Professor Ruth Ganss BSc, PhD


Laboratory Head, Vascular Biology and Stromal TargetingProfessor Ruth Ganss
E:   ganss@perkins.uwa.edu.au
T:   +61 8 6151 0733

Profile
Ruth Ganss is a Research Professor at the Perkins and NHMRC Senior Research Fellow. Her team studies vascular and stromal remodelling in the context of tumour growth and cardiovascular pathologies. During the last decade, her research at the University of California, San Francisco and the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg has focused on blood vessels as the interface between immunology and cancer research. Her current studies at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth aim to identify convergent and common mechanisms in the pathogenesis of two major disease groups, namely cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Research overview

  • Cancer and cardiovascular disease
  • Vascular and stromal remodelling
  • Tumour vessel-specific targeting
  • Inflammation/immunotherapy
  • Mouse models for disease

Research projects
Ruth Ganss’s laboratory studies vascular and stromal remodelling in the context of two major diseases

Cancer: To reach tumour cells within a cancer, immune cells and drugs must enter the tumour blood vessels, cross the vessel wall, and find their way through tumour surrounding stroma. We have shown that tortuous tumour blood vessels are a critical barrier that limits anti-cancer therapy at the tumour site. Our laboratory seeks to understand molecular mechanisms of vascular and stromal remodelling inside tumours. Our goal is to develop new therapies which exploit the dynamic nature of tumour stroma. This includes novel approaches which combine stromal re-programming with strategies to eliminate cancer cells such as cytotoxic or immune therapies which will provide longer lasting anti-cancer effects.  

Cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and atherosclerosis are manifestations of vascular dysfunction. We have recently discovered a molecule which not only regulates tumour angiogenesis but is also a key regulator of vascular function in normal individuals and as such regulates blood pressure homeostasis and arterial wall remodelling. We have developed new mouse models of highest clinical relevance to study its role in blood pressure regulation and atherosclerosis.

Selected publications

  1. Holobotovskyy V, Chong JS, Burchell J, He B, Phillips M, Leader L, Murphy TV, Sandow SL, McKitrick D , Charles A, Tare M, Arnolda L, Ganss R. Regulator of G protein signaling 5 is a determiant of gestational hypertension and preeclampsia. 2015. Sci Transl Med 7, 290ra88. [Sci Transl Med]

  2. Holobotovskyy V, Manzur M, Burchell J, Bolitho E, Tare M, Viola H, Hool L, Arnolda L, McKitrick D , Ganss R. Regulator of G protein signaling 5 controls blood pressure homeostasis and vessel wall remodeling. 2013. Circulation Res. 112 (5):781-91. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

  3. Johansson A, Hamzah J, Payne CJ, Ganss R. 2012. Tumor-targeted TNFα Stabilizes Tumor Vessels and Enhances Active Immunotherapy. PNAS 109 (20):7841-6. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

  4. Hamzah J, Altin JG, Herringson T, Parish CR, Hämmerling GJ, O'Donoghue H, Ganss R. 2009. Targeted delivery of TRL9 ligands activates spontaneous anti-tumor immunity in an autochthonous tumor model. Journal of Immunology 183(2):1091-8. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

  5. Manzur M, Hamzah J, Ganss R. 2009. Modulation of G protein Signaling Normalizes Tumor Vessels. Cancer Research 69(2):396-9 [NCBI PubMed Entry]

  6. Hamzah J, Jugold M, Kiessling F, Rigby P, Manzur M, Marti HH, Rabie T, Kaden S, Gröne HJ, Hämmerling GJ, Arnold B, Ganss R. 2008. Vascular normalization in Rgs5-deficient tumours promotes immune destruction. Nature 453(7193):410-4. [NCBI PubMed Entry] [Nature Website]

  7. Hamzah J, Nelson D, Moldenhauer G, Arnold B, Hämmerling GJ, Ganss R. 2008. Vascular targeting of anti-CD40 antibodies and IL-2 into autochthonous tumors enhances immunotherapy in mice. The Journal of Clinical Investigation 118(5):1691-9. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

  8. Du R, Lu KV, Petritsch C, Liu P, Ganss R, Passegué E, Song H, Vandenberg S, Johnson RS, Werb Z, Bergers G. 2008. HIF1alpha induces the recruitment of bone marrow-derived vascular modulatory cells to regulate tumor angiogenesis and invasion. Cancer Cell 13(3):206-20. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

  9. Spring H, Schüler T, Arnold B, Hämmerling GJ, Ganss R. 2005. Chemokines direct endothelial progenitors into tumor neovessels. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 102(50):18111-6. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

  10. Berger M, Bergers G, Arnold B, Hämmerling GJ, Ganss R. 2005. Regulator of G-protein signaling-5 induction in pericytes coincides with active vessel remodeling during neovascularization. Blood 105(3):1094-101. [NCBI PubMed Entry]

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