Theme Member
Dr Melissa Cantley

Contact Details

Phone: 812 84694


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BHlthSc 2006, majors in Pathology and Pharmacology

BHlthSc (Hons) 2007, First Class Honours in Pathology

PhD in Medicine 2013

Biography/Research Focus

Bone loss is a complication of inflammatory diseases periodontitis (PD) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as well as blood cancer multiple myeloma (MM). This bone loss can lead to tooth loss in periodontitis and impaired joint function in rheumatoid arthritis. In up to 90% of MM patients, it significantly impacts quality of life resulting in severe bone pain. In all these diseases, the osteoclasts, the bone degrading cells, play a significant role in contributing to this bone loss. My research is focussed on targeting Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) enzymes found in all cells in the body that play an important role in regulating gene and protein expression. The aim of my research is to understand the roles of individual HDAC enzymes in the disease processes in order to identify novel HDAC inhibitors that can that target the specific enzymes involved in the diseases reducing the activity of osteoclast cells and stimulating osteoblasts to form bone resulting in an overall reduction in bone loss.


  1. Zawawi MS, Perilli E, Stansborough RL, Marino V, Cantley MD, Xu J, Dharmapatni AA, Haynes DR, Gibson RJ, Crotti TN. Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Abrogates Bone Resorption in a Murine Calvarial Model of Polyethylene Particle-Induced Osteolysis. Calcif Tissue Int. 2015 Mar 25.
  2. Cantley MD, Fairlie DP, Bartold PM, Marino V, Gupta P, Haynes D. Inhibiting Histone Deacetylase 1 (HDAC 1) Suppresses both Inflammation and Bone Loss in Arthritis, Rheumatology (Oxford). 2015 Mar 31
  3. E Perilli, M Cantley, V Marino, TN Crotti, MD Smith, DR Haynes, A Dharmapatni. Quantifying not only bone loss, but also soft tissue swelling, in a murine inflammatory arthritis model using micro-CT. Scandinavian Journal of Immunology. Accepted 12 November 2014.
  4. Dharmapatni ASSK, Cantley MD, Marino V, Perilli E, Crotti T, Smith M and Haynes DR. The X-linked Inhibitory of Apoptosis Protein Inhibitor, Embelin Suppresses Inflammation and Bone Erosion in Collagen Antibody Induced Arthritis (CAIA) mice. Mediators of Inflammation. Accepted 27 September 2014.
  5. Gully N, Bright R, Marino V, Marchant C, Cantley M, Haynes DR, Butler, S Dashper, EC Reynolds, PM Bartold (2014). Porphyromonas gingivalis peptidylarginine deiminase, a key contributor in the pathogenesis of experimental periodontal disease and experimental arthritis. Plos On; 9(6); e100838.
  6. Cantley MD, Rainsford KD, Haynes DR. (2013) Effects of Osteochondrin® S and select connective tissue ribonucleinate components on human osteoclasts in vitro. J Phar and Pharm;65(8):1214-22.
  7. Cantley, MD, Haynes DR. (2013) Epigenetic regulation of inflammation: progressing from broad acting histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors to targeting specific HDACs. Inflammopharm; 21(4):301-7.
  8. Cantley MD, Rainsford KD, Haynes DR. (2013) Comparison of the ability of chondroitin sulfate derived from bovine, fish and pigs to suppress human osteoclast activity in vitro. Inflammopharm; 21(6):407-12.
  9. Gannon SC, Cantley MD, Haynes DR, Hirsch R, Bartold PM. (2013) Azithromycin suppresses human osteoclast formation and activity in vitro. J Cell Physiol; 228(5): 1098-107.
  10. Zawawi MS, Dharmapatni AA, Cantley MD, Haynes DR, McHugh KP. (2012) Regulation of ITAM adaptor molecules and their receptors by inhibition of calcineurin-NFAT signalling during late stage osteoclast differentiation. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2012;427(2):404-9
  11. Cantley MD, Bartold PM, Fairlie DP, Rainsford KD, Haynes DR (2011) Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors as Suppressors of Bone Destruction in Inflammatory Diseases. J Pharm and Pharm; 64, pp. 763–774.
  12. Cantley MD, Bartold PM, Marino V, Fairlie DP, Le GT, Lucke AJ, Haynes DR. (2011) Histone deacetylase inhibitors and periodontal bone loss. J Periol Res; 46(6): 697-703.
  13. Cantley MD, Haynes DR, Marino V, Bartold PM. (2011) Pre-existing periodontitis exacerbates experimental arthritis in a mouse model. J Clin Perio; 38(6): 532-41.
  14. Cantley MD, Fairlie DP, Bartold PM, Rainsford KD, Ge GT, Lucke AJ, Holding CA, Haynes DR (2011) Compounds that inhibit histone deacetylases in class I and class II effectively suppress human osteoclasts in vitro. J Cell Physiol; 22: 22684.
  15. Bartold PM, Cantley MD, Haynes DR. (2010). Mechanisms and Control of Pathologic Bone loss in Periodontitis. Perio 2000; 53:55-69
  16. Bartold PM, Marino V, Cantley MD, Haynes DR. (2010). Effect of P. gingivalis-induced inflammation on development of rheumatoid arthritis. J Clin Perio; 37(5):405-11



2014 ASMR Domestic Research Award

2011 and 2014 ASMR Ross Wishart Memorial Award finalist

2013 Dean’s commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence

2012 ANZBMS Best of the best poster as part of (AHMRC)

2011 and 2012 SA Branch ARA Philip Alpers Award for Best Basic Science Presentation

2012 Fresh Science State and National Finalist

2012 Best PhD Presentation, ANZORs Annual Scientific Meeting

2010 and 2012 First prize in the PhD category for oral presentation at Dental Research Day

2011 ASBMR President’s Poster Competition Award (2011)

2011 FHS Postgraduate Research Conference – School Certificate of best poster

2011 FHS 3 Minute These Finalist

2010 Health Sciences Postgraduate Expo Certificate of Best Poster Presentation

2010 Quality in Postgraduate Research Conference Scholarship to attend meeting in Adelaide

2010-2012 Australian Postgraduate Award

2006 Dean’s certificate of merit for outstanding achievement BHlthSc

Travel Awards:

2011 and 2013 ANZBMS Travel Award to attend Annual Scientific Meeting

2013 Australian Rheumatology Association (ARA) National Education Travel Grant

2012 School of Medical Sciences Domestic Travel Award

2012 ANZBMS Travel Award to attend Annual Scientific Meeting

2010 and 2012 ANZORS Travel Award to attend Annual Scientific Meeting

2011 Faculty of Health Sciences Postgraduate Traveling Fellowship

2011 BUPA University wide Postgraduate Travel Award

2011 School of Medical Sciences Postgraduate Travel Award


Cantley MD, Haynes DR, Bartold PM, Marino V. Australian Dental Research Foundation Grant, The role of acetylation and Histone Deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) in the relationship between periodontitis and rheumatoid arthritis ($12,762) (2015)

Algate K, Cantley MD, Haynes DR, Bartold PM, Australian Dental Research Foundation Grant, The Effects of Resolvins and Lipoxins on Inflammation Associated Human Osteoclast and Osteoblast activity in vitro ($10,000) (2015)

Cantley MD 2014 School of Medical Sciences ‘Kick Start’ Grant Funding $24,950

Cantley MD. Group of Eight (G08) supported Fellowship to attend the 64th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting June/July 2014 $6000

Cantley MD. University of Adelaide Fellowship to attend Science in the Dome Event May 2014 $500

Cantley MD NHMRC Peter Doherty Early Career Fellowship. The effect of histone deacetylase inhibitors on the bone environment in multiple myeloma. ($304,596) (2014-2018).

Haynes DR, Bartold PM, Cantley MD (CIC), NHMRC Project Grant, HDAC 1 and HDAC 5 in periodontitis, ($518,901) (2014-2017).

Cantley MD, Haynes DR, Bartold PM, Marino V, Australian Dental Research Foundation Grant, Targeting HDAC 1 to suppress bone loss in vitro and in a mouse model of periodontitis. $11,813 (2012)

Cantley MD, Australian Postgraduate Award ($67,500) (2010-2012)

Haynes DR, Bartold PM, Marino V, Cantley MD. Australian Dental Research Foundation Grant, Establishing a mouse model to investigate the relationship between PD and RA. $11,637 (2010)

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