PROF David Vaux

PROF David Vaux


  • Bax and Bak




    Research interest

    Our research looks at processes upstream and downstream of the key apoptosis effector proteins Bax and Bak. These proteins can be activated by increases in BH3-only proteins, a decrease in Bcl-2-like survival proteins, or both.

    We are determining how they are activated in response to treatment with steroids, and when growth factors are removed. In cells lacking genes for Bax and Bak, steroids and growth factor withdrawal do not cause cell death, but they do cause cells to arrest and to shrink. We are using these cells to determine the pathways regulating cell growth and division, as well as cell death.



Selected publications


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Melbourne
  • MBBS, University of Melbourne
  • BMedSc, Institution not known

Awards and honors

  • Officer of the Order of Australia, AO, 2017
  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, 2003


Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • We are investigating how cells regulate their cell growth and cell death systems. We wish to understand the molecules that trigger and mediate cell death, and the pathways that regulate cell growth and cell division.

    Many diseases are characterised by either too much or too little cell death, or by unregulated cell proliferation. We hope that understanding cell death processes will help us develop new treatments for these diseases.