Prof Marcus Stoodley
Head, Neurosurgery Research Laboratory at Macquarie University
About the talk: AVMs are collections of fragile, rupture-prone blood vessels that occur in the brain that are the main cause of stroke in children and young adults. Most small AVMs are curable by surgical removal or radiosurgery-induced occlusion, but most large AVMs are untreatable, leaving one-third of these young AVM patients at constant risk of sudden death or lifelong neurological disability. Our vision is to treat brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) with highly precise thrombosis. We are developing vascular targeting agents that can selectively deliver a thrombotic molecule to the abnormal AVM blood vessels after radiation priming to induce localised thrombosis, occlusion and cure. We have identified a series of putative radiation-stimulated targets at the endothelial surface and have recently demonstrated successful occlusive thrombosis using a prototypical targeting agent in a preclinical model. We are currently investigating targeting of exposed phosphatidylserine. In addition, we have identified intracellular molecules that are translocated to the cell surface in response to radiation and have high potential as targets as they are not present on the surface of normal healthy endothelium. Our current work is focussing on developing targeting agents directed to these new targets.
About the speaker: Prof Stoodley has expertise in cerebrovascular neurosurgery, including aneurysm and AVM surgery, bypass surgery and microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia. He also has a special interest in Chiari malformation, syringomyelia, and spinal cord tumours. He leads the neurosurgery research laboratory at Macquarie University, with NHMRC-funded programs aiming to improve the understanding and treatment of AVMs and syringomyelia.
Read more about Prof Stoodley’s work here