30 Apr 2014

Dr Elizabeth Gardiner receives Distinguished Visiting Fellowship from University of Birmingham

Dr Elizabeth Gardiner, Australian Centre for Blood Diseases (ACBD), is the recipient of a Distinguished Visiting Fellowship from the University of Birmingham, UK. She will take up this one month visiting fellowship in May, 2014 at the Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, Institute of Biomedical Research, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, UK. Her host is Professor Steve Watson, an international leader in the field of platelet biology.
Liz will establish specific assays at the University of Birmingham to measure levels of soluble platelet receptors in plasma samples. Together with Associate Prof Robert Andrews, and the Systems Haematology group at ACBD, they have developed specialist tools and reagents to study platelet receptor regulation and function, and have demonstrated that platelet collagen receptor GPVI is lost from the platelet surface on activation and is elevated in conditions such as heart attack, stroke, trauma and sepsis. GPVI is only expressed on platelets and so is a unique biomarker of platelet activation. The research from the ACBD Systems Haematology lab on the mechanisms of platelet shedding is of direct relevance to the current work of the Birmingham group on a related platelet receptor that was identified in Birmingham, CLEC-2.

Whilst in Birmingham Liz will closely observe and have access to an operational bio repository of clinical samples established at the University of Birmingham servicing a 6 million population (10% of the UK) catchment area for the Queen Elizabeth (biggest teaching hospital in Europe) and will be able to learn about best practice procedures. A long-term goal of the ACBD is to establish a similar asset for haematology researchers through Monash University, the Alfred hospital, and AMREP, Melbourne.

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