Associate Professor Nikolas Haass
Associate Professor Nikolas Haass
Professor for Cutaneous Oncology
Principal Research Fellow
The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
Department of Dermatology, Princess Alexandra Hospital
School of Medicine, The University of Queensland
Prof Nikolas Haass is a clinician scientist specializing in skin cancers. His interests is the understanding of (1) cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions of melanoma with its microenvironment (2) signalling pathways in melanoma, particularly with regards to identifying novel melanoma therapies and (3) the characterization of melanoma cell subpopulations. The techniques he uses include several three-dimensional cell culture models, which recreate the correct interactions of the melanoma with its tumour microenvironment and thus predict the effects of drugs on the tumour in a much better way than the conventional two-dimensional cell culture models. For his mouse models his team applies cutting-edge intravital multi-photon microscopy.

Nikolas Haass is a Professor at The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute/Translational Research Institute, Honorary Associate Professor at The University of Sydney and Adjunct Associate Faculty member at the Centenary Institute.

After obtaining his PhD at the German Cancer Research Center/ Heidelberg University, he trained as a dermatologist with a focus on cutaneous oncology at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany. He then spent five years at the Wistar Institute (University of Pennsylvania) in Philadelphia, as a post-doctoral fellow funded by the German Research Foundation. As a Cameron Melanoma Research Fellow from October 2007 to February 2013, he headed the group, ‘Experimental Melanoma Therapy’ at the Centenary Institute.

In March 2013 he commenced his current position at UQDI. Using cutting-edge technology, such as real-time imaging of melanoma cells in 3D culture and in vivo, he and his team investigate the biology of tumour heterogeneity and the role of differential subpopulations of melanoma cells in melanomagenesis with the goal to develop novel therapeutic approaches by simultaneously targeting these differential subpopulations. 

Telephone: +61 7 3443 7087


A. Peer-reviewed Journal Articles
1. Hill DS, Lovat PE, Haass NK* (in press)
Induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress as a strategy for melanoma therapy: is there a future?
Melanoma Management, accepted for publication, 29 April 2014  (IF: n.a.; *corresponding author)
2. Moloney FJ, Guitera P, Coates E, Haass NK, Ho K, Khoury R, O’Connell RL, Raudonikis L, Schmid H, Mann GJ, Menzies SW (2014)
JAMA Dermatol 150: 819-827; CME quiz* 150: 915  (IF 4.306; 1 citation; issue highlight)
[This article was discussed as an issue highlight, received an editorial and was part of the CME program]
3. Haass NK*, Beaumont KA, Hill DS, Anfosso A, Mrass P, Munoz MA, Kinjyo I, Weninger W (2014)
Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 27: 764-776 (IF: 5.641; 1 citation; cover story; cover image; *corresponding author)
4. Haass NK*, Schumacher U (2014)
Exp Dermatol 23: 471-472 (IF: 4.115; 3 citations; *corresponding author)
5. Mohana-Kumaran N, Hill DS, Allen JD, Haass NK* (2014)
Pigment Cell Melanoma Res27: 525-539 (IF: 5.641; 4 citations; *corresponding author)
6. Wang Q, Beaumont KA, Otte NJ, Font J, Bailey CG, van Geldermalsen M, Sharp DM, Tiffen JC, Ryan RM, Jormakka M, Haass NK, Rasko JE, Holst J (2014)
Int J Cancer 135: 1060-1071 (IF: 5.007; 4 citations)
7. Beaumont KA, Mohana-Kumaran N, Haass NK* (2014; Epub 2013 Dec 23)
Modeling Melanoma In Vitro and In Vivo, Special Issue "Melanoma and Neoplasms of Skin"
Healthcare 2: 27-46; doi:10.3390/healthcare2010027 (IF: n.a.; 1 citation; cover image; *corresponding author)
8. Stehn JR, Haass NK, Bonello T, Desouza M, Kottyan G, Treutlein H, Zeng J, Nascimento PR, Sequeira VB, Butler TL, Allanson M, Fath T, Hill TA, McCluskey A, Schevzov G, Palmer SJ, Hardeman EC, Winlaw D, Reeve VE, Dixon I, Weninger W, Cripe TP, Gunning PW (2013)
Cancer Res 73: 5169-5182(IF 9.284; 10 citations; cover story; cover image)
[Précis: This study offers a preclinical proof of concept for small molecules that target the actin cytoskeleton of cancer cells as an efficacious treatment strategy.]
[Our presentation of this study won the Translational Research Award by Stiftung Dermatologikum Hamburg at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Dermatologische Forschung, March 2012]
9. Brandner JM, Haass NK* (2013)
Pathology 45: 443-452 (IF 2.620; 8 citations; *corresponding author)
10. Pavey S, Spoerri L, Haass NK, Gabrielli B (2013)
Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 26: 805-816(IF: 5.641; 1 citation)
11. Tong PL, Qin J, Cooper CL, Lowe PM, Murrell DF, Kossard S, Ng LG, Roediger B, Weninger W, Haass NK* (2013)
Br J Dermatol 169: 869-879 (IF 4.100; 5 citations; cover image; *corresponding author)
[Our presentation of this study won the Brenan Prize 2012 of the Australasian Dermatopathology Society]
12. Wroblewski D, Mijatov B, Mohana-Kumaran N, Lai F, Gallagher SJ, Haass NK, Zhang XD, Hersey P (2013; Epub 2012 Oct 20)
Carcinogenesis 34: 237-247 (IF 5.266; 14 citations)
13. Lucas KM, Mohana-Kumaran N, Lau D, Zhang XD, Hersey P, Huang DC, Weninger W, Haass NK*, Allen JD* (2012; Epub 2011 Dec 15)
Clin Cancer Res 18: 783-795 (IF: 8.193; 29 citations; *equal contribution & corresponding authors)
[Our presentation of this study was awarded with the prize for the best oral presentation by a young investigator at the Australasian Society for Dermatology Research, May 2009]
14. Smalley KSM, Aplin AE, Flaherty KT, Hoeller C, Bosserhoff AK, Haass NK, Bosenberg M, Ribas A, Barnhill R, Kudchadkar R, Messina JL (2012; Epub 2011 Dec 9)
Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 25: E1-E11 (IF: 5.641; 12 citations)
15. McGowan EM, Alling N, Jackson EA, Yagoub D, Haass NK, Allen JD, Martiniello-Wilks R (2011)
PLoS One 6: e20623, pp. 1-8 (IF: 3.534; 19 citations)
16. Hersey P, Smalley KSM, Weeraratna A, Bosenberg M, Zhang XD, Haass NK, Paton E, Mann G, Scolyer RA, Tüting T (2011; Epub 2010 Dec 22)
Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 24: e1-e15 (IF: 5.641; 11 citations)
17. Cocciolone RA, Crotty KA, Andrews L, Haass NK*, Moloney FJ (2010)
JAMA Dermatol 146: 1316-1318 (then: Arch Dermatol; IF: 4.306; 7 citations; *corresponding author)
18. Lee JT, Li L, Brafford PA, van den Eijnden M, Halloran MB, Sproesser K, Haass NK, Smalley KSM, Tsai J, Bollag G, Herlyn M (2010)
Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 23: 820-827 (IF: 5.641; 75 citations)
19. de Zwaan SE, Haass NK* (2010; Epub 2009 Dec 10)
Australas J Dermatol 51: 81-92; quiz** 93-94 (IF: 0.982; 24 citations; *corresponding author; **Professional Development Program)
[This article won the Adrian Johnson Memorial Prize of the Australasian College of Dermatologists]
20. Haass NK*, Ripperger D, Wladykowski E, Dawson P, Gimotty PA, Blome C, Fischer F, Schmage P, Moll I, Brandner JM (2010; Epub 2009 Oct 21)
Histochem Cell Biol 133: 113–124 (IF: 2.927; 11 citations; *corresponding author)
[This article was credited by BioMedLib as one of the Top 10 articles in its domain]
21. Haass NK, Smalley KSM (2009)
Mol Diagn Ther 13: 283-296 (IF: 2.589; 25 citations)
[This article is a featured article and listed amongst the most popular papers of the journal]
22. Santiago-Walker A, Li L, Haass NK, Herlyn M (2009)
Skin Pharmacol Physiol 22: 114-121 (IF: 1.964; 20 citations)
23. Haass NK* (2008)
Zebrafish 5: 91-92 (IF: 1.772; 1 citation; *corresponding author)
24. Gottschling M, Haass NK, Buchheim A (2008)
Identification of American Herring Gull Larus smithsonianus and European Herring Gull L. argentatus.
Limicola 22: 1-29 (IF: n.a.)
[This article won the Witmer Stone Award of the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia]
25. Tsai J, Lee JT, Wang W, Zhang J, Cho H, Mamo S, Bremer R, Gilette S, Kong J, Haass NK, Sproesser K, Li L, Smalley KSM, Fong D, Zhu Y-L, Marimuthu A, Nguyen H, Lam B, Liu J, Cheung I, Rice J, Suzuki Y, Luu C, Settachatgul C, Shellooe R, Cantwell J, Kim S-H, Schlessinger J, Zhang KYJ, West BL, Powell B, Habets G, Zhang C, Ibrahim PN, Hirth P, Artis DR, Herlyn M, Bollag G (2008)
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 105: 3041-3046 (IF: 9.809; 644 citations; cover story)
[This paper was evaluated by the Faculty of 1000 Biology: “Exceptional”, F1000 Factor 9.0. It set the basis for the highly successful trials of selective BRAF inhibitors in BRAF-mutant melanoma patients]
26. Haass NK, Sproesser K, Nguyen TK, Contractor R, Medina CA, Nathanson KL, Herlyn M, Smalley KSM (2008)
Clin Cancer Res 14: 230-239 (IF: 8.193; 156 citations)
[This paper set the basis for ongoing trials of MEK inhibitors in melanoma patients.]
27. Smalley KSM, Lioni M, Noma K, Haass NK, Herlyn M (2008; Epub 2007 Dec 19)
Expert Opin Drug Discov 3: 1-10 (IF: 3.467; 19 citations)
28. Wenke AK, Kjellman C, Lundgren-Akerlund E, Uhlmann C, Haass NK, Herlyn M, Bosserhoff AK (2007)
Cell Oncol 29: 373-386(now: Anal Cell Pathol (Amst.); IF: 2.124; 9 citations)
29. Smalley KSM, Contractor R, Haass NK, Lee JT, Nathanson KL, Medina CA, Flaherty KT, Herlyn M (2007)
Br J Cancer 96: 445-449 (IF: 4.817; 49 citations)
30. Smalley KSM, Contractor R, Haass NK, Kulp AN, Atilla-Gokcumen GE, Williams DS, Bregman H, Flaherty KT, Soengas MS, Meggers E, Herlyn M (2007)
Cancer Res 67: 209-217 (IF: 9.284; 140 citations)
[This paper was evaluated by the Faculty of 1000 Biology: “Recommended”, F1000 Factor 3.0]
31. Smalley KSM*, Haass NK*, Brafford PA, Lioni M, Flaherty KT, Herlyn M (2006)
Mol Cancer Ther 5: 1136-1144 (IF: 6.107; 279 citations; *equal contribution)
[This article is one of the most cited papers of the journal and was evaluated by the Faculty of 1000 Biology: “Recommended”, F1000 Factor 3.2]
32. Haass NK, Herlyn M (2005)
J Invest Dermatol Symp Proc 10: 153-163 (IF: 3.733; 100 citations)
33. Haass NK*, Wladykowski E, Kief S, Moll I, Brandner JM (2006; Epub 2005 Jul 26)
J Histochem Cytochem 54:171-182 (IF: 2.403; 30 citations; *corresponding author)
34. Haass NK, Smalley KSM, Li L, Herlyn M (2005)
Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 18: 150-159 (then: Pigment Cell Res; IF: 5.641; 243 citations; cover story; cover image)
[This article is one of the most read and most cited papers of the journal]
35. Smalley KSM, Brafford PA, Haass NK, Brandner JM, Brown E, Herlyn M (2005)
Am J Pathol 166: 1541-1554 (IF: 4.602; 104 citations; cover image)
36. Haass NK, Smalley KSM, Herlyn M (2004)
J Mol Histol 35: 309-318 (IF: 1.979; 120 citations)
[This article is one of the most read and most cited papers of the journal]
37. Pföhler C, Cree IA, Ugurel S, Kuwert C, Haass NK, Neuber K, Hengge U, Corrie PG, Zutt M, Tilgen W, Reinhold U (2003)
Anti-Cancer Drugs 14: 337-340 (IF: 1.891; 43 citations)
38. Windoffer R, Borchert-Stuhlträger M, Haass NK, Thomas S, Hergt M, Bulitta CJ, Leube RE (1999)
Cell Tissue Res 296: 499-510 (IF: 3.333; 26 citations; cover story; cover image)
39. Haass NK, Kartenbeck J, Leube RE (1996)
J Cell Biol 134: 731-746 (IF: 9.688; 69 citations)
[A presentation of this study won the Worthington-Award of the American Society for Cell Biology]
B. Book chapters
1. Tonnessen CA, Haass NK* (in press)
Melanoma: From tumor specific mutations to a new molecular taxonomy and innovative therapeutics.
In: Bieber T & Nestle F (Eds.): Personalized Treatment Options in Dermatology
Springer, invited book chapter(*corresponding author)
2. Spoerri L, Oo ZY, Larsen J, Haass NK, Gabrielli B, Pavey S (in press)
Cell cycle checkpoint and DNA damage response defects as anticancer targets: from molecular mechanisms to therapeutic opportunities.
In: Wondrak G (Ed.): Stress Response Pathways in Cancer: From Molecular Targets to Novel Therapeutics
Springer, invited book chapter
3. Kuphal S, Haass NK (2011)
Cell–Cell and Cell–Matrix Contacts in Melanoma and the Tumor Microenvironment.
In: Bosserhoff AK (Ed.): Melanoma Development – Molecular Biology, Genetics and Clinical Application
Springer-Verlag/Wien, pp. 181-215, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-7091-0371-5_9 (1 citation)
4. Haass NK, Bauer H-G (2011)
Egretta schistacea (Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1828) – Küstenreiher. In: Hölzinger J, Bauer H-G: Die Vögel Baden-Württembergs. Band 2.0: Nicht-Singvögel 1.1 Rheidae – Phoenicopteridae.
Ulmer-Verlag, Stuttgart, pp. 266-268
5. Santiago-Walker A, Li L, Haass NK, Herlyn M (2009)
Melanocytes: From Morphology to Application.
In: Fluhr JW, Elsner P (Eds.): Tissue Engineering in Dermatology.
Karger, pp. 60-67 (cover image)
6. Haass NK*, Hoeller C, Herlyn M (2008)
Targeting Signaling Pathways – in the Search of Melanoma’s Achilles’ Heel.
In: Bar-Eli M (Ed.): Regulation of Gene Expression in the Tumor Environment. Series: The Tumor Microenvironment, Vol. 2.
Springer Science+Business Media B.V., pp. 27-42 (*corresponding author)
7. Haass NK, Smalley KSM, Herlyn M (2007)
Cadherin shifts and melanoma cell invasiveness.
In: Weinberg RA: The Biology of Cancer.
Garland Science.
8. Haass NK*, Houdek P, Brandner JM, Moll I (2003)
Expression patterns of connexins in Merkel cell carcinoma and adjacent epidermis.
In: Baumann KI, Moll I, Halata Z (Eds.): The Merkel Cell - structure - development - function - and Cancerogenesis.
Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, Tokyo, pp. 219-222 (9 citations; *corresponding author)
9. Haass NK*, Houdek P, Wladykowski E, Moll I, Brandner JM (2003)
Expression patterns of tight junction proteins in Merkel cell carcinoma.
In: Baumann KI, Moll I, Halata Z (Eds.): The Merkel Cell - structure - development - function - and Cancerogenesis.
Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, Tokyo, pp. 223-226 (8 citations; *corresponding author)
10. Kreuziger J, Werner M, Haass NK, Haass C, Siegel H (1997)
Kormoran - Phalacrocorax carbo. In: Hessische Gesellschaft für Ornithologie und Naturschutz (Hrsg.) (1993-2000): Avifauna von Hessen. Wiesbaden, chapter, pp. 1-13
11. Siegel H, Haass NK (1997)
Graureiher - Ardea cinerea. In: Hessische Gesellschaft für Ornithologie und Naturschutz (Hrsg.) (1993-2000): Avifauna von Hessen. Wiesbaden, chapter, pp. 1-9
C. Clinical Case Reports in German
1. Haass NK*, Reusch M, Mielke V (2001)
Ekzematische Reaktion mit Streuung in zeitlichem Zusammenhang mit einer Tätowierung mit rotem Farbstoff.
Derm 7: 28–30(2 citations; *corresponding author)
2. Haass NK*, Kuwert C, Moll I (2000)
H+G Zeitschrift für Hautkrankheiten 75: 484 (*corresponding author)
3. Haass NK*, Kuwert C, Moll I (2000)
H+G Zeitschrift für Hautkrankheiten 75: 487 (*corresponding author)
  • Targeting the actin cytoskeleton as a strategy for melanoma therapy
  • Disarming Tumor Escape Mechanisms in Human Melanoma With Epigenetic Modifiers
  • Real-time cell cycle imaging of melanoma cells in vitro and in vivo
  • Defining the role of Microphthalmia-associated Transcription Factor (MITF) in melanoma growth by real-time cell cycle imaging
  • Targeting the intrinsic apoptosis pathway as a strategy for melanoma therapy
  • Characterization of the intrinsic, non-phototoxic, effects of Rose Bengal on melanoma
  • Induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress as a strategy for melanoma therapy
  • Cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions between melanoma and its tumour microenvironment