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Staff Profile

Associate Professor Pritinder Kaur

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Associate Professor
Office of the Provost
Faculty of Health Sciences
Bentley Campus
08 9266 5204

Brief Summary

I am an epithelial stem cell biologist with research interests in tissue renewal, wound repair and cancer. My laboratory has used predominantly human skin as a model epithelium but findings in this tissue can be extended to many other epithelia including oesophageal, gastrointestinal and ovarian tissues. My primary research interests focus on understanding the cellular and molecular interactions between epithelial stem cells and their immediate mesenchymal microenvironment - an interaction that drives homeostatic cell replacement. Disruption of epithelial-mesenchymal  interactions occur during injury and cancer - an understanding of these perturbations provides insights into the development of proliferative diseases, ageing and carcinogenesis.    

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  • BSc Hons in Cell Biology : University of London, UK
  • PhD : Paterson Insttute of Cancer Research affiliated to Manchester University, UK
  • Postdoctoral training :
  • Human papillomaviruses and epithelial carcinogenesis, Laboratory of James K McDougall, Basic Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Centre, Seattle, USA 
  • Integrins in keratinocyte adhesion and carcinogenesis, Laboratory of William G Carter, Basic Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, USA


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Memberships, Awards and Training


  • Member of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, Australasian Society for Dermatology Research (ASDR), Australasian Society for Wound and Tissue Research, Australian Society for Stem Cell Research, Scientific Research Committee of the Australian College of Dermatologists, Research Advisory Committee, OCT Therapies & Research Private Ltd, Mumbai, India.
  • Inaugural/Current Board Member, President 2012-2014 of ASDR
  • Editorial Board member for : "Stem Cells”, The International Journal of Cell Differentiation and Proliferation; “Stem Cell Reviews”; Associate Editor for Australia, Current Stem Cell Research and Therapy.
  • Florey Fellowship, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, Australia (1990-1994)
  • UICC ICRETT Fellowship (2004)
  • Life Fellow UICC (2005-)
  • NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship 2008-2013 
  • UICC Yamagiwa-Yoshida International Cancer Study Grant (2010)


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Employment History

  • Staff Scientist, Basic Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, USA (1988-1990)
  • Florey Fellow/NHMRC Senior Research Officer/Assistant Member: Hanson Centre for Cancer Research, IMVS, Adelaide (1990-1994)
  • Lab Head/Group Leader : Sir Peter MacCallum Dept of Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia (1999-2015)
  • Research Fellow :  Dept of Biochemistry, University of Melbourne (2000-2013)
  • Principal Fellow/Associate Professor : Dept of Anatomy & Neurosciences, University of Melbourne (2013-present) 
  • Lab Head/Group Leader : Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Ritchie Centre (2015-2016)
  • Associate Professor : Dept of Gynaecology & Obstetrics, Monash University (2015-)
  • Lab Head/Associate Professor: School of Biomedical Sciences, Curtin University (2016-)

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Undergraduate teaching - external:

  • Guest Lecturer at University of Adelaide, Department of Genetics “Cancer Biology” Lectures for undergraduates (1997).
  • Guest Lecturer, at University of Melbourne, Dept of Anatomy & NeuroscienceCell Biology. 3rd Yr Students in ‘Stem Cells in Development and Regeneration CEDB30004’ course.  (2012-present)

Postgraduate teaching – external:

  • Guest Lecturer, Masters Course, Universite Joseph Fourier, Department of Biology Grenoble, France (Sept 2010)
  • Visiting Professor, The Erasmus Mundus BioHealth Computing Master’s Course supported by the European Commission. 28th-3rd Sept, 2012, Archamps Euro-Swiss Techopole, France. (Sept 2012).
  • Guest Lecturer, Masters Course in Biotechnology, Universite Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France. (Sept 2012)
  • International Workshop on Skin Stem Cell Biology, InStem, Bangalore, India. (Sept 2011). Teaching stem cell isolation techniques and other skin biology methods in a hands-on teaching workshop to PhD students, and senior researchers including lab heads and industry-based scientists.

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Research Interests

Understanding the specific cellular and molecular interactions between Molecular & cellular characterisation of human epithelial stem cells and their mesenchymal microenvironment (fibroblasts and MSC-like pericytes) of the using model tissues such as skin, ovary and oesophagus that underlie :

  • Stem cell self-renewal and tissue renewal during homeostasis
  • Wound healing and skin regeneration
  • Human epithelial cancer progression to malignancy in ovarian and skin cancer
  • Functional changes in the mesenchymal microenvironment with ageing human skin  

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Specialty Areas

  • Skin biology
  • Stem cell biology
  • Epithelial cell biology
  • Cancer biology


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Journal Articles (Research)

  • Sinha, D., L. Chong, J. George, H. Schlüter, S. Mönchgesang, S. Mills, J. Li, C. Parish, D. Bowtell, and P. Kaur. 2016. "Pericytes promote malignant ovarian cancer progression in mice and predict poor prognosis in serous ovarian cancer patients." Clinical Cancer Research 22 (7): 1813-1824.


Journal Articles (Research)

  • Pearson, H. B., E. McGlinn, T. J. Phesse, H. Schluter, A. Srikumar, N. J. Godde, C. B. Woelwer, A. Ryan, W. A. Phillips, M. Ernst, P. Kaur, and P. Humbert. 2015. "The polarity protein Scrib mediates epidermal development and exerts a tumor suppressive function during skin carcinogenesis." Molecular Cancer 14 (169)
  • Paul, M., P. Kaur, M. Herson, P. Cheshire, H. Cleland, and S. Akbarzadeh. 2015. "Use of clotted human plasma and aprotinin in skin tissue engineering - A novel approach to engineering composite skin on a porous scaffold." Tissue Engineering in PressPart C 21 (10): 1098-1104.
  • Mills, S. J., L. Zhuang, P. Arandjelovic, A. J. Cowin, and P. Kaur. 2015. "Effects of human pericytes in a murine excision model of wound healing." EXPERIMENTAL DERMATOLOGY 24 (11): 881-883.
  • Sampurno, S., R. Cross, H. Pearson, P. Kaur, J. Malaterre, and R. G. Ramsay. 2015. "Myb via TGFb is required for collagen type 1 production and skin integrity." Growth Factors and Cytokines in Health and Disease 33 (2): 102-112.


Journal Articles (Research)

  • DiTommaso, T. M., D. Cottle, H. Pearson, H. Schluter, P. Kaur, P. Humbert, and I. Smyth. 2014. "Keratin 76 is required for tight junction function and maintenance of the skin barrier." PLoS Genetics 10 (10)
  • Adolphe, C., E. Nieuwenhuis, R. Villani, Z. J. Li, P. Kaur, C. C. Hui, and B. Wainwright. 2014. "Patched 1 and Patched 2 redundancy has a key Role in regulating epidermal differentiation." JOURNAL OF INVESTIGATIVE DERMATOLOGY 134 (7): 1981-1990.
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keyboard_arrow_downAdditional publication categories


Journal Articles (Scholarly/Professional)

  • Kaur, P. 2017. "Hair-follicle dermal papilla and sheath fibroblasts provide a supportive microenvironment for human skin regeneration." British Journal of Dermatology 176 (5): 1123-1124.
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Additional Information


Original Research Articles (selected)

  • Kaur P and McDougall JK.  Characterisation of primary human keratinocytes transformed by human papillomavirus type 18.  J Virology 62:1917-1924, 1988. 
  • Kaur P and McDougall JK.  HPV-18 immortalisation of human keratinocytes.  Virology 173:302-310, 1989. 
  • Carter WG, Wayner EA, Bouchard TS and Kaur P.  The role of integrins a2b1 and a3b1 in cell-cell and cell-substrate adhesion of human epidermal cellsJ Cell Biol 110:1387-1404, 1990. 
  • Carter WG, Kaur P, Gil SG, Gahr PJ and Wayner EA.  Distinct functions for integrins a3b1 in focal adhesions and a6b4/Bullous Pemphigoid antigen in a new stable anchoring contact (SAC) of keratinocytes:  Relation to hemidesmosomes.  J Cell Biol 111:3141-3154, 1990. 
  • Hurlin PJ, Kaur P, Smith PP, Perez-Reyes N, Blanton RA and McDougall JK.  Progression of human papillomavirus type 18-immortalized human keratinocytes to a malignant phenotype.  PNAS-USA 88:570-574, 1991.
  • Kaur P and Carter WG.  Integrin expression and differentiation in transformed human epidermal cells is regulated by fibroblasts.  Journal Cell Science 103:755-763, 1992.
  • Gamble JR, Matthias LJ, Meyer G, Kaur P, Russ G, Faull R, Berndt M and Vadas MA.  Regulation of in vitro capillary tube formation by anti-integrin antibodies.  J Cell Biol 121:931-934, 1993.
  • Li A, Simmons PJ & Kaur P. Identification and isolation of candidate human keratinocyte stem cells based on cell surface phenotype. PNAS-USA 95 : 3902-3907, 1998. 
  • Kaur P & Li A. Adhesive properties of human basal epidermal cells: An analysis of keratinocyte stem cells, transit amplifying cells, and postmitotic differentiating cells. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 114:413-20, 2000. 
  • ​Tani H, Morris RJ & Kaur P. Enrichment for murine keratinocyte stem cells based on cell surface phenotype.  PNAS-USA, 97 10960-10965, 2000. 
  • Li A, Pouliot N, Redvers R and Kaur P. 2004. Extensive tissue regenerative capacity of neonatal human keratinocyte stem cells and their progeny. J. Clin.Invest. 113:390-400. 
  • Gugasyan R, Voss A, Varigos G, Thomas T, Grumont RJ, Kaur P, Grigoriadis G, Gerondakis S. 2004. The Transcription Factors c-rel and RelA Control Epidermal Development and Homeostasis in Embryonic and Adult Skin via Distinct Mechanisms. Mol Cell Biol. 24:5733-45. 
  • Adolphe C, Narang M, Ellis T, Wicking C, Kaur P and Wainwright B. 2004. An in vivo comparative study of sonic, desert and Indian hedgehog reveals that hedgehog pathway activity regulates epidermal stem cell homeostasis. Development, 131: 5009-5017. 
  • Webb A, Li A and Kaur P. 2004. Location and phenotype of adult keratinocyte stem cells of the skin. Differentiation. 72: 387-95. 
  • Pouliot N, Redvers RP, Ellis S, Saunders NA and Kaur P. 2005. Optimisation of a transplant model to assess skin reconstitution from stem cell-enriched primary human keratinocyte populations. Exptl Dermatol, 14: 60-69. 
  • Ting SB, Caddy J, Hislop N, Wilanowski T, Auden A, Zhao LL, Ellis S, Kaur P, Uchida Y, Holleran WM, Elias PM, Cunningham JM, Jane SM. 2005. A homolog of Drosophila grainy head is essential for epidermal integrity in mice. Science. 308:411-413. 
  • Redvers RP, Li A, Kaur P. 2006. The side population in adult murine epidermis exhibits phenotypic and functional characteristics of keratinocyte stem cells. PNAS-USA,  103(35):13168-73.
  • Croagh D, Phillips WA, Redvers R, Thomas RJ, Kaur P. 2007. Identification of candidate murine esophageal stem cells using a combination of cell kinetic studies and cell surface markers. Stem Cells 25 (2): 313-318.
  • Gangatirkar P, Paquet-Fifield S, Li A, Rossi R, Kaur P. 2007.  Establishment of 3D organotypic cultures using human neonatal epidermal cells. Nature Protocols. 2(1):178-86.
  • Paquet-Fifield S, Schlüter H, Li A, Aitken T, Gangatirkar P, Blashki D, Koelmeyer R, Pouliot N, Palatsides M, Ellis S, Brouard N, Zannettino A, Saunders N, Thompson N, Li J and Kaur P. 2009. A role for pericytes as microenvironmental regulators of human skin tissue regeneration. J Clin Invest. 119 (9):2795-806. 
  • Schlüter H, Paquet-Fifield S, Gangatirkar P and Kaur P. 2011. Functional characterisation of quiescent keratinocyte stem cells and their progeny reveals a hierarchical organisation in human skin epidermis. Stem Cells. 29(8):1256-68. Accepted online 14 Jun 2011 DOI:10.1002/stem.675.
  • Schluter H, Jurgen-Stark, H, Boukamp P & Kaur P. 2013. Wif-1 is expressed by stem cells of the human interfollicular epidermis and acts to suppress keratinocyte proliferation. J Invest Derm. 133 (6): 1669-73.  
  • Adolphe C, Nieuwenhuis E, Villani R, Li JZ, Kaur P, Hui CC & Wainwright B. 2014. Combined loss of Patched 1 and Patched 2 redundancy has a key Role in regulating epidermal differentiation. J Invest Derm. Feb 3. Doi: 10.1038/jid.2014.63.
  • DiTommaso TM, Pearson H, Schluter H, Jones L, Kaur P, Humbert P, The Wellcome & Smyth I. 2014. Keratin 76 is required for tight junction function and maintenance of the skin barrier. PLOS Genetics, 10 (10) : e1004706.doi:10.1371/journal.pgen 1004706.
  • Sampurno S, Cross RS, Pearson H, Kaur  P, Malaterre J & Ramsay RG. 2015.  Myb via TGFb, is required for Collagen Type 1 Production and Skin Integrity. Growth Factors,  33 (2):102-12. doi: 10.3109/08977194.2015.1016222. Epub Mar 25 2015.
  • Mills SJ, Zhuang, L, Arandjelovic P, Cowin AJ & Kaur P. 2015. Effects of human pericytes in a murine excision model of wound healing. Exp Dermatol.  May 10. doi: 10.1111/exd.12755. [Epub ahead of print] 24 (11) : 881-883.
  • Paul M, Kaur, P, Herson M, Cheshire P, Cleland H & Akbarzadeh S. 2015. Use of clotted human plasma and aprotinin in skin tissue engineering - A novel approach to engineering composite skin on a porous scaffold. Tissue Engineering in PressPart C. doi:10.1089/ten tec.2014.0667. 21 (10) : 1098-104.
  • Pearson H, McGlinn E, Phesse TJ, Schluter H, Srikumar A, Woelwer C, Godde N, Ryan A, Phillips W, Ernst M, Kaur P, Humbert P. 2015. The polarity protein Scrib mediates epidermal development and exerts a tumor suppressive function during skin carcinogenesis. Molecular Cancer, 14 (169). 17th Sept 2015.
  • Sinha D, Chong L, George J, Schlüter H, Mönchgesang S, Mills S, Parish CR, Australian Ovarian Cancer Study Group, Bowtell, DDL & Kaur P. 2015. Pericytes act independently of angiogenesis to promote ovarian cancer progression. In press. Clinical Cancer Research. Published Online First on November 20, 2015; DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-1931

Book Chapters/Methods

  • McDougall JK, Beckmann AM, Kaur P, and Galloway DA.  DNA viruses in anogenital cancer.  Medical Virology VI pp.261-283.  Eds. LM de la Maza and EM Peterson.  Elsevier, 1987.
  • Carter WG, Symington BE and Kaur P.   Cell adhesion and the basement membrane in early epidermal morphogenesis.   In: 'Epithelial Organization in Development'.  Ed. T.P. Fleming, Chapman & Hall (London), 1992, pp. 299-327.
  • Kaur P.  Immortalization of human keratinocytes with human papilloma virus.  Cell & Tissue Culture: Lab Procedures 261:1-7, 1994.
  • Kaur P. and Halbert CL. Immortalization of human keratinocytes with human papilloma virus DNA. Methods in Cell Science 17: 117-123, 1995.
  • Upjohn E, Varigos G & Kaur P. 2004. Burns and leg ulcers. In "Handbook of Embryonic Stem Cells". Edited by Doug Melton, James Thomson, John Gearhart, Brigid Hogan, Ron McKay, Roger Pedersen, Mike West and Robert Lanza. Academic Press, pp731-736.
  • Li A & Kaur P. 2005. "FACS enrichment of keratinocyte stem cells" In “Epidermal Protocols”. p87-96. Edited by Kursad Turksen. Humana Press. (16 citations).
  • Redvers R and Kaur P. 2006. “Stem cell populations of the skin” in “Tissue Stem Cells : Biology & Applications” Edited by CS Potten, R Clarke, A Renehan and J Wilson, Dekker. pp 117-148.
  • Paquet-Fifield S, Redvers RP, Pouliot N and Kaur P. 2009. A transplant model for human epidermal skin regeneration. In Methods in Molecular Biology series. In press; and Springer's Protocols On-Line [].
  • Schlueter H & Kaur P. 2013. In vivo transplantation assay at limiting dilution to identify the intrinsic tissue recosntitutive capacity of keratinocyte stem cells and their progeny. In Methods in Molecular Biology 989, Springer Protocols “Skin Stem Cells”, Methods & Protocols. Edited by Kursad Turksen. Humana Press, pp 165-182.  

Invited Commentaries/Reviews

  • Cotsarelis G, Kaur P, Dhouailly D, Hengge U & Bickenbach J. Epithelial stem cells in the skin : definition, markers, functions, and localization. Experimental Dermatology, 8:80-8, 1999. 
  • Hengge UR, Taichman LB, Kaur P, Rogers G, Jensen TG, Goldsmith LA, Rees JL & Christiano AM. How realistic is cutaneous gene therapy? Experimental Dermatology, 8:419-431, 1999.
  • Kaur, P & Wood, F. 2005. Stem cells of the skin. Australian Biochemist 36: 15-18.
  • Webb A & Kaur P. 2006. “Epidermal Stem Cells” Frontiers in Bioscience 11:1031-1041. 
  • Kaur P. 2006. Interfollicular Epidermal Stem Cells: Identification, Challenges, Potential. J Invest Dermatol 126(7):1450-8.
  • Kaur P. 2004. Women in Cell Science: An interview with Fiona Watt. J Cell Sci. 117: 2869-2870. 
  • Daniel Croagh D, Robert J.S. Thomas RJS, Phillips WA & Kaur P. 2008. Esophageal stem cells – a review of their identification and characterization. Stem Cell Reviews. 
  • Published online Aug 5.
  • Kaur P & Potten CS. 2011. Biology of interfollicular keratinocytes : sensationalism versus reality check. Exp Derm. 20(9):697-702. Accepted online 25 Jun 2011 DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2011.01338.x 
  • Mills SJ, Cowin AJ and Kaur P. 2013. Pericytes, Mesenchymal Stem Cells and the Wound Healing Process. Cells 2013, 2, 621-634; doi:10.3390/cells2030621 Special Issue on "Tissue and Organ Regeneration"(
  • Arandjelovic P & Kaur P. Therapeutic applications of Epithelial stem cells. International J of Biochemistry & Cell Biology Directed Issue on “Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine : mechanisms and potential.” In press.Mills SJ, Cowin AJ and Kaur P. 2013. Pericytes, Mesenchymal Stem Cells and the Wound Healing Process. Cells 2013, 2, 621-634; doi:10.3390/cells2030621 Special Issue on "Tissue and Organ Regeneration"(
  • Arandjelovic P & Kaur P. 2014. “The regenerative potential of Epithelial Stem cells in tissue repair” International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology; Directed Issue on “Regenerative Medicine : the challenge of translation.” Edited by Miranda Grounds & Nadia Rosenthal 56: 107-110. doi:10.1016/j.biocel.2014.10.017
  • Lawlor K & Kaur P. 2015. Dermal Contributions to Human Interfollicular Epidermal Architecture and Self-Renewal. Special Issue "Molecular Research of Epidermal Stem Cells"  Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 1–10; doi:10.3390/ijms161226078

Conference Papers

  • Kaur P and McDougall JK.  Transformation of mouse cells by HPV6b DNA and HPV-18 DNA.  Cancer Cells 5:249-252.  Eds. BM Steinberg, JL Brandsma and LB Taichman.  Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.  CSF, NY, 1987.
  • Kaur P, Li A, Redvers R and Bertoncello I. 2004. Keratinocyte stem cell assays : an evolving science. J Invest Dermatol. Symposium Proceedings 9: 238-247. (37 citations).
  • Croagh D, Frede J, Jones PH, Kaur P, Partensky C & Phillips WA. 2014. Esophageal stem cells and genetics/epigenetics in esophageal cancer. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1325 (1): 8-14. Doi: 10.1111/nyas. 12521.




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