[ASC-list] Free ANZAAS talk, Melbourne, Wed 16th April 6:30pm-"Platelets, bleeding, and cancer therapy"

David Vaux D.Vaux at latrobe.edu.au
Tue Apr 8 05:32:16 UTC 2014

Science Talk, MELBOURNE

Free, all welcome (booking not needed). Bring your friends!

Free pizza and drinks after the talk

At GTAC, located in the grounds of University High School, corner Royal Parade and Story Street, Parkville (enter off Story Street or Royal Parade)

Wednesday 16th April 2014, 6:30 pm

Professor Ben Kile

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

“Platelets, bleeding, and cancer therapy“


When blood vessels are damaged, a blood clot forms at the site of injury, thereby sealing the wound and preventing bleeding. Platelets are the tiny blood cells that mediate the clotting process. Reductions in platelet number are a common side effect of cancer chemotherapy, leaving patients vulnerable to potentially fatal hemorrhage. Currently, the only treatment is a platelet transfusion.
The effectiveness of platelet transfusions, and the ability to store platelets at the blood bank, is limited by the fact that these cells only live for a few days. The reasons for this finite existence have been a subject of speculation since the first transfusions were performed over 100 years ago.
Our work has identified the molecular pathway that regulates the survival of platelets, and their precursor cells, the megakaryocyte. By manipulating this pathway we have been able to double platelet life span, suggesting a new approach to improving the viability of blood bank platelets. In addition, our studies have shed light on the mechanisms by which cancer chemotherapy causes reductions in platelet number. This has aided the clinical development of a new class of cancer drugs called the “BH3 mimetics”.

Ben Kile got hooked on medical research during his Honours year at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute after gaining a Science/Law degree at Monash University. A little over a decade later he won the 2010 Science Minister’s Prize for Life Scientist of the Year. In between, he had spent three years at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, a world leader in research into the genetics of health and sickness.

Prior to Professor Kile’s talk there will be a short talk co-presented by Nafise Erfanian Saeedi and Isabell Kiral-Kornek from the University of Melbourne School of Engineering.

“The bionic world – see and hear it for yourself.“

Forthcoming talks:

Wednesday  21st May         Dr Chris Reid,  Florey Institutes of Neuroscience  “The plastic brain”

Wednesday  18th June       Assoc Prof  Andrew Prentice,  School of Mathematical Sciences Monash University “The formation of our Solar System:  new light shed by recent interplanetary spacecraft data and the findings of a novel mathematical theory”

Wednesday 16th July          Prof Tim Murray Chair of Archaeology, La Trobe University

We are pleased to acknowledge the support by CSL and GTAC for the ANZAAS Melbourne science talks series

Further Info:         David Vaux       Ph: 9345 2941  E-mail:  davidlaurencevaux at gmail.com<mailto:davidlaurencevaux at gmail.com>
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