School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Haematology

The area of haematology studies the blood, its diseases and blood-forming organs.

Research groups

Cbl oncogene in thymic development and myeloid leukaemia

Researchers: Ms Samantha DaggerProf Wallace Langdon, Assoc Prof Christine Thien

This research focuses on a cancer-causing gene called Cbl (for Casitas B-lineage lymphoma) that is highly expressed in the haemopoietic cells.

Using experimental mouse models we have found that mutating the Cbl gene at a site in a region known as the RING finger domain causes the development of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and promotes rapid thymic deletion.

Our research on the thymic phenotype has identified a novel signalling pathway that causes thymocyte death, a process know as negative selection that is involved in preventing autoimmune disease. As the mice age they also develop AML which has provided a model for studying human AML where Cbl mutations are involved.

 

Molecular mechanisms regulating human alpha-globin production

Researchers: Dr Jill FinlaysonDr Reza Ghassemifar

This research team is investigating the molecular and cellular pathways which cause alpha thalassemia produced by erythroid cells of patients carrying alpha-gene mutations.

Erythroid progenitors are cultured and analysis includes assessment of globin gene transcription and the relevant transcription factors, messenger RNA processing and translation of the relevant genes and interaction of the final product with other proteins.

Parallel models will be created using in-vitro systems designed to reproduce the in-vivo findings, allowing for detailed assessment of the multiple factors contributing to the phenotype in individual cases. It is intended that this analysis will result in a greater understanding of these complex disorders.

 

The Platelet Biology Laboratory

Researchers: A/Prof Matthew Linden

Platelets are abundant blood elements with a central and well characterized function in thrombosis and cardiovascular disease. Recent research has focused on the emerging but clearly important role that platelets play in inflammation, immunity, wound repair and cancer progression.

The Platelet Biology Laboratory advances research into the cell biology of platelets and its translation into clinical medicine. Our research focused on three key areas; Discovery of the role of platelets in health and disease - particularly through their signaling and interaction with leukocytes and tumour cells, development of new platelet biomarkers and therapeutic approaches for cardiovascular & imflammatory diseases and cancer, and translation of this understanding to improved utilization of antiplatelet therapy in disease.


The Translational Cancer Pathology Laboratory

Researchers: W/Prof Wendy Erber, Dr Sara Hall, Assoc/Prof Kathy HeelAsst/Prof Katie Meehan, Assoc/Prof Kym Mena, Asst/Prof Kimberley Roehrig

Translational cancer pathology is the application of new scientific discoveries to diagnostic pathology of malignant diseases. This combines molecular and cellular research to develop diagnostic tools which will result in new therapeutic approaches. Translational cancer pathology will "bridge the gap" between pure science and patient care. 

The Translational Cancer Pathology Laboratory is a team of pathologists and scientists working in collaboration with oncologists and haematologists. Our work will utilise the knowledge gained from scientific discoveries and translate these into clinically applicable diagnostic pathology tests that can be performed routinely in real time.

The work will lead to "personalised pathology" or a unique cancer "fingerprint", ultimately leading to personalised therapy. It will transform pathology testing of cancers and result in improved patient care for cancer patients throughout WA.