A Quick Word From The Editor


First and foremost I would like to acknowledge the incredible work that all echelons of the Thrombosis/Haemostasis community has done this year.  Besides dealing with a wee virus that has caused a global pandemic, we as a community were thrust front and centre into dealing with VITT.  Besides the outstanding leadership of our outgoing President, Dr Anoop Enjeti, we have to acknowledge A/Prof Vivien Chen (Chair of VITT Advisory Group) and Prof Emmanuel Favaloro (Chair of VITT ELISA Group), and the respective members of the expert groups, in the rapid coordinated response to deal with emerging VITT cases on our shores.  And of course, we have to as always thank the tireless laboratory scientists and technicians in meeting the increased workload during the year.


In this edition of the newsletter, we welcome our new THANZ President, Dr Chee Wee Tan, and my fellow new councillors! #THANZSquad 


I hope that you all have a chance to wind down over the next few weeks as 2021 wraps up, and I look forward to 2022 as being VITT-free and lockdown-free (please...pretty please).



Danny Hsu


From the President



As the incoming president of THANZ, I would like to thank the outgoing members of THANZ council, including former presidents Anoop Enjeti and Eileen Merriman, Grace Gilmore, Prahlad Ho, Natalie Pecheniuk and Caroline Reddel  for their leadership, guidance and contributions during a very challenging period.

I welcome new members Phil Choi, Nicola Eaddy, Danny Hsu, Cherry Keragala, Jane Mason and Dominic Pepperell to THANZ council and together with James McFadyen, look forward to working with the new team.  Readers will get to know a bit more about the council members through the councillor profiles which will be published in the newsletter, starting with the new THANZ secretary, Cherry. 

BLOOD 2021 was a fully virtual conference this year and it was a great pleasure to be the THANZ convenor for the conference.  We had a fantastic lineup of local and international speakers, featuring Marc Carrier, Peter Lenting and Marie Scully, as well as John Eikelboom as the Barry Firkin orator.  John provided a tour de force presentation which reminded us of what we have accomplished in the area of anticoagulation, and also informed us on what we can improve on, and what to look forward to in the future as we attempt to provide better care to our patients with thromboembolic disease. 

Despite BLOOD 2021 being a virtual meeting, attendees commented that they experienced a meaningful sense of community and camaraderie with fellow participants.  My hope is that THANZ members are able to catch up face to face with colleagues and friends at BLOOD 2022 in Sydney. 

Many thanks also to Grace Gilmore for organising a terrific THANZ workshop which featured excellent presentations from local speakers in which topical issues in laboratory haemostasis and thrombosis were discussed. 

THANZ has been very active in education and policy advocacy this year, particularly with the emergence of vaccine induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia or VITT, also known as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).  While the impact of VITT will lessen with time, COVID-19 remains an important issue, particularly now with the emergence of COVID-19 variants such as Omicron.  THANZ will continue to advocate for its members, educate, engage in debate and highlight the important issues in haemostasis and thrombosis in 2022 and beyond. 

THANZ will also continue to reach out to colleagues in the Asia Pacific region.  THANZ members have been involved in recent and ongoing initiatives involving Asia-Pacific countries, including the ISTH workshop on coagulation disorders, which was organised in partnership with the Singapore Society of Haematology; the ISTH 2021Congress Highlights sessions in the Asia Pacific region, in partnership with the Asian-Pacific Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis(APSTH); and multi-national clinical trials such as ASCOT(which addresses therapies and the role of anticoagulation and mechanical ventilation in management of COVID-19 patients) and APMAT(which involves research into clinical and laboratory aspects of thrombotic microangiopathies).  It is hoped that with borders gradually opening and international travel being closer to reality that further fruitful projects and collaborations will be established with our Asia-Pacific colleagues. 

2021 is fast drawing to a close.  While this year has been a challenging and difficult year for many, I hope THANZ members can reflect on and remember the brighter moments of 2021, and that there will be special moments aplenty as family and friends gather together (face to face hopefully 😊) in the Christmas-New Year period.  My best wishes to you all for the festive season, and here’s to bigger and better things in 2022!  

Best regards

Chee Wee Tan

Secretary News


On Friday the 17th of September 2021, after possibly the busiest 12 months as a professional society, THANZ conducted its AGM which also saw the appointment of several vibrant new members to council. Outgoing president A Enjeti acknowledged the important contribution THANZ and its dedicated members have provided during the first reports of VITT in April of this year and the ensuing wave of activity, research and advocacy undertaken by THANZ since this time.  This culminated in a guidance statement, developed and updated regularly by the society, which was published in the MJA and forms an important point of reference to many on the front line of the pandemic vaccination response. The continuing pivotal work of THANZ and its members continue to inform important policies relating to the COVID-19 vaccine program at both local and national levels, an influence which is both humbling and inspirational. This past year THANZ has also been fortunate to receive donations to further support our Science and Education fund from the ISTH Legacy Fund, ensuring ongoing funding for important haemostasis and thrombosis research within our community.

We also celebrated the success of the post graduate T&H unit of study which is now in its 3rd year as an elective as part of the Master of Medicine/Critical Care program at the University of Sydney. This course continues to maintain high enrolment rates and is likely to expand to include short courses and laboratory based units of study which will continue the important work done by our Education subcommittee.  


The AGM also formally welcomed the new council members following the 2021-23 council elections which include:

Chee Wee Tan (SA/NT)- President

James McFadyen (Vic/Tas)- VP

Phil Choi (NSW/ACT)- Treasurer

Cherry Keragala (Vic/Tas)- Secretary

Dominic Pepperell (WA)- Scientific workshop lead

Jane Mason (Qld)- Communications officer

Nicola Eddy (NZ)

Danny Hsu (NSW/ACT)- Newsletter editor

We welcome our enthusiastic and dedicated team members.


Finally, Prof. Rob Andrews, Dr. Scott Dunkley and Dr. Paul Ockelford were elected as honorary life members of THANZ and we are thankful for their ongoing contributions to haemostasis and thrombosis research and clinical practice.


Cherry Keragala, THANZ Secretary


Blood 2021 Review

20-23 September, 2021

Haemostasis and thrombosis in malignancy


This session featured two wonderful speakers spanning basic science and clinical medicine. Dr Belinda Guo, from the University of Western Australia, presented her work regarding the use of platelet transcriptomics in myeloproliferative neoplasms. Dr Guo elegantly demonstrated that the platelet transcriptome may be utilised to predict the presence of myelofibrosis, with the suggestion that such an approach may be utilised to help predict the risk of myelofibrosis in patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms. These data build upon the large body of evidence demonstrating the importance of platelets in malignancy and the emergence of ‘tumour educated platelets’ as a potential liquid biopsy for the diagnosis of solid tumours. It will be interesting to see how this work may translate in other haematological malignancies, particularly lymphoma.


We were fortunate to welcome Prof Marc Carrier (albeit remotely), Head, Division of Haematology, The Ottawa Hospital, as the second speaker in this session. Marc is an international leader in the field of malignancy associated thrombosis and provided a comprehensive overview regarding the changing therapeutic landscape for cancer associated VTE. Indeed, Marc distilled the key elements of the recently published trials of DOACs for the treatment to of cancer associated VTE, and discussed many of the outstanding clinical conundrums and challenges haematologists face in the management of this patient group.


It was also pleasing to note that the THANZ posters were of a particularly high standard with some fantastic posters spanning the topics of VTE, haemophilia, COVID-19 associated thrombosis and vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia. Congratulations to our poster prize winners.


James McFadyen 



THANZ  Awards


The 2021 THANZ Medal Winner was Sonali Gnanenthiran (Concord Hospital, NSW) for her project
"Identification of a distinct platelet phenotype in the elderly: ADP hypersensitivity co-exists with platelet protease-activated-receptor (PAR)-1 and PAR-4 mediated thrombin resistance". Incidentally, Sonali also won the best dressed participant in the super-hero themed Blood Trivia Quiz!

Above: Sonali Gnanenthiran


Congratulations also to the runners up Jiayin Tian (WACTH, Murdoch University) and Silvia Zheng (UNSW, NSW).


The 2021 THANZ Conference Grant recipients were Tina Noutos (John Lloyd Grant), Diane Lovelock, Dianne Van der Wal, Julie Wang, Silvia Zheng.


The Werfen Grant winner was Jiayin Tian and the AHCDO Conference Grant winner was Amanda Tee. Our thanks to Werfen and AHCDO for supporting these grants.


At the meeting, the Clinical Poster Award was awarded to Caroline Dix and the Lab Poster Award was awarded to Yvonne Kong.


Congratulations to all!



The Barry Firkin Oration at Blood 2021


Barry George Firkin, Haematologist, Educator and Medical Historian, was the foundation President of the Australian Society for Medical Research in 1961. He performed the first successful bone marrow transplant in the world in 1967 and was Foundation Professor of Monash University Clinical School at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne from 1969 to 1991.

Born in Newcastle, NSW in 1930, Barry enrolled in Medicine, graduating with honours in 1954. After a year as Resident Medical Officer at Sydney Hospital, he was advised to join the Clinical Research Unit at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, marking the beginning of his interest in clinical haematology and bleeding disorders. According to a long term colleague, at

that time:

Barry had to make a choice between a career in Medicine or golf. He was a skilled golfer with a rapidly improving handicap; a successful career in golf was within his reach. His love of Medicine, however, won on the day. Although he had no regrets, he often wondered what could have happened had golf won the day.[1]



John Eikelboom, MBBS, MSc, FRCPC is Professor of Medicine, McMaster University; Senior Investigator, Population Health Research Institute; and Haematologist, Hamilton General Hospital, Ontario, Canada, and holds the Jack Hirsh/Population Health Research Institute Chair in Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis. Supported by grants from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, his research focuses on novel approaches to preventing and treating thromboembolism and bleeding. Dr Eikelboom has co-authored more than 700 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and since 2014

has been listed annually among the top 1% of the most cited researchers worldwide. The title of John's oration was 'The future of oral anticoagulant therapy'.

Despite remarkable advances in anticoagulant therapy over the past 3 decades, unmet needs remain. Currently available anticoagulants produce variable anticoagulant effects, the newer agents are unsuitable for patients with advanced kidney disease, and they are all associated with a significant risk of bleeding. New approaches that target the contact pathway of coagulation (e.g., factor XIa, XIIa) or upstream drivers of coagulation activation (e.g., inflammation, NETS, CHIP) have the potential to improve safety and ease of use, and further expand the use of anticoagulants to prevent morbidity and mortality due to thromboembolism.



Councillor Profiles


With the 2021-23 THANZ Council recently elected, we'll bring you a brief profile of new members over the next few newsletters. First off, we have Dr. Charithani Keragala.

I am a haematopathologist currently working in clinical and laboratory haematology at Monash Health in Melbourne. I am also completing a translational research PHD on the plasminogen activating system and its links with innate immunity through Monash University at the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases.


My clinical and research interests include haemostasis and thrombosis related medicine and fibrinolysis. I enjoy teaching and am currently an adjunct lecturer in Medicine at Monash Health’s School of Clinical Sciences and teach Year 3 medical students and basic physician trainees on a regular basis. I also previously co-supervised several Biomedical Science students during their honours year.


One of my career highlights include presenting my research at the Presidential Symposium of the Australian Blood

conference in 2018 where I was awarded runner up for ‘best presentation’ by THANZ and received the John Lloyd travel grant. Another is attending a job interview at 39 weeks pregnant with my third baby and getting the phone call to say I got the job 2 days later and a few hours after I had given birth.


I have been a member of THANZ for the past five years and am honoured to be voted into council. I look forward to undertaking the responsibilities of Secretary and am very keen to get involved in the important activities of this organisation and committee. I also have a fervent interest and involvement in women’s representation in medicine and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) having recently completed the ‘Women in Leadership Program- Inspiring Women to Influence and Impact’ conducted by the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation and am also currently a member of the ‘Gender Equity in Medicine Reference Group’ for the RACP which works towards improving gender equity within this organisation.


In my (non-existent) spare time, I enjoy trekking with my husband and doing trail walks with our three little ones.

I am excited and honoured to be a member of THANZ and will endeavour to improve and support the aspirations of our haemostasis and thrombosis community during my time in this role. Thank you for the opportunity.





ISTH Conference Review



The ISTH 2021, held in Philadelphia, USA, was a great success for a virtual international congress. Many sessions were scheduled allowing many researchers to present their work through oral communication and that provided the opportunity to choose between various presentations to attend. Unfortunately, networking was quite difficult due to the virtual nature of the congress and the time of presentations (EST) provided a challenge for us (Australia-based researchers) with regards to following the midday program.

One presentation that especially caught my attention was that of Nicola Pozzi from the Saint Louis University. In his talk he demonstrated a very interesting technique called Fluorescent Correlation Spectrometry. This is a way of quantifying binding or dissociation of proteins on a particular surface, in this case the binding of the blood clotting protein prothrombin to the factor Xa/factor Va complex on an activated membrane surface. This technique could be a great tool to determine binding of our proteins in my current project and we are looking into the possibility of collaboration.

Overall, attending the ISTH 2021 conference gave me the opportunity to present my research to the international experts and allowed me to learn from the best scientists in the world.


Mark Schreuder


With travel funding from THANZ I was able to attend the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis Congress, held virtually from Philadelphia this year. Though it meant an early morning for me, it was an honour to present my work amongst the world’s leading thrombosis researchers. The online format did not take away from the incredibly interesting work being presented. Dr. Carlo Zaninetti presented his work in developing and validating immunofluorescence as a tool for diagnosing inherited platelet disorders from dried blood smears. His work has led to the development of a fast method that can be used to reliably diagnose inherited platelet disorders in minute amounts of blood. Ph.D. candidate Cara Sake from Colorado School of Mines presented interesting work using Isotope Assisted Metabolic Flux analysis to quantify platelet metabolism in resting and thrombin activated platelets. Using this method, she showed that upon thrombin activation, platelet energy consumption increases as exemplified by a global increase in flux and a metabolic shift towards glucose oxidation. A rerouting of metabolism occurs, where glucose uptake increases while acetate stays the same. Applying this quantitative technique to platelet metabolism was not without its challenges, the group had to tailor their workflow usually used for more robust cell types to work for platelets. These two highlights showcase the wide range of excellent science that was presented at this year’s ISTH congress, from clinical to basic science.  


Aster Pijning 



Functional Disulfides in Health and Disease Meeting 2021 Review


The conference on disulfide bonds in health and disease was meant to be held in person in Tel Aviv this year but moved to an online format due to COVID-19. The conference was extremely well organized by Professor Deborah Fass and her team. It showcased the latest developments in everything disulfide bonds, from the quantum basics of disulfide bons to the role of a redox active cysteine in the correct folding of the HIV envelope protein gp160. Of particular interest to me was the work of Dr. Freda Passam and her team on the role of the vascular thiol isomerase PDIA6 (ERp5) in preventing platelet hyperreactivity. The group generated a platelet specific PDIA6 knockout mouse model that presented with upregulation of other vascular thiol isomerases and, importantly, hypersecretion of α-granule proteins in response to shear or thrombin activation. An increase in ER stress was established in PDIA6 deficient platelets based on an increase in the activation of the PERK pathway. Additionally, mice with PDIA6 deficient platelets displayed a prothrombotic phenotype with increased platelet adhesion to fibrinogen under shear and after carotid artery occlusion. These findings unexpectedly place PDIA6 at the centre of regulating platelet ER stress and secretion. They may open new avenues in the study of PDIA6 and other vascular thiol isomerases and their role in conditions that present with increased ERs tress and platelet hyperreactivity, such as diabetes.


Aster Pijning 


Welcome New Members


Please welcome new members Jue, Alison, Danielle, Jennifer, Amanda, Marcelle, Zeenet, Sonali, Kristen, Janet, Philip and Angela.



World Thrombosis Day

Who could have predicted that we'd have to hold a second World Thrombosis Day (WTD) under the scourge of COVID-19? But much of Australia and NZ were still under some level of restrictions on the day, which prevented our usual activities promoting thrombosis awareness. Nevertheless, with the continuing generosity of the BMS-Pfizer Alliance and Sanofi, we were able to post out a WTD mask, pen and button badge to all THANZ members. Despite the restrictions, but always complying with them, there were a few activities around the country





THANZ Corporate Sponsor



Our thanks go to Novo Nordisk for their continued support of the Society