My research interests bridge three areas of hematology/immunology: platelet biology, complement biology and coagulation biochemistry. I am particularly interested in the interfaces among these disciplines as outlined below. The regulation and activation of complement on platelets and model membra...
My research interests bridge three areas of hematology/immunology: platelet biology, complement biology and coagulation biochemistry. I am particularly interested in the interfaces among these disciplines as outlined below. The regulation and activation of complement on platelets and model membranes (liposomes). I am one of 4 investigators in Canada who are experts in complement. My interests focus on the regulation of complement activation on human platelets and liposomes; the latter are used as drug delivery vehicles, but also provide a model system. I have had a dedicated research effort into complement biology since I began my doctoral thesis research (CV publications #12 and #15). I identified a novel C3 receptor on human platelets (CV publication #28). Recently, we have focused on the interaction between the complement system and the coagulation system in the context of the antiphospholipid syndrome, finding novel interactions between the anticoagulant proteins, complement activators and antiphospholipid antibodies that may explain the hypercoagulable state induced by these autoantibodies. In the area of liposome research, I am well-known for our studies of the role of complement in liposome clearance (CV publications #21, 29, 31) and approaches to reduce this problem (CV publications #47, 51, 54) and have been invited to write two reviews on this subject. As a result, I am an active consultant in the area of complement-liposome interactions to both Canadian and US pharmaceutical companies.
Blood Research: Blood products research including the development of blood/platelet substitutes. I have successfully taken my interest in blood platelets and complement into the area of transfusion science, with particular emphasis on the phenomenon known as the platelet storage lesion (CV publications #30 and 36) and the development of improved storage conditions for blood products. I am interested in the development of new procedures for platelet storage (CV publication #55) and lead a well-funded research effort in this area. A longer term project has been working toward a “donor-free” platelet substitute that we have developed using our expertise in liposomes. While most of this research has not been published for intellectual property reasons, we have maintained a reasonable level of funding for this project, have published the first technical paper arising from this work (CV publication #45), and I have been invited to lecture on the general subject of platelet substitutes at several national meetings.
Fibrinolysis, especially fibrin D-dimer, and biochemistry of factor XIII. I have a long-standing interest in the biochemistry of blood clot stabilization and the proteolysis of clots, especially in the biochemistry of factor XIII and fibrin D-dimer. I have published several investigations of the use of fibrin D-dimer assays, including authoring or co-authoring the first clinical evaluations of this test (CV publications #7 and #10). I am considered to be an expert on fibrin D-dimer and have been invited to an international meeting to speak on this subject (ISTH 1995) and have provided consulting services to the diagnostics industry in this area. In the field of factor XIII research, my research group published the first paper on the use of platelet-associated factor XIIIa as a marker of in vivo platelet activation (CV publication #25) and the mechanism of the interaction (CV publication #27). One of my Ph.D. students has won a 1999 ISTH Young Investigator Merit Award for our recent work on the function of intracellular platelet factor XIII (thus far published only in abstract form).