Associate Professor Adam Vorn Patterson

BA Hons (oxon), PhD


Adam Patterson obtained his BA Hons in Biochemistry at the University of Oxford and his PhD in the field of Bioreductive prodrugs whilst jointly located at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford and the Medical Research Council Radiobiology Unit, Harwell, UK. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Manchester developing hypoxia dependent viral therapeutics before joining the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre in 2000. Associate Professor Patterson is Leader of the Translational Therapeutics Team. He is currently Principal Investigator of two HRC project grants and leads the Tumour Microenvironment Flagship of the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery.

Associate Professor Patterson has a broad interest in the design and development of bioreductive prodrugs and their application as antitumour agents, with particular emphasis on selective targeting of the tumour microenvironment. Examples include tarloxotinib, currently in Phase 2 clinical trials in non-small cell lung cancer under the auspices of Rain Therapeutics. He is also interested in replicating biological agents as cancer therapeutics.

Research interests

Research | Current

  • Discovery and development of Tarloxotinib, a hypoxia-selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) currently in Phase 2 clincial trials for lung cancer
  • Discovery of additional hypoxia-selective TKI prodrugs
  • Development of analogues of the hypoxia prodrug PR-104
  • Role of hypoxia in immune therapy
  • Identification of human oxidoreductases for prodrug metabolism
  • Identification of bacterial nitroreductases for prodrug metabolism
  • Development of Gene-Directed Enzyme Prodrug Therapy (GDEPT).
  • Armed Oncolytic virotherapy (VDEPT)
  • Clostridia Delivered enzyme-prodrug therapy (CDEPT)

Teaching | Current

Lecturer in MEDSCI714, MEDSCI745, MEDSCI700, SCIENT721

Postgraduate supervision

Current Students:

Regan Fu (PhD candidate; primary supervisor), Maria Kalyukina (PhD candidate; co-supervisor), Junying Chen (BSc Hons Pharmacology; primary supervisor), Sarah Moore (MBiomedSc Hons; co-supervisor), Serguei Savtchouk (MBiomedSc Hons; co-supervisor)

Past Students:

Victoria Jackson-Patel (PhD; primary supervisor), Shevan Silva (PhD; primary supervisor), Alexandra Mowday (PhD; primary supervisor), Sean Xiaojing Lin (MSc; co-supervisor), Sunny Park (MSc; primary supervisor), Rana Taghipouran (PGDipSci; primary supervisor), Shevan Silva (MSc; primary supervisor), Ritu Mittra  (MSc; primary supervisor), Smitha Tipparaju (MSc; primary supervisor), Jiechuang Su (PhD; co-supervisor), Alexandra Mowday (MSc; primary supervisor), Alexandra Mowday (PGDipSci; primary supervisor), Joanna Connolly (PGDipSci; primary supervisor), Jiechuang Su (BSc Hons; co-supervisor), Samual Holford (PGDipSci; co-supervisor), Sophie Sydall (PhD; primary supervisor), Dean Singleton (PhD, primary supervisor), Pei-Hua Tsai (BSc Hons; primary supervisor), Anderson Wang (BSc Hons; co-supervisor), Dean Singleton (BSc Hons; primary supervisor), Su Jung Lee  (BSc Hons; primary supervisor).

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Lu, X., Chen, H., Patterson, A. V., Smaill, J. B., & Ding, K. (2019). Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 4 (FGFR4) Selective Inhibitors as Hepatocellular Carcinoma Therapy: Advances and Prospects. Journal of medicinal chemistry, 62 (6), 2905-2915. 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.8b01531
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jeffrey Smaill
  • Spiegelberg, L., Houben, R., Niemans, R., de Ruysscher, D., Yaromina, A., Theys, J., ... Lambin, P. (2019). Hypoxia-activated prodrugs and (lack of) clinical progress: The need for hypoxia-based biomarker patient selection in phase III clinical trials. Clinical and Translational Radiation Oncology, 15, 62-69. 10.1016/j.ctro.2019.01.005
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jeffrey Smaill
  • Kalyukina, M., Yosaatmadja, Y., Middleditch, M. J., Patterson, A. V., Smaill, J. B., & Squire, C. J. (2019). TAS-120 Cancer Target Binding: Defining Reactivity and Revealing the First Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 1 (FGFR1) Irreversible Structure. ChemMedChem, 14 (4), 494-500. 10.1002/cmdc.201800719
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jeffrey Smaill, Christopher Squire, Martin Middleditch
  • Chan-Hyams, J. V. E., Copp, J. N., Smaill, J. B., Patterson, A. V., & Ackerley, D. F. (2018). Evaluating the abilities of diverse nitroaromatic prodrug metabolites to exit a model Gram negative vector for bacterial-directed enzyme-prodrug therapy. Biochemical pharmacology, 158, 192-200. 10.1016/j.bcp.2018.10.020
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jeffrey Smaill
  • Xiang, Q., Wang, C., Zhang, Y., Xue, X., Song, M., Zhang, C., ... Hui, X. (2018). Discovery and optimization of 1-(1H-indol-1-yl)ethanone derivatives as CBP/EP300 bromodomain inhibitors for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer. European journal of medicinal chemistry, 147, 238-252. 10.1016/j.ejmech.2018.01.087
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jeffrey Smaill
  • Zygouropoulou, M., Kubiak, M., Patterson, A. V., & Minton, N. P. (2018). Genetic engineering of clostridial strains for cancer therapy. In A. M. Chakrabarty, A. M. Fialho (Eds.) Microbial infections and cancer therapy: Recent advances (pp. 73-109). Pan Stanford Publishing Ptc. Ltd.. 10.1201/9781351041904
  • Li, X., Guise, C. P., Taghipouran, R., Yosaatmadja, Y., Ashoorzadeh, A., Paik, W.-K., ... Xu, Y. (2017). 2-Oxo-3, 4-dihydropyrimido[4, 5-d]pyrimidinyl derivatives as new irreversible pan fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibitors. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 135, 531-543. 10.1016/j.ejmech.2017.04.049
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Christopher Squire, Jeffrey Smaill, Amir Ashoorzadeh
  • Copp, J. N., Mowday, A. M., Williams, E. M., Guise, C. P., Ashoorzadeh, A., Sharrock, A. V., ... Ackerley, D. F. (2017). Engineering a multifunctional nitroreductase for improved activation of prodrugs and PET probes for cancer gene therapy. Cell Chemical Biology, 24 (3), 391-403. 10.1016/j.chembiol.2017.02.005
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jeffrey Smaill, Amir Ashoorzadeh, Jack Flanagan

Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 504 - Bldg 504
New Zealand