possible sanctions. Hum Genet. 2011 Sep;130(3):441-9

7.Tonti-Filippini N, Zeps N. Trade in human tissue products. Med J Aust. 2011 Mar 7;194(5):263-5.

8.Thomas E, Zeps N, Cregan M, Hartmann P, Martin T 14-3-3σ (sigma) regulates proliferation and differentiation of multipotent p63-positive cells isolated from human breastmilk. Cell Cycle. 2011 Jan 15;10(2):278-84. Epub 2011 Jan 15

9.Platell C, Zeps N, Joseph D, Spry N, Iacopetta B, Caruso V Tumour banking as part of routine clinical practice. ANZ J Surg. 2010 Apr;80(4):203-4

10.International Cancer Genome Consortium, Hudson et al. (Zeps listed author) International network of cancer genome projects. Nature. 2010 Apr 15;464(7291):993-8

11.Drake J, Shearwood AM, White J, Friis R, Zeps N, Charles A, Dharmarajan A. Expression of secreted frizzled-related protein 4 (SFRP4) in primary serous ovarian tumours. Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. 2009;30(2):133-41.

12.Krajewska M, Smith LH, Rong J, Huang X, Hyer ML, Zeps N, Iacopetta B, Linke SP, Olson AH, Reed JC, Krajewski S. Image Analysis Algorithms for Immunohistochemical Assessment of Cell Death Events and Fibrosis in Tissue Sections. J Histochem Cytochem. 2009 Jul;57(7):649-63.

13.Soong R, Shah N, Peh BK, Chong PY, Ng SS, Zeps N, Joseph D, Salto-Tellez M, Iacopetta B, Ito Y. The expression of RUNX3 in colorectal cancer is associated with disease stage and patient outcome. Br J Cancer. 2009 Mar 10;100(5):676-9. Epub 2009 Feb 17.

14.Schofield L, Watson N, Grieu F, Li WQ, Zeps N, Harvey J, Stewart C, Abdo M, Goldblatt J, Iacopetta B.Population-based detection of Lynch syndrome in young colorectal cancer patients using microsatellite instability as the initial test. Int J Cancer. 2009 Mar 1;124(5):1097-102.

15.Salama P, Phillips M, Grieu F, Morris M, Zeps N, Joseph D, Platell C, Iacopetta B.Tumor-infiltrating FOXP3+ T regulatory cells show strong prognostic significance in colorectal cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2009 Jan 10;27(2):186-92. Epub 2008 Dec 8.

16.Riegman PH, Morente MM, Betsou F, de Blasio P, Geary P; Marble Arch International Working Group on Biobanking for Biomedical Research. Biobanking for better healthcare. Mol Oncol. 2008 Oct;2(3):213-22. Epub 2008 Jul 30. Review

17.Shehata M, Bièche I, Boutros R, Weidenhofer J, Fanayan S, Spalding L, Zeps N, Byth K, Bright RK, Lidereau R, Byrne JA Nonredundant Functions for Tumor Protein D52-Like Proteins Support Specific Targeting of TPD52. Clin Cancer Res. 2008 Aug 15;14(16):5050-60.

18.Nguyen Huu N, Ryder W, Zeps N, Flasza M, Chiu M, Hanby A, Poulsom R, Clarke R, Baron M. Tumour-promoting activity of altered WWP1 expression in breast cancer and its utility as a prognostic indicator. J Pathol. 2008 Sep;216(1):93-102.

19.Soong R, Shah N, Salto-Tellez M, Tai BC, Soo RA, Han HC, Ng SS, Tan WL, Zeps N, Joseph D, Diasio RB, Iacopetta B. Prognostic And Predictive Significance Of Thymidylate Synthase, Dihydropyrimidine Dehydrogenase And Thymidine Phosphorylase Protein Expression In Colorectal Cancer. Ann Oncol. 2008 May;19(5):915-9. Epub 2008 Feb 1

20.Zeps N. International Clinical Trials Symposium 2007: improving healthcare in the new millennium. IDrugs. 2007 Dec;10(12):874-6.

21.Stephenson AC, Baker S, Zeps N Attitudes of relatives of patients in intensive care and emergency departments to surrogate consent to research on incapacitated participants. Crit Care Resusc. 2007 Mar;9(1):40-50..

22.Catchpoole, D., deFazio, A., Devereux, L., Fleming, M., Hof, M., Schmidt, C., Thorne, H. & Zeps, N. 'The importance of biorepository networks: The Australasian Biospecimen Network - Oncology', Australian Journal of Medical Science (2007) 28: 1, 16-20

23.Zeps N, Iacopetta BJ, Schofield L, George JM, Goldblatt J. Waiver of individual patient consent in research: when do potential benefits to the community outweigh private rights? Med J Aust. 2007 Jan 15;186(2):88-90

24.Feng Han Q, Zhao W, Bentel J, Shearwood AM, Zeps N, Joseph D, Iacopetta B, Dharmarajan A. Expression of sFRP-4 and β-catenin in human Colorectal Carcinoma. Cancer Lett. 2006 Jan 8;231(1):129-37

25.Chai SM, Zeps N, Shearwood AM, Grieu F, Charles A, Harvey J, Goldblatt J, Joseph D, Iacopetta B. Screening for defective DNA mismatch repair in stage II and III colorectal cancer patients. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2004 Nov;2(11):1017-25.
26.Iacopetta B, Elsaleh H, Zeps N. Microsatellite instability in colon cancer. N Engl J Med. (2003) 349(18):1774-6; author reply 1774-6

27.Elsaleh, H, Joseph, D, Grieu, F, Zeps, N, Spry, N, Iacopetta, B. Association of tumour site and sex with survival benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy in colorectal cancer. Lancet. 2000 May 20;355(9217):1745-50

28.Zeps, N, Bentel, JM, Papadimitriou, JM., Dawkins, HJS. Murine progesterone receptor expression in proliferating mammary epithelial cells during normal pubertal development and adult estrous cycle: association with ERalpha and ERbeta status. J Histochem Cytochem. 1999 Oct;47(10):1323-30.

29.Mirosevich, J, Bentel, JM, Zeps, N, Redmond, SL, D'Antuono, M, and Dawkins, HJS. Androgen Receptor Expression of Proliferating Basal and Luminal Cells in Adult Murine Ventral Prostate. J Endocrinol. 1999 Sep;162(3):341-50.

30.Zeps, N, Bentel, JM, Papadimitriou, JM, D'Antuono, MF, Dawkins, HJS. Oestrogen receptor negative epithelial cells in mouse mammary gland development and growth. Differentiation. 1998 Mar;62(5):221-6

31. Zeps N, Dawkins HJ, Papadimitriou JM, Redmond SL, Walters MI. Detection of a population of long-lived cells in mouse mammary epithelium. Cell Tissue Res. 1996 Dec;286(3):525-36.
Roles, responsibilities and expertise
He is an adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Surgery at the University of Western Australia. He is a member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee and the Research Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia. He has been involved in human research ethics since 2002 as a member of a Human Research Ethics Committee and in the Harmonisation of Multicentre Ethical Review processes at a national level.

He is the chair of the Cancer Biology Group of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia and the Biological sub-committee of the Australasian Gastro-intestinal Trials Group and a member of the Research and Data Advisory Committee of Cancer Australia. He is the Australian representative on the Ethics and Policy Committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium and a founding member of the Australasian Biospecimen Network. He is co-chair of the Science Policy Committee of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER).
Funding received
1.National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NECTAR). Cloud-based Bioinformatics Tools. 2012-2014 Paul White, Eric Moses, Nik Zeps, John Hopper $306,000

2.National Breast Cancer Foundation Targeting Breast Cancer Recurrence through Epithelial Mesenchymal Plasticity Plasticity Collaborative Breast Cancer Research Grant Program $5,150,286.00 Erik Thompson Gregory Goodall, Christobel Saunders, Robin Anderson, Alpha Yap Ian Street Alexander Dobrovic Anthony Dowling (Sis Lilian Soon, Elizabeth Williams, Nik Zeps Tom Gonda, Izhak Haviv, Patrick Humbert Michael Murray)

3.NHMRC ENABLING GRANT 2009-2014 Devereux, Catchpoole, de Fazio, Holloway, Lake, Robinson, Schmidt, Thorne, Zeps “Australasian Biospecimen Network-Oncology” $2.0 million

4.NHMRC Enabling Grant (Special facilities). The Western Australian dna Bank. Palmer LJ, Beilby J, Christiansen F, Constable I, Finlay-Jones J, Klinken SP, Semmens J, Stanley FJ, vanBockxmeer F, Zeps N, 2005 $1,375,000 over 5 years

5.Cancer Council of WA Equipment grant. Purchase of a digital microscope for virtual microscopy services in cancer research in WA. 2005. $280,000 Zeps N and Charles A (plus 11 other AIs):

6.NHMRC Enabling Grant (Special facilities). A National Population-based Genetic Epidemiology, Biospecimen and Bioinformatic Resource. Palmer LJ, Holman CDJ, Stanley FJ, deKlerk N, Zeps N, vanBockxmeer F, Semmens J, Smith MB. $2.4million

7.NHMRC ENABLING GRANT 2004-2009 Devereux, Catchpoole, de Fazio, Holloway, Lake, Robinson, Schmidt, Thorne, Zeps “Australasian Biospecimen Network-Oncology” $1.7 million.

8.Bowtell, DeFazio, Zeps. Molecular epidemiology of ovarian cancer: Australian ovarian cancer study -Western Australia, Tasmania and national clinical follow-up core, Cancer Council of WA: 2004 $55000, 2005 $55000

9.Fiona Stanley, D’Arcy Holman, Alan Bittles, Frank Van Bockxmeer, Nikolajs Zeps, James Semmens: Joint Application for Infrastructure Funding for the Major Enhancement of: Phase 1 of the Family Connections Genealogical Database ; Biospecimen databases and their Linkage to the WA Record Linkage Project. Medical and Health Research Infrastructure Council of W.A. 2002 ($280,000)

10.Bowtell, DeFazio, Zeps N, Multistate application with Australian Ovarian Cancer Study, Cancer Foundation of Western Australia, “Molecular epidemiology of ovarian cancer: The Australian Ovarian Cancer Study- WA, Tas and a national clinical follow-up core” 2003 $36,000
Clinical Oncological Society of Australia
Australian Society for Medical Research
International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories
PhD Current

1.Ms Elizabeth Thomas: Dr Nik Zeps, A/Prof Paul Rigby and Professor Peter Hartmann (School of Surgery and School of Biomedical, Biomolecular and Chemical sciences UWA) 2009-

2.Dr Christine Hemmings: Dr Nik Zeps and Professor C Platell (School of Surgery, UWA) 2009-

3.Ms Kristine Fu: Prof Ian Lawrence, Dr Borut Klopcic and Dr Nik Zeps (School of Medicine and Pharmacology, UWA), 2010-

PhD Completed

1.Ms Uttara Saran: Dr Nik Zeps and Professor A Dharmarajan (School of Anatomy and Human Biology, UWA) 2007-2011 Passed April 2011.

2.Sally McLaren: PhD Dr Nik Zeps and Professor C Saunders (School of Surgery, UWA) Passed 2009

3.Jeremy Drake, PHD: Dr Nik Zeps and Professor A Dharmarajan (School of Anatomy and Human Biology, UWA) 2002-2007

Honours/Masters Supervised

1.Mr Tim Miller, Dr Nik Zeps and Professor A Dharmarajan (School of Anatomy and Human Biology, UWA) 2011

2.Ms Leona Chan, Dr Nik Zeps, Prof Debbie Trinder and Dr Anita Chua (school of Medicine) 2011

3.Mr Andrew Mews 2AHonours, Dr Nik Zeps and Prof Bob Mead (Murdoch University) Completed June 2011

4.Ms JunJune Guo 2A Honours. Dr Nik Zeps and Professor A Dharmarajan (School of Anatomy and Human Biology, UWA) 2010

5.Ms Jasmine Lee. 2A Honours. Dr Nik Zeps, Prog Greg Tan, Dr Frank Sotzik, University of Notre Dame. 2009

6.Dr Victoria Yachmenikova. Honours. Dr Nik Zeps, University of Notre Dame Medical School. 2008

7.Dr Emma Gannon. Honours. Dr Nik Zeps and Prof Anthony McCartney, University of Notre Dame Medical School. 2008

8.Stefanie Kung 2A Honours. Dr Nik Zeps and Professor A Dharmarajan (School of Anatomy and Human Biology, UWA) 2007

9.Elizabeth White: 1st class Honours. Dr Nik Zeps and Professor A Dharmarajan (School of Anatomy and Human Biology, UWA) 2005

10.Clare Berry: 2A Honours. Dr Nik Zeps and Professor A Dharmarajan (School of Anatomy and Human Biology, UWA) 2004

11.Sally McLaren: 1st Class Honours Dr Nik Zeps and Professor A Dharmarajan (School of Anatomy and Human Biology, UWA) 2004

12.Lara McDonald: 2A Honours. Dr Nik Zeps and Prof L Palmer (Laboratory for Genetic Epidemiology, CMR, WAIMR and School of Population Health, UWA) 2004

13.Dr Siaw Ming Chai, Masters (Distinction). Dr Nik Zeps, A/Prof Barry Iacopetta (School of Surgery and Pathology, UWA) and C/Prof J Harvey (School of Surgery and Pathology, UWA). 2003

Current external positions
Research Group Leader St John of God HealthCare (Subiaco)
Research Manager Radiation Oncology, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
Current projects
Chemotherapy induced suppression of tumour-infiltrating regulatory T cells (Tregs) enhances anti-tumour activity in colorectal cancer patients. Investigators Dr Mel McCoy, Prof Anna Nowak, Prof Richard Lake, Prof Cameron Platell and A/Prof Nik Zeps

Rectal Cancer Stem Cells, the stroma and inflammation, Dr Christine Hemmings, Prof Cameron Platell and A/Prof Nik Zeps
Research profile
Research profile and publications

The University of Western Australia

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Last updated:
Monday, 1 October, 2012 4:15 PM