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Professor Harshal Nandurkar is Head of the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, supervising a basic science research program in the areas of thrombosis and genetics of blood cancer, as well as a Professor of Haematology at Monash University. He is a clinician-scientist trained at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Department of Biochemistry, Monash University. His clinical interests cover all areas of haematology including blood malignancies and bleeding and clotting disorders. He is the Program Director for Alfred Cancer and the Head of the Haematology Service at Alfred Health. Prior to this, he was a Professor at The University of Melbourne, and the Director of Haematology at St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne. From 2015 - 2017, Professor Nandurkar was the President of the Australasian Society of Haemostatis and Thrombosis, and the Vice President of the International Union of Angiology (Australian Chapter). 

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Research interests

To lead the development of the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases as Australia’s premier research institute that translates scientific discoveries in to clinical medicine.

To coordinate excellence in the delivery of clinical care in haematology.

To educate and train scientists and clinicians to be future leaders in haematology.

Research in Inflammation, Haemostasis and Thrombosis:

Inflammation and thrombosis interact in a self activating spiral and this has consequences for patients with venous thrombosis, sepsis as well as for success on organ transplantation. We have utilised several technology platforms to understand the endogenous antithrombotic mechanisms and to develop new therapeutics.

A. Development of recombinant CD39 as a novel therapeutic:

Current antithrombotic medications are complicated with bleeding as a significant complication. We have developed a new drug that combats thrombosis and inflammation and has the advantage of being specifically targeted to the site of endothelial activation. Preliminary studies thus far confirm the potential to protect from ischaemia-reperfusion injury without causing bleeding. We have already demonstrated its usefulness in targeting platelets and utility in models of carotid artery thrombosis.

B. Delineating pathogenesis of antiphospholipid antibody-mediated thrombosis and foetal loss:

SLE and antiphospholipid syndrome are associated with thrombosis and miscarriages by action of specific autoimmune antibodies. We hypothesised, based on our preliminary data, that failure of endogenous antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory properties of the endothelium in the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies caused inflammation, which in turn activated coagulation. We have developed an in vivo murine model to test the role of purinergic signalling in protection from thrombosis and miscarriages. We have demonstrated that adenosine signalling is able to prevent complement activation and tissue factor expression and protect from miscarriages.

C. Novel endothelial pathways that mediates antithrombotic activity:

Thrombomodulin is an endothelial cell membrane-anchored protein that acts as a scaffold for interaction with protein C and thrombin. Using an interaction trap and proteomics, my group has identified new proteins that interact with thrombomodulin and can prevent platelet activation.

D. Ameliorating Haemophilic arthropathy by inhibition of innate and cognate immune responses:

Haemophilic arthropathy is characterised by a potent inflammatory response that mimics rheumatoid or other immune arthritis. We have set up murine model of haemophilic arthropathy to test novel drugs.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Melbourne

… → 1998

External positions

Director of Clinical Haematology, Alfred Health

2015 → …

Research area keywords

  • haematology
  • blood malignancies
  • bleeding
  • clotting disorders

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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