The Gardiner Group - Mechanisms of Thrombosis and Cancer

The group investigates the molecular basis of processes coordinated by platelets across vascular biology.

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Professor Elizabeth Gardiner

About

The Gardiner Group - Mechanisms of Thrombosis and Cancer relocated to the ACRF Department of Cancer Biology and Therapeutics in The John Curtin School of Medical Research at ANU in 2016. Circulating platelets have the ability to influence a wide range of seemingly unrelated pathophysiologic events beyond the platelet’s traditional role in haemostasis and thrombosis. Emerging research shows that platelets orchestrate the complex interplay between haemostasis, thrombosis, inflammation, and cancer. These physiologically important processes during an inflammatory response can become pathologic and support transformation and cancer progression.

Since establishing her laboratory in JCSMR, ANU, Elizabeth has established the National Platelet Research and Referral Centre (NPRC) which seeks to improve our understanding of platelet disorders and identify the most effective treatment options through collaborative and targeted research approaches.

Platelets and the Hallmarks of Cancer: (Franco et al., Blood 2015)

  • Metastasis and evading immune surveillance
  • Resisting tumour cell apoptosis
  • Sustaining tumourigenesis
  • Inducing angiogenesis
  • Supporting cancer stem cells

The group investigates the molecular basis of processes coordinated by platelets across vascular biology. Primary areas of interest focus on the biochemical and molecular analysis of immune-based platelet disorders seen clinically in immunothrombocytopenia (ITP), thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) and the group has expanded their core interest to focus on thrombosis associated with cancer.

Further, the group specialises in applying unique flow cytometry and platelet aggregometry tools to aid in the characterisation of platelet-based deficiencies underlying unexplained bleeding in people with healthy platelet counts and normal blood coagulation.

Important discoveries made by the Group

  • Identification of platelet receptor loss in people with early and late-stage leukaemia and the consequences of treatment with new and existing therapeutics on bleeding risk in these individuals
  • The identification and molecular characterisation of processes underlying ligand-dependent, metalloproteinase-mediated shedding of the primary adhesion/signalling receptors on platelets, glycoprotein (GP)VI and GPIba of the GPIb-IX-V complex.
  • The link between engagement of platelet Immunoreceptor Tyrosine-based Activation Motif (ITAM)-signalling and activation of A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase (ADAM) family members.
  • A new role for active factor X (FXa) in triggering platelet receptor shedding, with bleeding implications for individuals with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and other coagulopathies.
  • The identification and quantification of rapid and acute changes in ADAMs metalloproteolytic activity upon brief exposure to elevated shear stress (10,000 s-1, 1 minute) and the implications that this pathway might have in patients with aortic stenosis, stroke and in people requiring mechano-circulatory support (LVADs, ECMO).

Publications

Projects

A number of our research projects seek to understand how ribosomal biogenesis controls thrombopoiesis.

Student intake

Open for Honours, Masters, PhD students

People

Our research laboratory is dedicated to the in-depth exploration of the intricate interplay among platelet receptors, metalloproteases, and the surrounding plasma microenvironment.

Student intake

Open for Honours, Masters, PhD students

People

Student intake

Open for Honours, Masters, PhD students

People

study how new therapeutics that treat malignancy impact on platelet function and contribute to dysregulation of thrombopoiesis and haemostasis.

Student intake

Open for Honours, Masters, PhD students

People

Members

Leader

Professor Elizabeth Gardiner

Director JCSMR
Professor

Researcher

No photo provided

Postdoctoral Fellow

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research support officer

Research Assistant

Collaborator

No photo provided

Honorary Appointment - The Gardiner Group

Phillip Choi

Honorary Senior Lecturer (JCSMR)
Senior Staff Specialist Haematologist
Principal Investigator, National Platelet Research and Referral Centre

Student

PhD Student - The Gardiner Group

PhD Student

PhD Student

PhD Student

Jordan Ross

Honours Student

News

Elizabeth Gardiner JCSMR

“Researchers are great people, but they live and survive in a tough environment," Professor Gardiner said.

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Jin Si Lam - JCSMR

Jin Si Lam, a standout student from the Gardiner Group, has been awarded the prestigious University Medal for 2024.

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A beyond beginner woodworker and an aficionado of Test cricket and footy.

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