23 Nov 2018

Sarah Luu wins RC Bennett Prize!

CCS PhD student Sarah Luu presenting her poster at the 2018
CCS graduate research symposium. See program
Monash PhD and medical student Ms Sarah Luu was recently recognised for her outstanding research into blood clot risk after surgical removal of the spleen, receiving the prestigious Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ RC Bennett Prize.

Undertaken in 2017 while a BMedSc(Hons) student at the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS), Sarah’s research investigated the role platelets play in forming blood clots after splenectomy (surgical removal of the spleen).

“After splenectomy there is both an increased risk of infection and thromboembolism (clots) in the short and long-term,” Sarah said.

“While infection risk is well characterised and understood, the risk of thromboembolism is poorly understood, and currently there aren’t any recommended measures for prevention of clots.”

Sarah found that platelets in splenectomised individuals exhibit a unique phenotype, which is a likely factor in the increased risk of clotting.

“With this information we plan to further investigate with the aim of identifying a target in which we can utilise existing therapies or create new therapies for clot prevention in splenectomised individuals,” Sarah said.

Sarah is continuing her research, having commenced a PhD under the supervision of Associate Professor Rob Andrews, Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, Central Clinical School and Associate Professor Ian Woolley, Monash Infectious Diseases. See more about the Andrews research group.

Sarah acknowledges the support and help of her supervisors, co-supervisors and co-investigators: A/Prof Robert Andrews (ACBD), A/Prof Ian Woolley (Monash Infectious Diseases), Dr Zane Kaplan (Monash Haematology/ACBD), Dr Claire Dendle (Monash Infectious Diseases), Dr Ashwini Bennett (Monash Haematology/ACBD). In addition, she also thanks Korrina Alonso, the Andrews Lab (Jing Jing and Cheryl Berndt), Monash Pathology, AMREPFlow, Hamilton Lab (ACBD).

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