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Platelets, Thrombosis and Cancer > About The Laboratory

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Thrombosis (blood clots) is the most common causeresearch_ptc_lg1 of death in the Western world as a result of stroke, myocardial infarction and venous thromboembolism. The Platelet Thrombosis and Cancer Research Laboratory studies the mechanisms of clot formation, the biology of platelets and coagulation proteins and how manipulation of these can be used to influence cardiovascular disease and cancer. We use real time intravital fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry assays to investigate the processes of platelet accumulation and coagulation initiation in the mouse circulation. We use this insight to design projects that will translate biological insights into clinical disease with impact on patients with heart attack, stroke and cancer associated venous thrombosis in order to develop new diagnostics and drug therapies for the clots that cause heart attacks and strokes and deep vein thrombosis. Our particular focuses are: novel assays of coagulation and platelet function and a highly activated “procoagulant” platelets and the role that they play in health and disease.

Laboratory Projects

1. Mechanism procoagulant platelet formation

  1. Mechanism of thrombin mediated procoagulant platelet formation: PAR and GP1b mediated signalling pathways
  2. Mitochondrial function and procoagulant platelet formation
  3. Genetic drivers of procoagulant platelet formation.
  4. Bruton Tyrosine Kinase pathway in platelet function.

2. Roles of procoagulant platelets in vascular disease and cancer

  1. Effect of remote ischaemic preconditioning on procoagulant platelet formation (in collaboration with Vascular Biology Group)
  2. Myeloproliferative disease (in collaboration with Singapore General Hospital)
  3. Acute coronary syndrome and ischaemic stroke (in collaboration with Platelet function group, Cambridge University, UK)

3. Clot wave analysis: predictors of severity in haemophilia and thrombophilia

4. Aging and platelet reactivity (in collaboration with Vascular Biology Group)

5. Super-resolution imaging of platelet membranes and cytoskeleton

Clinical Research Projects

  1. ACAT: Anti-coagulation in Cancer Associated Thrombosis
  2. ENRICH: Sydney Catalyst project biomarkers in lung cancer

International Collaborations

  1. Professor Willem Ouwehand, University of Cambridge
    Platelet Function Team and Thrombogenomics, Department of Haematology, University of Cambridge, UK.
    “Procoagulant platelets in acute coronary syndrome and ischaemic stroke.”
    Cambridge Platelet Function Cohort: Genomics of platelet function in health and disease.
  2. Professor Lai Heng Lee, Singapore General Hospital 
    “Procoagulant platelets as predictors of thrombosis in myeloproliferative disease.”
    Ongoing exchange of clinical, basic and translational research in myeloproliferative disorders.

National Collaborations

  1. Australian Red Cross Blood Service
    Dr Denese Marks and Dr Lacey Johnston
    “Procoagulant function after agonist stimulation in platelet transfusion products: comparison standard, cold stored and cryopreserved platelet preparations: in vitro and in vivo.”
    Platelet Research Group, ARCBS.
  2. ICPMR Haematology, Westmead
    Dr Leonardo Pasalic
    “Procoagulant platelets in sepsis and bacteraemia”
  3. Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, Melbourne.
    Dr. Justin Hamilton, Megakaryocyte and Platelet Biology Group,
    Protease receptor pathways in procoagulant platelet formation

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Platelets, Thrombosis and Cancer Research Program...

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