Letter from the Editor


Annnnnd, it's a wrap for 2023!  Welcome to the final THANZ newsletter for the year!  For those that attended BLOOD 2023 in Melbourne, I hope you enjoyed the educational and social aspects as much as I did (what I collectively call #TheLearnings with Eileen/Nicola :P ). 



We all have to applaud the fantastic effort from James McFadyen and Cherry Keragala as the THANZ Local Organising Committee reps, as well as Dominic Pepperell and Joe Rigano for the THANZ Scientific Workshop.   What I am very proud of is seeing how well attended our THANZ program was.  We might be minnows compared to our HSANZ brethren in terms of number of members, however we punch above our weight in terms of quality of content! (#MakeThrombosisGreatAgain #MTGA).  Please enjoy the reviews of BLOOD as well as the THANZ Workshop below from our fellow attendees.


I would like to thank our outgoing President, Chee Wee Tan, for his leadership during his term at the helm of our great society.  He has handed over the baton to James McFadyen, our newly appointed THANZ President (whom I hope will forgive me for the MAGA reference above...knowing that he is a fellow "fan" of the riveting drama that is US politics).  It was a rather seamless transition of power.  No issues with vote counting...no mobs storming Megan Sarson's office/home.  Fortunately.


THANZ is passionate about serving our members and have some exciting initiatives that the Council are currently working on.  We also hope by introducing the new membership categories we can encourage more of our medical, laboratory and academic peers in the thrombosis and haemostasis community to join the THANZ family.  We should all enourage our junior colleagues or peers to join THANZ!  


I want to wish you all a happy holiday season and look forward to embracing the new year!  And shall again leave you all with some happy snaps from BLOOD to tempt you all to attend BLOOD 2024 in Brisbane!







THANZ Representatives


We are grateful to the THANZ members who continue to represent the Society across a range of organizations and committees.


Organization/Committee THANZ Representative Contact Details
AIMS APACE Dianne Lovelock


NBA Immunoglobulin Specialist Phil Choi Phil.Choi@act.gov.au
RACP- Joint College Training in Haematology Anoop Enjeti anoop.enjeti@calvarymater.org.au
Certification of Medical Laboratory Scientists (CMLS) Tina Pham tina.pham@svha.org.au
Pathology Tests Explained (PTEx) Tina Pham tina.pham@svha.org.au

Living Evidence for Australian Pregnancy and Postnatal care (LEAPP) Guidelines Steering Committee

Giselle Kidson-Gerber Giselle.KidsonGerber@health.nsw.gov.au

Subject Matter Expert for the RACP On line Learning Resource 

Anoop Enjeti anoop.enjeti@calvarymater.org.au

Jenny Curnow

Agnes Yuen





Thanks to our Corporate Sponsor - Novo Nordisk


Our continued thanks go to Novo Nordisk for their on-going support of THANZ






Presidents Report


They say you cannot teach old dogs new tricks. However, it turns out such idioms are not always true. To my amazement, during the recent Blood meeting, this old dog learnt that many of our interstate and international guests were, to my great surprise, actually very interested in the Melbourne Cup. With Melbourne turning on some fabulous weather combined with the spring racing carnival atmosphere, the Blood meeting was an outstanding success. Indeed, there is no doubt the real attraction of the Melbourne Cup long weekend was the meeting itself, and I can happily report that we had a record attendance for a Blood meeting. This is a testament to the wonderful speakers and program. Again, I would like to thank all our local speakers who contributed to such a successful meeting, in addition to our international speakers, Prof Jorge Di Paola, Prof Nikki Mutch and Prof Pantep Angchaisuksiri. Aside from providing insightful talks, our international guests had a great time at the meeting and certainly got to sample plenty of Melbourne culture. Apart from imbibing a Guinness whilst watching the Melbourne Cup, my spies in St Louis, tell me that Jorge also got to learn the Nutbush on the dance floor at the Gala Dinner. Such a successful meeting would not have been possible without the astute and skilful planning of the organising committee. For this, I must thank Cherry Keragala from the local organising committee, our friends from HSANZ and ANZSBT, our sponsors and of course, Katrina Aro from the Conference Company for ensuring such a well executed meeting. Again, a huge thanks to Megan Sarson, our adroit secretariat, who ensures all of THANZ’s activities run so smoothly.


The Blood meeting was preceded by traditional THANZ Workshop which again was very well attended and showcased an array of great speakers. This was only possible by the hard work of Dom Pepperell and Joe Rigano. Lastly, I need to thank Shaun Jackson who, aside from his gloating about a Collingwood premiership, provided a fantastic Firkin Oration and shared his reflections and lessons learnt from his personal connection with Barry Firkin. Congratulations to Yvonne Kong who won the THANZ Scientific medal, and our runners up Abbey Willcox and Marc Ellis. On a personal level, it was highly satisfying to see the outstanding standard of research being done by emerging investigators in the thrombosis/haemostasis field. We all now look forward to Blood next year in Brisbane which I am sure will also be a highly successful meeting.


At the end of Blood meeting, we have ushered in a new council. A big thank you to Chee Wee Tan, our outgoing president who has done an amazing amount of work over these last few years. Phil Choi, Danny Hsu, Nicola Eaddy, Dom Pepperell, Cherry Keragala and Jane Mason will be continuing on council and will doubtless continue their excellent work. Indeed, over the next few years we hope to continue to expand the membership base of THANZ and with our new changes to membership categories, we hope to encourage more trainees, scientists and pharmacists into the THANZ family. THANZ continues to be actively engaged on a number of fronts and as many are probably aware, we have been consulting governmental agencies on andexanet for factor Xa related bleeding. In addition, Ross Baker has initiated important discussions regarding developing a collaborative network for investigating undefined bleeding disorders. I envisage THANZ, and its members, will play an active role in the development of this important work.


Lastly, I hope everyone has a wonderful festive season with some time off with family and friends.


James McFadyen


Blood 2023 Review


We asked recipients of the THANZ travel grants to write  a review of Blood


Joanne So (Alflrled Health, Vic)

It was a great honour to receive the THANZ Travel Grant for Blood 2023 in Melbourne and have the unique opportunity to present at this conference. As it was my first time attending, it was an insightful and encouraging experience being able to meet a vast array of people from various disciplines – pathologists, scientists, pharmacists, nurses, clinicians and many more, all united in progressing the field of haematology. One rather memorable talk of many, was Professor Jackson’s talk at the Barry Firkin Oration. It was fascinating to hear how experiments previously were conducted, and I’m glad that we no longer flip coins to be experimental subjects like the Harrington Hollingsworth experiment! The reflection not only demonstrated how far we had progressed in ethical conduct for experiments, but also how rapidly the field of haematology had progressed. Of particular interest was Professor Jackson’s latest research on the hyperactivity of platelets and existence of tractopods, a new membrane adhesive structure. It was exciting to see the potential implications of identifying markers like PI3K beta as a potential new target to reduce thrombotic risk in diabetic patients. I’m incredibly thankful to THANZ for this travel grant, and very grateful for all the committee and many others for all their hard work in organising this wonderful conference.


Marc Ellis (Concord Hospital, NSW)

It was with great pleasure I was able to attend the Blood 2023 meeting in Melbourne with the support of a travel grant from THANZ. This year was a particularly good opportunity this year to catch up with colleagues and see Danny Hsu tear up the dance floor. It was also a great privilege to get to meet and have several discussions with Professor Jorge Di Paola. Particularly interesting was the session on Sunday afternoon which opened with Professor Karlheinz Peter discussing the evolving landscape of novel antiplatelet therapeutics, but particularly how harnessing antiplatelet agents in the treatment of inflammatory disorders. Following this, Professor Liz Gardiner gave some exciting new insights into TPO-independent platelet generation and megakaryopoiesis and in particular, how inhibition of the proteasome may augment this. Finally, Professor Jorge De Paola shared some of his expertise with the understanding of the complex and evolving world of platelet genomics. He shared some of his experience with dealing with genetic testing in platelet biology. Overall, Blood 2023 was a fantastic meeting and the organising committee should be proud of creating a stellar lineup of sessions and thanks again to THANZ for their support.


Yvone Kong (University Of Sydney, NSW)

A big thank you to the THANZ Council for awarding me with a travel grant to attend the Blood 2023 Meeting! It was a wonderful experience to attend the Meeting and have the opportunity to listen to great talks from local and international experts. 


I particularly enjoyed the “THANZ: Emerging technologies in thrombosis and haemostasis” and the “platelet formation, function and therapy – novel insights” sessions. A/Prof Ju described some of the new technologies his lab has developed, and their inspiration, to improve in vitro diagnostics. Dr Phil Choi’s talk on artificial intelligence was eye-opening to the potential applications of AI in the clinical and laboratory diagnosis of thrombocytopenia, and he also outlined the interesting work on this topic at ANU and the Canberra Hospital. I was also reminded of Dr Sidra Ali’s excellent presentation in the Blood 2022 Meeting, where she presented on developing a platelet signature for diagnosis of ITP and determining the associated bleeding risk. Professor Liz Gardiner’s talk on Novel mechanisms of thrombopoiesis, investigating the unexpected result of ribosomal biogenesis inhibitor CX-5461 causing thrombocytosis, was very interesting and highlights so much remains to be explored in platelet biogenesis. Professor Shaun Jackson’s oration (the Barry Firkin oration) was inspiring and I will take on his advice about following interesting and unexpected observations, and that research takes time – often longer than expected! 

Thank you again to the THANZ Council for the support to attend the Blood 2023 Meeting and to present. A huge thank you also to the organisers for an excellent program and looking forward to the meeting next year! 


Rowena Brook (Northern Health, Vic)

This year at the Blood Conference 2023 combined THANZ and HSANZ presidential symposium Ms Megha Kadian from the University of Sydney and the recipient of the annual 2023 Werfen Travel Grant presented her research group’s abstract ‘Local Anticoagulation via Gene Transfer: Towards Prevention of Cardioembolic Stroke’. This research explored the potential of viral vectors to alter thrombomodulin expression and deliver focally targeted anticoagulation to the cardiac region. This represents a novel potential therapy to prevent cardiac thromboembolism which primarily arises from the left atrial appendage. In vitro functional testing was performed using a modified calibrated thrombogram assay in conjunction with an overall haemostatic potential assay to perform a cell-based assessment of endothelial cell culture models. The viral vector-transduced cells demonstrated comparatively hypocoagulable parameters to the control group including decreased endogenous thrombin potential, decreased peak thrombin generation rate, increased time to peak thrombin generation and decreased velocity of thrombogenesis.  Further ex vivo testing was performed using porcine left atrial appendage epithelial cells to endothelialise a microfluidic device perfused with human whole blood with the viral vector-transduced cell model demonstrating reduction in fibrin, platelets and neutrophils.

This novel research demonstrates the potential of harnessing viral vectors to deliver focal gene therapy anticoagulation without the requirement for systemic anticoagulation and the associated risk of haemorrhage. Further research in this area is still required to explore local anticoagulation via gene transfer to validate these findings in live models, assess potential adverse effects and the durability of the anticoagulant responses seen. However, the potential for targeted anticoagulation to the cardiac region is particularly significant as it is well described that the patient population at highest risk of cardiac thromboembolism and resultant ischaemic strokes often paradoxically have increased bleeding risk from associated co-morbidities such as renal impairment and hypertension.


Caroline Reddel (ANZAC Research Institute, NSW)

The 2023 Blood meeting at the Melbourne Convention Centre was an excellent showcase and update of thrombosis and haemostasis research in our region and further afield, with a particularly high standard of presentations in the free communications sessions – I came away brimming with ideas. As always, the chance to casually connect with local and international colleagues over the lunch queue or at the poster stands was extremely valuable and continually refreshing after the too-long period of virtual meetings before last year!

A highlight for me was the excellent fibrinolysis research presented at this meeting, and in particular the Tuesday afternoon session on venous thrombosis and fibrinolysis. This session was a journey: through Nicola Mutch’s mechanistic work on the role of cells in fibrinolysis, Ross Baker’s engaging overview of the problems associated with thrombolysis after PE, leading to Cherry Keragala’s elegant assay distinguishing between fibrin-specific and systemic activation of plasminogen and characterising its clinical significance.  Overall I greatly enjoyed the meeting and it was a great privilege to be supported by THANZ to attend.


THANZ Workshop Review


Megha Kadian, the recipiant of the THANZ Werfen Grant, and David Capraro, recipiant of a THANZ Blood Travel Grant  attended the THANZ Workshop on the Saturday before the conference started and have written reviews



THANZ Scientific Workshop Review- David Capraro

This year’s THANZ Scientific Workshop took place on 4 November in Melbourne and I was able to attend with the support of a THANZ travel grant. Research, laboratory and clinical work was all presented on the day as well as some interesting patient cases.

I really enjoyed Prof Jorge Di Paola’s presentation on the diagnosis and subtyping of von Willebrand Disease. As a research scientist who doesn’t work on VWD I didn’t know that there are several types of VWD with different inheritance patterns. In addition to laboratory tests, genetic testing can also be used for VWD diagnosis and subtyping as there can be mutations across the VWF gene. The presentation was a good synthesis of the clinical and scientific aspects of VWD.

Overall, I liked the relaxed atmosphere of the Workshop and it was a good way to unofficially start Blood 2023. Thank you to THANZ for the travel grant that supported my attendance.



Scientific Workshop Review- Megha Kadian

The Melbourne Convention Centre was charged with the air of anticipation, discovery and the promise of unravelling the mysteries of nature. The THANZ Scientific Workshop, a gathering of minds at the forefront of research and innovation, held the promise of an enlightening journey into the intricate world of blood-related disorders.


The morning began with Julie Wang setting the tone for the immersive and deeply informative experience that lay ahead; cementing the potential of global coagulation assays as predictive markers of thrombotic disease. Charithani Keragala then shared her insights on the latest advancements, particularly in vaccine-induced thrombocytopenia, weaving a narrative that seamlessly integrated cutting-edge technologies shaping the future of translational haematological science. Joanne Joseph presented an extensive review, spearheaded by David Rabbolini, discussing global assays in the context of liver disease both nationally and overseas.


After a short but welcome break for morning tea and browsing the exhibition trade for freebies, the second session continued in full force. Emicuzumab appeared to largely be the hero of this session, starring in the talks of Geoff Kershaw, Stephanie P’Ng and Jane Mason. Grace Gilmore took a slight turn and instead discussed the impact of andaxanet on routine coagulating testing withing the clinic.


The next session was a particularly engaging one, starring a keynote speaker of the Blood 2023 conference, Jorge di Paola. Jorge presented a rather engaging discussion on the diagnosis and subtyping of von Willebrand disease, which was clinically and scientifically extended by Phil Choi and Sandhya Arunachalam diving deep into collaborative biobanking and the VWF EQA program, respectively.


Following a delicious afternoon tea, the sessions concluded with a discussion on APACE certification by Maureen Jacobsen followed by an engaging and clinically relevant discussion on case conundrums, presented by Dianne Lovelock, Joanne Clifford, Marcus Lombard and Dominic Pepperell. It was incredibly interesting, as a medical student and aspiring clinician-scientist, to engage in this conversation that enriched my understanding of the multidimensional scientific and clinical landscape of thrombosis and haemostasis. 


This workshop was a clear standout when compared with the majority of workshops I had attended as a student. After most workshops, it was a simple task to discern one’s favourite talk out of the many- but it wasn’t an easy task for this workshop. Engaging presentations and panel discussions provided a comprehensive overview of the challenges and triumphs within the field, leaving me enthralled by the breadth and depth of research showcased. It’s almost as if every talk was a piece of the puzzle; there is no singular favourite, because all of them collectively share the story worth telling.



Shaun Jackson- Barry Firkin Orator 2023


Shaun Jackson gave an enlighening and informative Barry Firkin Oration, including rare glimpses of what it was like to work with Barry himself.


Unfortunately, the Barry Firkin Award didn't make it over from New Zealand, where it is created, in time for the Oration, so Shaun was presented with some Collingwood merchandice to commemorate their premiership win ealier this year- Shaun is a big fan and even referenced the team in his oration.


Award Winners


This years awards were presenting during the 'Springtime' themed Gala Dinner, during Blood 2023.

Congratulations to all the prize winners.


Werfen THANZ Travel Grant- awarded to Megha Kadian byTHANZ President Chee Wee Tan  (below) 


AHCDO THANZ Travel Grant- awarded to Brian Grainger (collected by colleague Stephanie Anderson)


The THANZ Medal was won to Yvonne Wong (below) 


Abbey Wilcox (l) and Marc Ellis (r) were the THANZ Medal runners up 




The Best Lab Poster award was presented to Gabriella Pennings (beloow)


The Best Clinical Poster prize was won by Antoinette Runge (below)

Election Result


The results of the ballot and the composition of the 2023-25 THANZ Council was announced at the AGM, held in November during Blood.


Council members for the upcoming term are James McFadyen (President), Cherry Keragala (VP and Secretary), Phil Choi (Treasurer), Danny Hsu (Editor), Jane Mason (Comms), Nicola Eaddy and Dominic Pepperell (Workshop Convenor).

The vacancy for the South Australia/Northern Territory representative has been filled by Brian Dale.




Welcome New Members


Please welcome new members-

Shujun, Anoinette, Gabriel, Andrew, Wai Yen, Tina and Hafsa




Prof Heimburger Award Update

Australian coagulation specialists’ interest in the Prof Heimburger Award continues, with the country ranking third by number of applications received for the 2024 award.  Of 66 applications received from 15 countries, 7 came from Australia, with only Netherlands (22) and Italy (11) having more.  The Prof Heimburger Award provides 5 research grants of €25,000 each to early career coagulation specialists as part of CSL Behring’s commitment to supporting developments in preclinical and clinical research in the areas of inherited and acquired bleeding disorders.


The Prof Heimburger Award 2024 Scientific Committee will meet in December to review the applications, evaluating their scientific rigour, originality, and how they will impact the field of coagulation disorders. The top research proposals will be independently selected, and the successful applicants will be invited to submit a more detailed description of their project in January, to enable the Scientific Committee determine the 5 winners. Over the past 18 years of the Award, 6 Australians have been successful.  Will this be the year that another one (or more) are added to the list?


THANZ member appointed to ISTH WTD Steering Committee


The ISTH recently announced the appointment of eight new members to its World Thrombosis Day Steering Committee, including our own Danny Hsu. Danny, together with colleagues from Europe, North/South America and China, will start their 2-year terms on the Committee in January.

For more information click here