Current activities

Thrombosis and Haemostasis Research

  • Measuring the activity of direct oral anticoagulants (external collaboration with McMaster University)
  • Thrombosis in myeloproliferative neoplasms (external collaboration with Central Adelaide Local Health Network)
  • Developing an in-vitro model of coagulopathy
  • Factors affecting fibrin clot stability and lysis
  • The role of platelets in cancer cell survival (collaboration with Assoc Prof Claudine Bonder, Assoc Prof Tony Woods).


Vessels and Venoms Research

Snake venom effects on tumour-associated microvascular endothelial cells

Collaborators: Mr Nathan Dunstan (Venom Supplies), Prof Michel Richardson, Dr Freek Vonk (Leiden University, Netherlands)

It is known that the venoms from some snake species contain agents including disintegrins and L-amino-oxidases which are able to initiate an apoptotic response in vascular endothelial cells.  We have identified agents in venoms from various Australian snakes which have also shown anti-vascular effects.  In this project we are elucidating the molecular mechanisms that regulate the production of the venom components.  This information can then be used to genetically modify venom cells in order to produce compounds of interest.

VEGF-C expression and lymphangiogenesis

Collaborators: Dr Andrea Stringer.

It is known that tumours are capable of stimulating lymphangiogenesis via specific endothelial mitogens including vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF C) and in some malignancies at least there is a correlation between VEGF C expression, metastasis formation and prognosis. VEGF-C operates through its receptor VEGFR-3 (and to a lesser extent VEGFR-2) however the interrelationship between VEFG-C, lymphangiogenesis and tumour progression remains to be elucidated. In this project we use marker antibodies for lymphatics, VEGF C and its receptor complemented by in situ hybridization studies to explore the role of lymphatics in tumour development.

Vascular development in tumours

Collaborators: A/Prof Claudine Bonder, Carmela Martino (PhD student)

Survival of solid tumours is completely dependent on access to a vascular network for the supply of nutrients and oxygen and the removal of metabolic by-products.  At an early point in their development, malignant Tumours actively promote blood vessel development through a number of pro-angiogenic pathways including angiogenesis and vasculogenic mimicry.  This work involves identifying various factors such as cytokines, cellular receptors and subsequent mechanisms that influence the formation of these various vascular channels.


Mucosal Injury Research

  • The role of vitamin D in the development of chemotherapy-induced mucositis (Assoc Prof Paul Anderson, Ms Bronwen Mayo)
  • Development of phytochemicals as anti-inflammatory agents in chemotherapy-induced mucositis (Dr Susan Semple, Dr Brad Simpson, Prof Sanjay Garg, Ms Bronwen Mayo)
  • Developing beneficial microbial combinations for improving cell damage following chemotherapy (Prof Rachel Gibson, Ms Bronwen Mayo)
  • The role of gut microbes in neurological disorders (Dr Larisa Bobrovskaya)
  • The mechanisms of repair following chemotherapy induced mucosal injury
  • The effect of chemotherapy (CT) on the human intestinal microbial ecosystem (HIME) (International collaboration with University of Ghent: Prof Tom Van de Viele, Dr Barbara Van Hoecke, Ms Eline Van Lancker, Dr Massimo Marzorati)