Professor Maija Kohonen-Corish is a Research Leader at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and Professor at Macquarie University. She was appointed head of the Woolcock Centre for Lung Cancer in 2019. She leads the Lung Cancer Network and a research program on harnessing the microbiome in the treatment of lung cancer, in collaboration with Microbiome Research Centre UNSW, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Royal Prince Alfred and other hospitals.
Maija completed a BSc and MSc at the University of Helsinki in Finland. This was followed by a PhD at John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra. There she established one of the first laboratories in Australia to identify inherited gene defects in Lynch Syndrome. Subsequently, she was a Cancer Institute NSW Fellow and the head of lung and colon cancer research at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research until 2017.
Maija is a Human Genetics Society of Australasia-certified molecular geneticist (MHGSA) with a track record of discovery in basic and translational research in lung and colorectal cancer. Her team has identified new biomarkers of prognosis and therapeutic responsiveness, which have improved the clinical management of patients. Maija is a member of the Variant Interpretation Committee of the International Society for Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours, which produces international guidelines on how to interpret the pathogenicity of Lynch Syndrome gene variants.