John Lock

Senior Lecturer, Head of Cancer Systems Microscopy Lab
Research Staff Level C

Dr John Lock is Head of the Cancer Systems Microscopy lab within the School of Medical Sciences 


    Dr Lock completed his doctorate within the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland. He then began postdoctoral research at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm with 5 years of back to back fellowships from the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Swedish Cancer Foundation. He received accelerated promotion to Assistant Professor in recognition of his role in pioneering Systems Microscopy and leading a multidisciplinary team in its application to fundamental cancer research.

    Dr Lock returned to Australia with a senior position in the lab of Professor Katharina Gaus at UNSW, within the EMBL Node for Single Molecule Science. He helped motivate and drive formation of a dedicated Systems Microscopy facility with funding support from the Australian Research Council and the prestigious Ramaciotti Biomedical Research Award. This success enabled his initiation of the Cancer Systems Microscopy (CSM) lab in 2018.

    The CSM lab has since formed collaborations with an array of fundamental and translational cancer researchers, cancer clinicians, commercial microscopy and automation technology developers, as well as data science, machine learning and visual analytics experts. This forms a truly multidisciplinary ecosystem of interactions. At the same time, Dr Lock co-founded (with Professor Sarah Russell, PeterMacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne) the Systems Microscopy Australia Network to build and extend multidisciplinary capacity and collaborations across Australia and beyond, and has become a co-organiser of the Functional High Throughput Technologies Australia meeting, which focuses on screeing-related technologies and their applications to drug discovery, precision medicine and functional genomics.

    Current Appointments & Positions Held

    • Senior Lecturer, Head of Cancer Systems Microscopy lab, Department of Pathology, School of Medical Sciences
    • Affiliate Researcher, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research
    • Steering Committee Member for Expanded Perception and Interaction Centre (EPICentre) (UNSW Faculty of Art & Design) (School of Medical Sciences Representative)
    • School of Medical Sciences Honours Committee Member
    • Co-founder, Systems Microscopy Australia Network
    • Co-organiser, Functional High Throughput Technologies Australia meeting

    Membership in Societies

    • Australian and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology
    • American Society for Cell Biology
    • Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Society

    Research keywords

    Cell Biology, Cancer, Adhesion, Migration, Signalling, Imaging, Microscopy, Statistics, Data Visualisation, Machine Learning

    Journal articles
    Bryce NS; Failes TW; Stehn JR; Baker K; Zahler S; Arzhaeva Y; Bischof L; Lyons C; Dedova I; Arndt GM; Gaus K; Goult BT; Hardeman EC; Gunning PW; Lock JG, 2019, 'High-Content Imaging of Unbiased Chemical Perturbations Reveals that the Phenotypic Plasticity of the Actin Cytoskeleton Is Constrained', Cell Systems, vol. 9, pp. 496 - 507.e5,
    Lock JG; Baschieri F; Jones MC; Humphries JD; Montagnac G; Strömblad S; Humphries MJ, 2019, 'Clathrin-containing adhesion complexes', Journal of Cell Biology, vol. 218, pp. 2086 - 2095,
    Bryce NS; Hardeman EC; Gunning PW; Lock JG, 2019, 'Chemical biology approaches targeting the actin cytoskeleton through phenotypic screening', Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, vol. 51, pp. 40 - 47,
    Spiess M; Hernandez-Varas P; Oddone A; Olofsson H; Blom H; Waithe D; Lock JG; Lakadamyali M; Strömblad S, 2018, 'Active and inactive β1 integrins segregate into distinct nanoclusters in focal adhesions', Journal of Cell Biology, vol. 217, pp. 1929 - 1940,
    Lock JG; Jones MC; Askari JA; Gong X; Oddone A; Olofsson H; Göransson S; Lakadamyali M; Humphries MJ; Strömblad S, 2018, 'Reticular adhesions are a distinct class of cell-matrix adhesions that mediate attachment during mitosis', Nature Cell Biology, vol. 20, pp. 1290 - 1302,
    Gong X; Didan Y; Lock JG; Strömblad S, 2018, 'KIF13A-regulated RhoB plasma membrane localization governs membrane blebbing and blebby amoeboid cell migration', EMBO Journal, vol. 37,
    Moshksayan K; Kashaninejad N; Warkiani ME; Lock JG; Moghadas H; Firoozabadi B; Saidi MS; Nguyen NT, 2018, 'Spheroids-on-a-chip: Recent advances and design considerations in microfluidic platforms for spheroid formation and culture', Sensors and Actuators, B: Chemical, vol. 263, pp. 151 - 176,
    Lock J; Jones M; Askari J; Gong X; Oddone A; Olofsson H; Göransson S; Lakadamyali M; Humphries M; Strömblad S, 2017, 'Reticular adhesions: A new class of adhesion complex that mediates cell-matrix attachment during mitosis', ,
    Shafqat-Abbasi H; Kowalewski JM; Kiss A; Gong X; Hernandez-Varas P; Berge U; Jafari-Mamaghani M; Lock JG; Stromblad S, 2016, 'An analysis toolbox to explore mesenchymal migration heterogeneity reveals adaptive switching between distinct modes', ELIFE, vol. 5,
    Kiss A; Gong X; Kowalewski JM; Shafqat-Abbasi H; Stromblad S; Lock JG, 2015, 'Non-monotonic cellular responses to heterogeneity in talin protein expression-level', INTEGRATIVE BIOLOGY, vol. 7, pp. 1171 - 1185,
    Hernandez-Varas P; Berge U; Lock JG; Stromblad S, 2015, 'A plastic relationship between vinculin-mediated tension and adhesion complex area defines adhesion size and lifetime', NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, vol. 6,
    Kowalewski JM; Shafqat-Abbasi H; Jafari-Mamaghani M; Ganebo BE; Gong X; Stromblad S; Lock JG, 2015, 'Disentangling Membrane Dynamics and Cell Migration; Differential Influences of F-actin and Cell-Matrix Adhesions', PLOS ONE, vol. 10,
    Lock JG; Mamaghani MJ; Shafqat-Abbasi H; Gong X; Tyrcha J; Stromblad S, 2014, 'Plasticity in the Macromolecular-Scale Causal Networks of Cell Migration', PLOS ONE, vol. 9,
    Nguyen Hoang AT; Chen P; Björnfot S; Högstrand K; Lock JG; Grandien A; Coles M; Svensson M, 2014, 'Technical advance: live-imaging analysis of human dendritic cell migrating behavior under the influence of immune-stimulating reagents in an organotypic model of lung.', J Leukoc Biol, vol. 96, pp. 481 - 489,
    Nystrom S; Antoine DJ; Lundback P; Lock JG; Nita AF; Hogstrand K; Grandien A; Erlandsson-Harris H; Andersson U; Applequist SE, 2013, 'TLR activation regulates damage-associated molecular pattern isoforms released during pyroptosis', EMBO JOURNAL, vol. 32, pp. 86 - 99,
    Nyström S; Antoine DJ; Lundbäck P; Lock JG; Nita AF; Högstrand K; Grandien A; Erlandsson-Harris H; Andersson U; Applequist SE, 2013, 'TLR activation regulates damage-associated molecular pattern isoforms released during pyroptosis.', The EMBO journal, vol. 32, pp. 172 - 172,
    Colo GP; Hernandez-Varas P; Lock J; Bartolome RA; Arellano-Sanchez N; Stromblad S; Teixido J, 2012, 'Focal adhesion disassembly is regulated by a RIAM to MEK-1 pathway', JOURNAL OF CELL SCIENCE, vol. 125, pp. 5338 - 5352,
    Lock JG; Stromblad S, 2010, 'Systems microscopy: An emerging strategy for the life sciences', EXPERIMENTAL CELL RESEARCH, vol. 316, pp. 1438 - 1444,
    Lindberg K; Strom A; Lock JG; Gustafsson J-A; Haldosen L-A; Helguero LA, 2010, 'Expression of Estrogen Receptor beta Increases Integrin alpha 1 and Integrin beta 1 Levels and Enhances Adhesion of Breast Cancer Cells', JOURNAL OF CELLULAR PHYSIOLOGY, vol. 222, pp. 156 - 167,
    Li Z; Lock JG; Olofsson H; Kowalewski JM; Teller S; Liu Y; Zhang H; Stromblad S, 2010, 'Integrin-mediated Cell Attachment Induces a PAK4-dependent Feedback Loop Regulating Cell Adhesion through Modified Integrin alpha v beta 5 Clustering and Turnover', MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL, vol. 21, pp. 3317 - 3329,
    Plantard L; Arjonen A; Lock JG; Nurani G; Ivaska J; Stromblad S, 2010, 'PtdIns(3,4,5)P-3 is a regulator of myosin-X localization and filopodia formation', JOURNAL OF CELL SCIENCE, vol. 123, pp. 3525 - 3534,
    An Z; Dobra K; Lock JG; Stromblad S; Hjerpe A; Zhang H, 2010, 'Kindlin-2 is expressed in malignant mesothelioma and is required for tumor cell adhesion and migration', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CANCER, vol. 127, pp. 1999 - 2008,
    Lieu ZZ; Lock JG; Hammond LA; La Gruta NL; Stow JL; Gleeson PA, 2008, 'A trans-Golgi network golgin is required for the 14 regulated secretion of TNF in activated macrophages in vivo', PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, vol. 105, pp. 3351 - 3356,
    Lock JG; Wehrle-Haller B; Stroemblad S, 2008, 'Cell-matrix adhesion complexes: Master control machinery of cell migration', SEMINARS IN CANCER BIOLOGY, vol. 18, pp. 65 - 76,
    Souslova EA; Belousov VV; Lock JG; Stromblad S; Kasparov S; Bolshakov AP; Pinelis VG; Labas YA; Lukyanov S; Mayr LM; Chudakov DM, 2007, 'Single fluorescent protein-based Ca2+ sensors with increased dynamic range', BMC BIOTECHNOLOGY, vol. 7,
    Lock JG; Hammond LA; Houghton F; Gleeson PA; Stow JL, 2005, 'E-cadherin transport from the trans-Golgi network in tubulovesicular carriers is selectively regulated by Golgin-97', TRAFFIC, vol. 6, pp. 1142 - 1156,
    Lock JG; Stow JL, 2005, 'Rab11 in recycling endosomes regulates the sorting and basolateral transport of E-cadherin', MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL, vol. 16, pp. 1744 - 1755,
    Gleeson PA; Lock JG; Luke MR; Stow JL, 2004, 'Domains of the TGN: Coats, tethers and G proteins', TRAFFIC, vol. 5, pp. 315 - 326,
    Wylie FG; Lock JG; Jamriska L; Khromykh T; Brown DL; Stow JL, 2003, 'GAIP participates in budding of membrane carriers at the trans-Golgi network', TRAFFIC, vol. 4, pp. 175 - 189,
    Brown DL; Heimann K; Lock J; Kjer-Nielsen L; van Vliet C; Stow JL; Gleeson PA, 2001, 'The GRIP domain is a specific targeting sequence for a population of trans-Golgi network derived tubulo-vesicular carriers', TRAFFIC, vol. 2, pp. 336 - 344,
    Bryce NS; Failes TW; Stehn JR; Baker K; Zahler S; Arzhaeva Y; Bischof L; Lyons C; Dedova I; Arndt GM; Gaus K; Goult BT; Hardeman EC; Gunning PW; Lock JG, 'The Limits of Phenotypic Plasticity in the Actin Cytoskeleton Revealed by Unbiased Chemical Perturbation', SSRN Electronic Journal,
    Conference Papers
    Lock J; Filonik D; Lawther R; Pather N; Gaus K; Kenderdine S; Bednarz T, 2018, 'Visual Analytics of Single Cell Microscopy Data Using a Collaborative Immersive Environment', in International Conference on Virtual Reality Continuum and its Applications in Industry (VRCAI '18), ACM, New York, Hachioji, Japan, presented at International Conference on Virtual Reality Continuum and its Applications in Industry (VRCAI '18), Hachioji, Japan, 02 December 2018 - 03 December 2018,
    Book Chapters
    Strömblad S; Lock JG, 2018, 'Using systems microscopy to understand the emergence of cell migration from cell organization', in Methods in Molecular Biology, pp. 119 - 134,
    • 2019: NHMRC Ideas - Revolutionising circulating tumour cell (CTC) analysis in castrate resistant prostate cancer
    • 2019: UNSW ResTech - BioDive integrated image and numerical data visualisation platform
    • 2018: UNSW RIS - Multi-Modal Collaborative High-End Visualisation System
    • 2018: UNSW RIS - Automated biological sample labelling system
    • 2017: Ramaciotti Biomedical Research Award for Systems Microscopy Facility – 1 awarded nationally every 2 years
    • 2017: ARC LIEF LE180100157 for Systems Microscopy
    • 2017: ARC DP170103599 - Statistical analyses for spatial organisation in T cell signalling
    • 2016: UNSW RIS - High-dimensional super-resolution live cell imaging