Dr Tara Karnezis

Research Unit

Lymphatic, adipose & regenerative medicine


Co-Head, Lymphatic, Adipose & Regenerative Medicine Group, O’Brien Institute Department, SVI

Professional Experience

1996         BSc (Hons), La Trobe University
1997-01    Demonstrator, Dep of Biochemistry, La Trobe University
2002         PhD, Depts of Biochemistry and Genetics, La Trobe University
2003-04   Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dept of Neurology and Neurological
                  Sciences, Stanford
2005-10    Research Fellow, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
2010-15    Senior Research Fellow, Angiogenesis Program, Peter MacCallum
                 Cancer Centre
2016         Group Leader, Lymphatic and Regenerative Surgery, OBI Dept, SVI


1993     Deans Commendation
1994     La Trobe University Prize, Top 2nd Year Student in Microbiolgy
1994     Australian Society for Microbiology Prize
1995     Australian Society for Microbiology Prize
1995     Unitika Biochemistry Prize
1996     Peter MacCallum Summer Studentship
1997     PhD Industry Scholarship
2000    ASBMB Travel Fellowship
2003    Stanford University Post-doctoral Fellowship
2010    CASS Foundation Travel Fellowship
2013    Finalist, Peter MacCallum Translate Prize

Research Interests

Lymphatic Biology; Genetics of Lymphatic Disease: Lymphoedema and Lipoedema; Radiation Injury following Cancer

Selected Publications

  1. Karnezis T, McIntosh M, Wardak AZ, Stanisich VA and Stone BA (2000). The biosynthesis of beta-glycans. Trends in Glycoscience and Glycobiology 9: 31-41.\
  2. Karnezis T, Fisher HC, Lithgow T, Stanisich VA and Stone BA (2002).  A deficiency in phosphatidylserine synthase affects the production of high molecular weight (1-3)-beta-glucan [curdlan] by Agrobacterium sp. ATCC31749. Journal of Bacteriology 184: 4114-23.
  3. Karnezis T, Epa V, Stanisich VA and Stone BA (2003). Topological and mutational analysis of the (1-3)-b-glucan synthase from an Agrobacterium sp. Glycobiology 13: 693-706.
  4. Karnezis T, Mandemaker W, McQualter JL, Binhai Z, Ho PP, Jordan KA, Murray BM, Barres B, Tessier-Lavigne M and Bernard CCA (2004). The neurite outgrowth inhibitor NogoA is involved in autoimmune-mediated demyelination. Nature Neuroscience 7: 736-744.
  5. Azari, M.F, Karnezis, T, Bernard, CCA, Profyris, C, LeGrande, M.R, Zang, DW, Cheema, SS. and Petratos, S. (2005). Incomplete Freund’s adjuvant enhances locomotor performance following spinal cord injury. European Journal of Neurology 12: 1004-1008
  6. Azari MF, Profyris C, Karnezis T, Bernard CC, Small DH, Cheema S-S, Hatzinisiriou, I, and Petratos, S (2006). Leukaemia inhibitory factor arrests oligodendrocyte death and demyelination in spinal cord injury. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 65(9):914-29.
  7. Fai H, Karnezis T, Reimer RJ, Krantz DE (2007) Membrane topology of the   Drosophila vesicular glutamate transporter. Journal of Neurochemistry 101(6):1662-71.
  8. McColl BK, Paavonen K, Karnezis T, Roufail S, Rogers P, Alitalo K, Stacker SA, Achen MG (2007).  Pro-protein convertases promote activation of the lymphangiogenic protein vascular endothelial growth factor-D. FASEB Journal 21(4):1088-98.
  9. Stacker SA, Farnsworth RH, Karnezis T, Shayan R, Smith DP, Paavonen K, Davydova N, Caesar C, Inder R, Baldwin ME, McColl BK, Roufail S, Williams RA, Hughes RA, Alitalo K and Achen MG (2007). Molecular pathways for lymphangiogenesis and their role in human disease. In: Decoding the genomic control of immune reactions Novartis Foundation Symposium 281 pages 38-49, Wiley, Chichester.
  10. Shayan R, Karnezis T, Tsantikos E, Williams SP, Runting AS, Ashton MW, Achen MG, Hibbs ML, Stacker SA (2007). A system for quantifying the patterning of the lymphatic vasculature. Growth Factors 25(6):417-25.
  11. Francois M, Caprini A, Hosking B, Orsenigo F, Wilhelm D, Browne K, Paavonen K, Karnezis T, Shayan R, Downes M, Davidson T, Desmond T, Cheah KS, Stacker SA, Muscat G, Achen MG, Dejana E, Koopman P (2008). Sox18 induces development of the lymphatic vasculature in mice. Nature 4:643-7.
  12. Heraud P, Caine S, Campanale N, Karnezis T, McNaughton D, Wood BR, Tobin MJ, Bernard CC (2010) Early detection of the chemical changes occurring during the induction and prevention of autoimmune-mediated demyelination detected by FT-IR imaging. Neuroimage 49(2):1180-9.
  13. Weber M, Prod’homme T, Karnezis T, Patarroyo J, Rundle C, Danilenko D, Slavin A, Linington C, Bernard C, Martin F, Zamvil S (2010).  Anti-CD20 B-cell depletion in immune intervention of central nervous system autoimmune disease. Annals of Neurology 68:369-383.
  14. Williams SP, Karnezis T, Achen MG, Stacker SA (2010). Targeting lymphatic vessel functions through tyrosine kinases. Journal of Angiogenesis Research 11;2:13.
  15. Harris NC, Paavonen K, Davydova N, Roufail S, Sato T, Zhang YF,  Karnezis T, Stacker SA and Achen MG (2011). The proteolytic processing of VEGF-D is essential for its capacity to promote the growth and spread of cancer.  FASEB J 25;8:2615-25.
  16. Farnsworth RH, Karnezis T, Inder R, Caesar C, Achen MG, Stacker SA.  A role for BMP-4 in tumor growth, metastasis and vessel remodelling (2011). Cancer Research 71(20):6547-57.
  17. Karnezis T, Shayan R, Caesar C, Roufail S, Harris NC, Ardipradja KL,   Zhang YF,  Williams SP, Farnsworth RH, Chai MC, Rupasinghe T, Tull D, Baldwin ME,  Sloan EK,  Fox SB, Achen MA, Stacker SA (2012). VEGF-D promotes tumor metastasis by regulating prostaglandins produced by the collecting lymphatic endothelium. Cancer Cell 21(2):181-95.
  18. Karnezis T, Shayan R, Fox S, Achen MG, Stacker SA (2012). The connection between lymphangiogenic signalling and prostaglandin biology: A missing link in the metastatic pathway. Oncotarget 3(8):893-906.
  19. Shayan, R, Karnezis, T, Murali, R, Wilmott, JS, Ashton, MS, Taylor, GI,  Thompson, JF, Hersey, P, Achen, MA, Scolyer, RA and Stacker, SA (2012). Lymphatic vessel density in primary melanomas predicts sentinel lymph node status and risk of metastasis. Histopathology 61(4):702-710.
  20. Shayan  Inder R, Karnezis T,  Caesar C, Paavonen K, Ashton MG, Mann B, Taylor GI, Achen MG and Stacker SA (2012). Tumor location and nature of lymphatic vessels are key determinants of cancer metastasis. Clinical and Experimental Metastasis 3:345-56.
  21. Harris NC, Davydova N, Roufail S, Paquet-Fifield S, Paavonen K, Karnezis T, Zhang YF, Sato T, Rothacker J, Nice EC, Stacker SA, Achen MG (2013). The Propeptides of VEGF-D determine heparin binding, receptor heterodimerization, and effects on tumor biology. Journal of Biological Chemistry 288(12):8176-86.
  22. Paquet-Fifield S, Levy SM, Sato T, Shayan R, Karnezis T, Davydova N, Nowell CJ, Roufail S, Ma GZ, Zhang YF, Stacker SA, Achen MG (2013).  Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-D modulates caliber and function of initial lymphatics in the dermis.  Journal of Investigative Dermatology 133(8):2074-84.
  23. Matsumoto M, Roufail S,  Inder R,  Caesar C, Karnezis T, Shayan R, Farnsworth RH, Sato T, Achen MG,  Mann B, Stacker SA (2013). Signaling for lymphangiogenesis via VEGFR-3 is required for the early events of metastasis. Clinical and Experimental Metastasis 30(6): 819-32.
  24. Le CP, Karnezis, T, Achen MG, Stacker, SA, Sloan, E. Vascular and neural regulation of metastasis: Shared tumor signaling pathways and novel therapeutic approaches (2013). Best Practice & Research: Clinical Anaesthesiology 27(4): 409-25.
  25. Kartopawiro J, Bower NI, Karnezis T, Kazenwadel J,  Betterman KL, Lesieur E, Koltowska K, Astin J, Crosier P, Vermeren S, Achen MA, Stacker SA, Smith KA, Harvey NL, François M and Hogan BM (2013). Arap3 is dysregulated in a mouse model of hypotrichosislymphedema-telangiectasia and regulates lymphatic vascular development. Human Molecular Genetics 23(5): 1286-97.
  26. Stacker SA, Williams SP, Karnezis T, Shayan R, Fox SB, Achen MG (2014). Lymphangiogensis and lymphatic vessel remodelling in cancer. Nature Reviews Cancer 14(3): 159-72.
  27. Karnezis T and Shayan R (2014). Lymphatic interactions and roles in cancer metastasis. Cancer Forum. 38(2): 97-102.
  28. Francois M, Shayan R and Karnezis T (2014). Ordered chaos: harnessing developmental pathways in tumor induced lymphangiogenesis. Journal of Clinical and Cellular Immunology In press.
  29. Davydova N, Harris NC, Roufail S, Paquet-Fifield S, Ishaq M, Strelstov VA, Williams SP, Karnezis T, Stacker SA and Achen MG (2016). Differential receptor binding and regulatory mechanisms for the lymphangiogenic growth factors VEGF-C and VEGF-D. Journal of Biological Chemistry 291:27265
  30. Le CP, Nowell CJ, Kim-Fuchs C, Botteri E, Hiller JG, Ismail H, Pimentel MA, Chai MG, Karnezis T, Rotmensz N, Renne G, Gandini S, Pouton CW, Ferrari D, Moller A, Stacker SA, Sloan EK (2016). Chronic stress in mice remodels lymph vasculature to promote tumor cell dissemination. Nature Communications 1;7 1063

Book Chapters:

Karnezis T, Shayan R, Achen MA, Stacker SA.  The Lymphatics: on the route to cancer metastasis. Cancer Metastasis: Biologic Basis and Therapeutics.  Cambridge University Press.
Shayan R, Reynolds H, Le Roux CM and Karnezis T (2015).   Sentinal node biopsy: an evolution of the science and surgical principles. pp. 89-102.  Imaging for plastic surgery. CRC press.
Shayan R, Whitaker IS, Le Roux CM and Karnezis T (2015).  Lymphatics; anatomy, mapping and evolving technologies. pp. 159-174. Imaging for plastic surgery. CRC press.