Professor Andrew Zannettino

Professor Andrew Zannettino
 Position Pro Vice Chancellor (Health Partnerships)
 Org Unit Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
 Telephone +61 8 8313 1461
 Location Floor/Room 3 ,  Helen Mayo North ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

    Andrew Zannettino is the Professor of Experimental Haematology and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Adelaide. He heads the Myeloma Research Laboratory (MRL) and co-heads the Regenerative Medicine Program (RMP). The MRL’s efforts centre on identifying the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for myeloma disease progression and myeloma-associated bone loss. The RMP stems from collaborative studies in association with Prof Stan Gronthos (Mesenchymal Stem Cell Laboratory, University of Adelaide) and Prof Paul Simmons (Mesoblast Ltd), which led to the patenting of technologies covering the identification and isolation of Mesenchymal Precursor Cells (MPC), a rare cell population present in many post-natal tissues. The family of 8 patents surrounding this technology underpin the world’s largest cell therapy company, Mesoblast Ltd.

  • Qualifications

    1997: Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Adelaide.

  • Teaching Interests

    Andrew Zannettino teaches Medical, Bachelor of Health Science and post-graduate students in the areas of normal haematology, malignant haematology, cell biology and scientific method.

    In addition, Andrew Zannettino currently supervises a team comprised of 4 independently funded research fellows, 1 NHMRC-funded post-doctoral scientist, 1 Cancer Australia funded post-doctoral scientist, 1 Royal Adelaide Hospital/SA Pathology Myeloma Fellow, 1 Cancer Australia-funded research assistant and 2 technical officers.

    Andrew Zannettino has supervised 13 honours, 1 masters and 14 PhD students and currently supervises 5 PhD students and 2 honours students.


  • Research Interests

    Myeloma is haematological malignancy characterised by the clonal proliferation of plasma cells, an immune cell type that normally protects us against infection. Myeloma is the second most common blood cancer and more than 100,000 people are diagnosed each year worldwide. Despite recent advances in treatment, myeloma remains almost universally fatal and has a 10-year survival rate of approximately 17%. The main clinical manifestations of myeloma are the development of osteolytic bone lesions, bone pain, hypercalcaemia, renal insufficiency, suppressed immunoglobulin production and increased bone marrow angiogenesis (blood vessel formation). Myeloma is preceded by a premalignant (asymptomatic) monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance (MGUS) stage. The factors that trigger the progression from MGUS to myeloma remain to be determined; however, our studies show that both intrinsic genetic changes and extrinsic factors play a role in disease progression. Our laboratory’s research is focussed on detecting the key signalling pathways that are deregulated during disease development and determining what microenvironmental changes occur during disease pathogenesis. We believe that these approaches will enable us to identify new molecular markers of disease risk and to design drugs against novel therapeutic targets.


    Current projects are focused on:

    • Identifying the genetic, transcriptional and epigenetic changes that trigger the progression from asymptomatic MGUS to myeloma
    • Determining why the bone marrow is a “hot-spot” for myeloma plasma cell metastasis
    • Identifying the mechanisms governing dissemination and relapse in multiple myeloma
    • Identifying the role played by the newly described tumour suppressor genes GLIPR1 and SAMSN1 in multiple myeloma development
    • Determining the effects of myeloma plasma cells on mesenchymal stem cell differentiation.
    • Assessing the effectiveness of targeting class IIa histone deacetylases (HDAC) to treat myeloma and myeloma-associated bone disease
    • Identifying the role of the mTOR pathway in mesenchymal stem cell biology and bone formation.
    • Assessing the effectiveness of targeting skeletal mTORC1 as a novel approach to treat diet-induced insulin resistance

  • Research Funding

    Since establishing his laboratory in 2000, Andrew Zannettino has received competitive research funding of more than AUD$12 million and $2.83 million in infrastructure funding and AUD$1.4 million dollars in fellowship support. Notably, he has been awarded a total of 16 NHMRC grants as an investigator valued in excess of $8.5 million. Furthermore, he has received industry funding from sources including Mesoblast, Celgene, Novartis, Zimmer and Johnson & Johnson.

  • Publications

    Research Output:

    Andrew Zannettino has co-authored more than 230 refereed publications, book chapters and review articles, many of which are published in premier Haematology and Orthopaedic journals (BLOOD, Leukemia, BJH, JBMR, Bone), Cancer journals (Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research) and Stem Cell journals (Cell Stem Cell, Stem Cells). Andrew Zannettino’s publications have received 15400 citations and he has a current H Factor of 65 (Google Scholar).

  • Professional Associations

    Current Appointments:

    Faculty member, Centre for Cancer Biology, SA Pathology, SA Health.

    Faculty member, Centre for Personalised Cancer Medicine, University of Adelaide.

    Faculty member, Centre for Stem Cell Research, University of Adelaide.

    Faculty member, Biosciences Pillar of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

    Chair, School of Medical Sciences Research Committee

    Member, Faculty of Health Sciences Review Committee

    Member, Research Project Group, Adelaide Medical and Nursing School Project.

    Member, Advisory Board, Robinson Research Institute


    Professional Associations and Appointments:

    Elected international member of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

    Elected member of the Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand.

    Member, Medical and Scientific Advisory Group, Myeloma Foundation of Australia.

    Key opinion leader, Myeloma bone disease, Novartis and Janssen Cilag.

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Entry last updated: Friday, 8 Nov 2019

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