Australian Red Cross Lifeblood

The sweet kiss of platelets and fibrinogen: unravelling the role of neuraminidases

August 6, 2020

Dr van der Wal demonstrated during her PhD (Utrecht University, NL), that death pathways were triggered in cold-stored platelets as a result of molecular changes in platelet adhesion receptor Glycoprotein Ibα. Some bleeding disorder Immune thrombocytopenia patients are unresponsive to current treatments. In her postdoc in Toronto, she showed that certain antibodies against GPIbα, induced removal of sialic acid leading to platelet clearance by hepatocytes. Desialylation could be a diagnostic tool and drug target for refractory patients.

As senior Research Fellow at Australian Red Cross Lifeblood R&D, she combines platelet signalling with transfusion medicine. She investigates the effect of donor attributes and NSAID intake on platelets during storage, glycans and microparticles.

Her passions are science communication, cooking and hiking.


platelets, glycans, transfusion, apoptosis, NSAID

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