Dr Monique Smeets

Research Unit

Cancer & RNA biology


Post-doctoral Research Officer

Professional Experience

2013 - present        Post-doctoral Research Officer, Cancer & RNA Biology, SVI,
                               Melbourne, Australia
2006 - 2012           Post-doctoral Research Officer, Haematology and Leukaemia,
                               SVI, Melbourne, Australia
2003 - 2005           Senior Research Fellow, Cancer Biology, Telethon Institute for
                               Child Health Research, Perth, Australia
2002 - 2003           Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Genetics, University of
                               Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
1999 - 2001            Post-doctoral Fellow, Laboratoire de Génétique et Biologie
                               Moléculaire de la Réplication, Institut Curie, Paris, France
1995 - 1999            Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular Biology,
                               The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA
1995                        Ph.D., Free University of Amsterdam. The Netherlands
1989                        M.Sc., University of Leiden, The Netherlands


2018                        Director's Award for the most outstanding publication by a
                                postdoctoral researcher in 2018 (SVI)
2014                        Director's Award for the most outstanding publication by a
                                postdoctoral researcher in 2014 (SVI)
1995 - 1997             KWF Fellowship, Dutch Cancer Society

Research Interests

I am an experimental haematologist and cell biologist and use murine models and cell lines to study cancer development, genetic interactions and molecular responses. My genes of interest are RECQL4, encoding a DNA helicase with essential functions in DNA replication and repair, and SRSF2, which encodes an RNA binding protein implicated in pre-mRNA splicing. Both genes when mutated cause human disease, Rothmund Thomson Syndrome and Myelodysplastic Syndrome respectively, and predispose to cancer development.

Selected Publications

  1. Castillo-Tandazo W, Smeets MF, Murphy V, Liu R, Hodson C, Heierhorst J, Deans AJ, Walkley CR. ATP-dependent Helicase Activity Is Dispensable for the Physiological Functions of Recql4. PLoS Genet. 2019 Jul 5;15(7) :e1008266.
  2. Xu JJ, Smeets MF, Tan SY, Wall M, Purton LE, Walkley CR. Modeling human RNA spliceosome mutations in the mouse: not all mice were created equal. Exp Hematol. 2019 Feb;70:10-23.
  3. Smeets MF, Tan SY, Xu JJ, Anande G, Unnikrishnan A, Chalk AM, Taylor SR, Pimanda JE, Wall M, Purton LE, Walkley CR. Srsf2P95H initiates myeloid bias and myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative syndrome from hemopoietic stem cells. Blood. 2018 Aug 9;132(6):608-621.
  4. Ng AJ, Walia MK, Smeets MF, Mutsaers AJ, Sims NA, Purton LE, Walsh NC, Martin TJ, Walkley CR. The DNA helicase recql4 is required for normal osteoblast expansion and osteosarcoma formation. PLoS Genet. 2015 Apr 10;11(4):e1005160.
  5. Smeets MF, DeLuca E, Wall M, Quach JM, Chalk AM, Deans AJ, Heierhorst J, Purton LE, Izon DJ, Walkley CR. The Rothmund-Thomson syndrome helicase RECQL4 is essential for hematopoiesis. J Clin Invest. 2014 Aug;124(8):3551-65.
  6. Smeets MF, Wiest DL, Izon DJ. Fli-1 regulates the DN2 to DN3 thymocyte transition and promotes γδ T-cell commitment by enhancing TCR signal strength. Eur J Immunol. 2014 Sep;44(9):2617-24.
  7. Smeets MF, Mackenzie-Kludas C, Mohtashami M, Zhang HH, Zúñiga-Pflücker JC, Izon DJ. Removal of myeloid cytokines from the cellular environment enhances T-cell development in vitro. Int Immunol. 2013 Oct;25(10):589-99.
  8. Smeets MF, Chan AC, Dagger S, Bradley CK, Wei A, Izon DJ. Fli-1 overexpression in hematopoietic progenitors deregulates T cell development and induces pre-T cell lymphoblastic leukaemia/lymphoma. PLoS One. 2013 May 7;8(5):e62346.