Anita Pinar


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Personal profile


Dr. Anita Pinar is a Research Fellow in the Fibrosis Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology at Monash University. Anita completed her PhD at the Hudson Institute supervised by A/Prof. Ashley Mansell and Prof. Grant Drummond, investigating the role of the inflammatory NLRP3 inflammasome complex and interleukin-1β cytokine signalling in inflammatory disease models including hypertension, where her interest in the role vascular inflammation plays in cardiovascular disease began.

Anita was then recruited by Dr. James Harris and Prof Eric Morrand at Monash Health (School of Clinical Sciences, Monash Medical Centre), where she examined the role of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) signalling in activating the NLRP3 inflammasome complex, this work was recently published in Nature Communications.

Anita was then recruited Monash University to work in the Fibrosis Laboratory led by A/Prof Chrishan Samuel, applying her expertise in NLRP3 inflammasome and inflammation to the exciting field of cardiac fibrosis. The Fibrosis Laboratory aims to develop direct and novel anti-fibrotic strategies for treating cardiovascular fibrosis, a leading cause of heart failure. The Laboratory is developing synthetic drug and stem cell-based approaches to treat various heart diseases and also aims to identify how these anti-fibrotics mediate their therapeutic actions.

Anita is currently examining how critical NLRP3 inflammasome activity is for the progression of cardiovascular fibrosis. Inflammation is the natural process during normal wound healing. However, failure of inflammation to resolve can lead to persistent and chronic wound healing and tissue remodelling contributing to the aberrant build-up of scar tissue (referred to as fibrosis) in any organ and tissue in the body. Consequently, fibrosis is the leading cause of mortality in the Western world, is a hallmark of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and is a key cause of heart failure. Unfortunately, current frontline treatments for CVDs predominantly offer symptomatic management of disease, and do not actually target fibrosis (the accumulation of scar tissue) itself. Therefore, patients receiving these therapies still progress to heart failure. The NLRP3 inflammasome complex has been shown to promote inflammation of the heart and in other organs of the cardiovascular system, eventually leading to fibrosis progression. Anita’s research focusses on targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome to reduce CVD-induced fibrosis using a number of in vitro and in vivo approaches, including human primary cardiac fibroblasts, siRNA knockdown technology and in vivo models of fibrosis. This research aims to define the contribution of the NLRP3 inflammasome to fibrosis progression within the exciting field of cardiovascular disease to one-day be able to directly direct cardiovascular fibrosis.

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Research Output 2013 2018

Macrophage migration inhibitory factor is required for NLRP3 inflammasome activation

Lang, T., Lee, J. P. W., Elgass, K., Pinar, A. A., Tate, M. D., Aitken, E. H., Fan, H., Creed, S. J., Deen, N. S., Traore, D. A. K., Mueller, I., Stanisic, D., Baiwog, F. S., Skene, C., Wilce, M. C. J., Mansell, A., Morand, E. F. & Harris, J., 1 Dec 2018, In : Nature Communications. 9, 1, 15 p., 2223.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

PB1-F2 peptide derived from avian influenza A virus H7N9 induces inflammation via activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome

Pinar, A., Dowling, J. K., Bitto, N. J., Robertson, A. A. B., Latz, E., Stewart, C. R., Drummond, G. R., Cooper, M. A., McAuley, J. L., Tate, M. D. & Mansell, A., 20 Jan 2017, In : Journal of Biological Chemistry. 292, 3, p. 826-836 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

The immune modulatory peptide FhHDM-1 secreted by the helminth Fasciola hepatica prevents NLRP3 inflammasome activation by inhibiting endolysosomal acidification in macrophages

Alvarado, R., To, J., Lund, M. E., Pinar, A., Mansell, A., Robinson, M. W., O'Brien, B. A., Dalton, J. P. & Donnelly, S. M., 1 Jan 2017, In : FASEB Journal. 31, 1, p. 85-95 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Inflammasome activity is essential for one kidney/deoxycorticosterone acetate/salt-induced hypertension in mice

Krishnan, S. M., Dowling, J. K., Ling, Y. H., Diep, H., Chan, C. T., Ferens, D., Kett, M. M., Pinar, A., Samuel, C. S., Vinh, A., Arumugam, T. V., Hewitson, T. D., Kemp-Harper, B. K., Robertson, A. A. B., Cooper, M. A., Latz, E., Mansell, A., Sobey, C. G. & Drummond, G. R., 1 Feb 2016, In : British Journal of Pharmacology. 173, 4, p. 752-765 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome by IAV virulence protein PB1-F2 contributes to severe pathophysiology and disease

McAuley, J., Tate, M., Mackenzie-kludas, C., Pinar, A., Zeng, W., Stutz, A., Latz, E., Brown, L. E. & Mansell, A. S., 2013, In : PLoS Pathogens. 9, 5 (art. no. e1003392 ), p. 1 - 14 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Activities 2012 2018

Targeting the Inflammasome as a New Approach to Treat Cardiovascular Fibrosis.

Anita Pinar (Invited speaker)
27 Jul 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to workshop, seminar, course

Pharmacology (Organisational unit)

Anita Pinar (Advisor)
28 Feb 2018 → …

Activity: Industry, Government and Philanthropy Engagement and PartnershipsMembership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board

Frontiers in Pharmacology (Journal)

Anita Pinar (Guest editor)
2018 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review responsibility

Supervision of Honours Student

Anita Pinar (Supervisor)
28 Feb 201831 Oct 2018

Activity: Teaching EngagementsMentor/ Internship supervision

Pharmacology Honours Thesis Examiner

Anita Pinar (Examiner)
2018 → …

Activity: Examination typesThesis Examination