Dr. Rhynelle Dmello is a cancer cell biologist within the DNA Damage and Cancer Therapy lab at SVI, where she works on targeting pre-mRNA translation to develop new treatments for blood cancers.

She received her PhD from the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (ONJCRI) and La Trobe University in January 2024 for her work on discovering novel drug combinations for the treatment of colorectal cancer. Dr. Dmello’s ability to generate high-quality research has attracted 6 awards, including the Harold Mitchell Travel Fellowship and the 2022 Student Medal, given to students who made the highest contribution to the field during their candidature. She recently received the SVI Rising Star Award to fund her post-doctoral research in investigating mechanisms of drug response in a newsub-set of aggressive, acute myeloid leukemia. Her work is recognised by the international research community, as evidenced by 6 oral speaking engagements at national and international conferences. Dr. Dmello has generated 6 publications in international peer-reviewed journals (3 as first author). This includes high-quality journals such as Seminars in Cancer Biology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics,and Cell Death and Disease.

Key Achievements

2024: SVI Rising Star Award
2022: ONJCRI Student Medal
2022: Harold Mitchell Travel Fellowship
2022: European Association for Cancer Research and Worldwide Cancer Research Bursary
2021:  Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Melbourne MicroCert Scholarship
2021: Best Flash Talk Award Australian Society for Medical Research Symposium
2020: La Trobe Full Fee Research Scholarship
2020: La Trobe Graduate Student Research Scholarship
2019: La Trobe Scholarship for Academic Excellence


Dmello, R.S., Palmieri, M., Thilakasiri, P.S., Dougthy, L., Nero, T.L., Poh, A.R., To, S.Q., Lee, E.F., Fairlie, W.D, Mielke, L., Parker, M.W., Poon I.K.H., Batlle, E., Ernst, M. and Chand, A.L, 2024. Combination of bazedoxifene with chemotherapy and SMAC-mimetics for the treatment of colorectal cancer. Cell Death and Disease, 15(4), p.225. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41419-024-06631-8

Thilakasiri, P.S*., Dmello, R.S*., Nero, T.L*., Parker, M.W., Ernst, M. and Chand, A.L., 2021, January. Repurposing of drugs as STAT3 inhibitors for cancer therapy. Seminars in cancer biology (Vol. 68, pp. 31-46). Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.semcancer.2019.09.022(*Co-first author).

Dmello, R.S., To, S.Q. and Chand, A.L., 2021. Therapeutic targeting of the tumour microenvironment in metastatic colorectal cancer. International journal of molecular sciences22(4), p.2067. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22042067.

Perini, M.V., Dmello, R.S., Nero, T.L. and Chand, A.L., 2020. Evaluating the benefits of renin-angiotensin system inhibitors as cancer treatments. Pharmacology & therapeutics211, p.107527. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pharmthera.2020.107527.

Thilakasiri, P., O’Keefe, R.N., To, S.Q., Chisanga, D., Eissmann, M.F., Carli, A.L., Duscio, B., Baloyan, D., Dmello, R.S., et al., 2024. Mechanisms of cellular crosstalk in the gastric tumormicroenvironment are mediated by YAP1 and STAT3. Life Science Alliance7(2). https://doi/org/10.26508/lsa.202302411.

To S, Dmello R.S, Richards A, Ernst M, Chand AL. STAT3 Signaling in Breast Cancer: Multicellular Actions and Therapeutic Potential, Cancers, 2022. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14020429.

Google scholar profile: Rhynelle Dmello