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Platelet, Thrombosis and Cancer Research

Thrombosis (blood clots) is the most common cause 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.

Our Research Team

Associate Professor Vivien Chen Head of Department
Dr Helena Liang Research Staff
Dr Vera Ripoll-Nunez Research Staff
Heather Campbell Research Staff
Shane Whittaker Research Staff

Our Research Projects

Targeting procoagulant platelets in coronary disease

Platelet protease-activated receptor 4 inhibition in coronary artery disease
H Liang, H Campbell, S Whittaker, L Kritharides, V Chen. Collaborations: Justin Hamilton, Monash University. Vascular Biology Group, ANZAC
Platelet Mitochondrial function in coronary artery disease
H Liang, L Kritharides, V Chen
Discovery of new platelet targets to improve the management of coronary artery disease
H Liang, I Tohidi-Esfahani, L Kritharides, V Chen.  Collaborations: F Passam, Haematology Research Group, Charles Perkins Centre. Vascular Biology Group, ANZAC

Procoagulant platelets in immune thrombotic conditions

Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia: Signalling pathways and novel inhibitors
C Lee, V Ripoll-Nunez, V Chen.  Collaborations: THANZ VITT advisory group, F Passam, Haematology Research Charles Perkins Centre, T Bakchoul, University of Tubingen, S Zheng, St George Medical Research, M Holinstat, Blood Research Centre, Wisconsin USA
Characterisation of anti-platelet antibodies in Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia
C Lee, V Ripoll-Nunez, S Ali, S Zheng, J Wang, T Gordon, E Gardiner, V Chen. Collaboration: Australia National University, The University of New South Wales Flinders University
Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia: novel diagnostics and therapeutic targets
C Lee, M Konda, G Kershaw, E Favaloro, V Chen.  Collaboration: NSW Health Pathology, T Bakchoul, University of Tubingen
Platelet-activating antibodies in Glanzmann thrombasthenia
C Lee, S Whittaker, M Fiore, V Chen. Collaboration: University Hospital of Bordeaux, France
Mechanisms of vascular thrombosis
F Passam, B Chong, L Pasalic, C Lee, V Ripoll-Nunez, H Leung, I Tohidi-Esfahani, V Chen. Collaboration: ANZAC Research Institute, Sydney Local Health District, The University of Sydney, The University of New South Wales, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, NSW Health Pathology
Procoagulant platelets in Myeloproliferative disease: Novel biomarkers of thrombosis
C Lee, CW Tan, K Estabrooks, S Whittaker, A Dey, K Lai, J Cheng, H Campbell, W Stevenson, V Chen. 
Collaboration: Singapore General Hospital; W Stevenson, Royal North Shore Hospital; D Ross, SAHMRI
Identification of novel genetic causes of IPD 
V Chen. Collaboration: Sydney Platelet Group
Genetic drivers of procoagulant platelet formation in health and disease
I Tohidi, H Campbell, M Kockx, L Kritharides, P Hogg, V Chen

Novel assays in haemophilia and thrombophilia

Assay validation and Australian field study for measurement of the non-factor replacement product Emicizumab
G Kershaw, L Khoo, C Dix, V Chen Collaboration: Institute of Haematology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Bethesda assays for FVIII inhibitors in plasma containing emicizumab
G Kershaw, L Khoo, V Chen Collaboration: Institute of Haematology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
COBRRA (Comparison of Bleeding Risk between Rivaroxaban and Apixaban): Scientific sub-study

Selected Grants

Amount awarded Grant and project details
$1,000,000 Cardiovascular Research Capacity Program – Collaborative Grant Program, 2023
“Mechanisms of vascular thrombosis”
Investigators: Chen, Passam, Chong, Pasalic, Lee, Leung, Tohidi-Esfahani, Ripoll, Favaloro, Zheng, Riminiton, Garcia, Chong, Allemande
$1,325,497
($354,392 for ARI)
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) – Ideas, 2020-23
“Inhibition of the platelet thrombin receptor PAR4 to prevent thrombosis in coronary artery disease”
Investigators: Hamilton, Chen
$1,058,000
($104,450 for ARI)
MRFF ICTC- Project, 2020-23
“Apixaban twice daily vs Rivaroxaban once daily for the treatment of venous thromboembolism”
Investigators: Chen
 
$2,917,087
($411,664 for ARI)
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) – MRFF Targeted, 2021-24
“2021 COVID-19 Vaccine-Associated Thrombosis With Thrombocytopenia Syndrome”
Investigators: Tran, Passam, Phan, Monagle, Chen, Crawford
$659,293
($276,486 for ARI)
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC): 2021 MRFF Cardiovascular Health Mission- Project, 2022-24
“Developing novel blood assays of platelet function for improved risk prediction incardiovascular disease. (Discovery of new platelet targets to improve the management of coronary artery disease)”
Investigators: Passam, Chen