Prof Louise Purton

Research Unit

Stem cell regulation


Head, Stem Cell Regulation Laboratory
Professor, Dept of Medicine SVH, The University of Melbourne

email: [email protected]

Professional Experience

1990         BSc (Hons) The University of Melbourne, Australia
1995         PhD, The University of Melbourne, Australia
1995-00    Post-doctoral researcher, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
2000-04    Senior Research Officer, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne
2004-05    Associate, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne
2004-07    Visiting scientist, Massachusetts General Hospital Center, Boston, USA
2004-07    Assistant in Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA
2004-07    Instructor, Department of Medicine, Harvard University, Boston, USA

You can view Louise's full CV here.


1993-94      Postgraduate Bursary, The British Council
1999-02      Special Fellowship, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America
2008-10      NHMRC Career Development Award, Level 2
2009-2015  Member, Faculty 1000, Non-hematopoietic stem cells section
2010 -13     Director, ISEH Society for Hematology and Stem Cells
2011-15      NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship
2014 -         Member, Editorial Board, PLoS One
2015 -         Member, Standing Research Subcommittee, Cancer Council Victoria
2016 -         Member, Editorial Board, Scientific Reports
2016 -         SVI Foundation Award
2017 -         Member, ASH Scientific Committee on Stem Cells and Regenerative
2017 -         Member, Editorial Board, Experimental Hematology
2018 -         Associate Editor, StemJournal
2019 -         Professorial Fellow, The University of Melbourne
2020 -         Associate Editor, Experimental Hematology

Research Interests

The research in my lab primarily focuses on processes involved in blood cell production (haematopoiesis). All blood cells are formed from haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which are capable of either self-renewing (to make more HSCs) or differentiating into mature blood cell types- each HSC makes hundreds of thousands of blood cells. HSCs are finely regulated, and problems in the regulation of HSCs can lead to haematopoietic diseases (such as leukaemia) or blood cell exhaustion. Research in my laboratory is focused on understanding how HSCs are regulated, and determining the roles of the bone marrow microenvironment (where blood cells are made) in regulating haemopoietic diseases, including leukaemia. Of major interest are the roles of the receptors for vitamin A (retinoic acid receptors, RARs) in these processes. Our approaches include the use of different mouse knockout models, stem and progenitor cell assays including bone marrow transplantation studies and ex vivo culture methods, mCT analysis of bone marrow microenvironment cells, gene transduction, FACS-based methods for sorting and analysis, analysis of gene expression by quantitative real-time PCR and microarrays.

Selected Publications

  1. Purton LE, Bernstein ID, Collins SJ. All-trans retinoic acid delays the differentiation of primitive hematopoietic precursors (lin- c-kit+ Sca-1+) while enhancing the terminal maturation of committed granulocyte/monocyte progenitors. Blood 1999; 94:483-495.
  2. Purton LE, Bernstein ID, Collins SJ. All-trans retinoic acid enhances the maintenance of long-term repopulating hematopoietic stem cells. Blood 2000; 95:470-477.
  3. Walkley CR, Fero ML, Chien W-M, Purton LE*, McArthur GA*. Negative cell-cycle regulators cooperatively control self-renewal and differentiation of haematopoietic stem cells. Nat Cell Biol 2005; 7:172-178. *Purton and McArthur are equal senior authors.
  4. Purton LE, Dworkin S, Olsen GH, Walkley CR, Fabb SA, Collins SJ, Chambon P. RARg is critical for maintaining a balance between hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. J Exp Med 2006; 203:1283-1293.
  5. Walkley CR*, Olsen GH*, Dworkin S, Fabb SA, Swann J, McArthur GA, Westmoreland SV, Chambon P, Scadden DT, Purton LE. A microenvironment-induced myeloproliferative syndrome caused by retinoic acid receptor g deficiency. Cell 2007; 129:1097-1110. *Walkley and Olsen are equal first authors.
  6. Chee LC, Hendy J, Purton LE, McArthur GA. ATRA and the specific RARa agonist, NRX195183, have opposing effects on the clonogenicity of pre-leukemic murine AML1-ETO bone marrow cells. Leukemia 2013; 27:1369-1380.
  7. Joseph C, Quach JM, Walkley CR, Lane SW, Lo Celso C, Purton LE. Deciphering hematopoietic stem cells in their niches: a critical appraisal of genetic models, lineage tracing, and imaging strategies. Cell Stem Cell 2013; 13:520-533.
  8. Quach JM, Askymr M, Jovic T, Baker EK, Walsh NC, Harrison SJ, Neeson P, Ritchie D, Ebeling PR, Purton LE. Myelosuppressive therapies significantly increase pro-inflammatory cytokines and directly cause bone loss. JBMR 2015; 30:886-897.
  9. Joseph C, Nota C, Fletcher JL, Maluenda AC, Green AC, Purton LE. Retinoic acid receptor γ regulates B and T lymphopoiesis via nestin-expressing cells in the bone marrow and thymic microenvironments. The Journal of Immunology 2016; 196:2132-2144.
  10. Hawkins ED, Duarte D, Akinduro O, Khorshed RA, Passaro D, Nowicka M, Straszkowski L, Scott MK, Rothery S, Ruivo N, Foster K, Waibel M, Johnstone RW, Harrison SJ, Westerman DA, Quach H, Gribben J, Robinson MD§, Purton LE§, Bonnet D§, Lo Celso C. T-cell acute leukaemia exhibits dynamic interactions with bone marrow microenvironments. Nature 2016; 538:518-522. § Robinson, Purton and Bonnet are co-second last authors.
  11. Duarte D, Hawkins ED, Akinduro O, Ang H, De Filippo K, Kong IY, Haltalli M, Ruivo N, Straszkowski L, Vervoort SJ, McLean C, Weber TS, Khorshed R, Pirillo C, Wei A, Ramasamy SK, Kusumbe AP, Duffy K, Adams RH, Purton LE, Carlin LM, Lo Celso C. Inhibition of endosteal vascular niche remodeling rescues hematopoietic stem cell loss in AML. Cell Stem Cell 2018; 22:64-77.
  12. Green AC, Rudolph-Stringer V, Straszkowski L, Tjin G, Crimeen-Irwin B, Walia M, Martin TJ, Sims NA, Purton LE. Retinoic acid receptor g activity in mesenchymal stem cells regulates endochondral bone, angiogenesis and B lymphopoiesis. JBMR 2018 33:2202-2213.
  13. Green AC*, Tjin G*, Lee SC, Chalk AM, Straszkowski L, Kwang D, Baker EK, Quach JM, Kimura T, Wu JY, Purton LE. The characterization of distinct populations of murine skeletal cells that have different roles in B lymphopoiesis. Blood 2021 138:304-317