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Dr Pauline Zaenker

Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellow

Contact Information Telephone: +61 8 6304 2783, Email:, Campus: Joondalup, Room: JO17310
Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 6304 2783
Campus: Joondalup  
Room: JO17310  


Dr Zaenker is a Post Doctoral Research Fellow in the Melanoma Research Team within the School of Medical and Health Sciences. Dr Zaenker specialises in the identification and validation of blood based biomarkers, in particular tumour-associated autoantibodies, for the early diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of treatment success of cutaneous melanoma skin cancer.

Professional Associations

  • Huntington’s Disease Youth Organization (HDYO), 2015-Present
  • Autoimmunity Network, 2016-Present
  • The Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation (CERI), 2016-Present

Awards and Recognition

  • The West Australian newspaper’s 50 Rising Stars 2019
  • ECU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Outstanding Public Engagement by a Researcher or Research Team Award 2018, $1000
  • The Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation (CERI) concept to creation investors pitch winner 2017
  • The School of Medical Science Research Scholarship August 2017 – May 2018, $5000
  • Inspiring Minds Scholarship, Edith Cowan University and the Australian Government, 2014-2017, $40,000 AUD p.a.
  • 3 Minute Thesis competition ECU finalist, Edith Cowan University, 2012
  • BioGENEius Western Australia competition finalist, 2008


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Edith Cowan University, 2018.
  • Master of Science (Human Biology), Edith Cowan University, 2014.
  • Bachelor of Science (Human Biology), Edith Cowan University, 2011.


Recent Research Grants

  • The effect of cognitive and exercise training on Brain Atrophy and Cognitive Decline in Breast Cancer Patients Treated with Adjuvant Chemotherapy Agents,  Cancer Council of WA Inc,  Collaborative Cancer Grant Scheme,  2018 - 2022,  $49,966.
  • AMRF Early Career Researcher Grants Program,  Australian Melanoma Research Foundation,  2020 Research Grant,  2020 - 2021,  $30,000.
  • The development of in-house autoantibody assays to measure response to immunotherapy in melanoma patients,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Early Career Researcher Grant - 2019,  2019 - 2020,  $29,800.
  • Development of a Multiplex Test for the Early Diagnosis of Melanoma,  Tour de Cure,  Senior Research Grant,  2019,  $280,000.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Journal Articles

  • Lo, J., Reyes, A., Pulverenti, T., Rankin, T., Bartlett, D., Zaenker, P., Rowe, G., Feindel, K., Poudel, G., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., Ziman, M., Cruickshank, T., (2020), Dual tasking impairments are associated with striatal pathology in Huntington’s disease. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, 7(9), 1608-1619, DOI: 10.1002/acn3.51142.
  • Aya-Bonilla, C., Gray, E., Manikandan, J., Freeman, J., Zaenker, P., Reid, A., Khattak, M., Frank, M., Millward, M., Ziman, M., (2019), Immunomagnetic-Enriched Subpopulations of Melanoma Circulating Tumour Cells (CTCs) Exhibit Distinct Transcriptome Profiles. Cancers, 11(2), Article number 157, DOI: 10.3390/cancers11020157.
  • Stark, M., Gray, E., Isaacs, T., Chen, F., Millward, M., McEvoy, A., Zaenker, P., Ziman, M., Soyer, H., Glasson, W., Warrier, S., Stark, A., Rolfe, O., Palmer, J., Hayward, N., (2019), A Panel of Circulating MicroRNAs Detects Uveal Melanoma With High Precision. Translational Vision Science and Technology, 8(6), Article 12, DOI: 10.1167/tvst.8.6.12.
  • Bartlett, D., Dominguez D, JF., Reyes, A., Zaenker, P., Feindel, K., Newton, R., Hannan, A., Slater, J., Eastwood, P., Lazar, A., Ziman, M., Cruickshank, T., (2019), Investigating the relationships between hypothalamic volume and measures of circadian rhythm and habitual sleep in premanifest Huntington's disease. Neurobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms, 6(January 2019), p. 1-8, DOI:
  • Zaenker, P., Lo, J., Pearce, R., Cantwell, P., Cowell, L., Lee, M., Quirk, C., Law, H., Gray, E., Ziman, M., (2018), A diagnostic autoantibody signature for primary cutaneous melanoma. Oncotarget, 9(55), 30539-30551, United States, Impact Journals LLC, DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.25669.
  • Reyes, A., Salomonczyk, D., Teo, W., Medina, L., Bartlett, D., Pirogovsky-Turk, E., Zaenker, P., Bloom, J., Simmons, R., Ziman, M., Gilbert, P., Cruickshank, T., (2018), Computerised dynamic posturography in premanifest and manifest individuals with Huntington's disease. Scientific Reports, 8(1), Article number 14615, United Kingdom, Nature Publishing Group, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-32924-y.
  • Cruickshank, T., Reyes, A., Penailillo, L., Pulverenti, T., Bartlett, D., Zaenker, P., Blazevich, T., Newton, R., Thompson, J., Lo, J., Ziman, M., (2018), Effects of multidisciplinary therapy on physical function in Huntington’s disease. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, 138(6), 500-507, United States, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc., DOI: 10.1111/ane.13002.
  • Zaenker, P., Gray, E., Ziman, M., (2016), Autoantibody Production in Cancer—The Humoral Immune Response toward Autologous Antigens in Cancer Patients. Autoimmunity Reviews, 15(5), 477-483, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.autrev.2016.01.017.
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