Staff Directory

Title: Professor
First Name: Graham
Surname: Lieschke
Position: Group Leader
Group: Lieschke
Phone No: +61 3 9902 9720
Email Address:
Research Interests: Blood cell development and function, with focus on leukocytes (neutrophils and macrophages), primarily using zebrafish tools and models.
Particular focus includes:
(1) developmental haematology, particularly genetic causes of neutropenia and leukocyte dysfunction
(2) leukocyte functional biology in inflammation and infection

In addition, through clinical roles, involvement in multiple phase 1-3 clinical studies in the treatment and supportive care of leukaemia and lymphoma patients.
Biography:Professor Graham Lieschke is a clinical and research haematologist. He is internationally recognised for his research into blood disorders and cancer using zebrafish and mice. He is also a clinical haematologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where he treats people with leukaemia and lymphoma.

Prof Lieschke received his medical science and medical degrees from the University of Melbourne in 1983. He undertook his specialist clinical training in medical oncology at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH), obtaining his FRACP in 1991. His undergraduate laboratory and clinical research cultivated his interest in haematology, and as the first Ludwig Institute/RMH Clinical Fellow, he was part of the team that introduced the white blood cell growth factors into clinical practice.  In his PhD project at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (Melbourne Branch), he undertook one of Australia’s first gene knockout projects, proving that G-CSF was a key physiological regulator of granulocyte production.  His postdoctoral training was at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, in tumour immunology.  He returned to Australia in 1997 as an independent investigator. He established his zebrafish-based research program while at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and continued this as a Laboratory Head in the Cancer and Haematology Division of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.  His work seeks to exploit the unique strengths of the zebrafish model in genetics, embryology, and for visualizing cell behaviour in vivo to understand blood cell development and diseases. His awards include: the John Maynard Hedstrom Research Fellowship of the Cancer Council of Victoria, a Howard Hughes Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for Physicians, a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship, and an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship. The Ludwig Institute awarded him its inaugural George Hodgson Medal for Medical Science. He has published over 100 scientific papers and co-edited 2 books. Prof. Lieschke is also passionate about the organ and choral music of J.S. Bach, an interest for which he was awarded the 2004 Dame Roma Mitchell Churchill Fellowship.
Selected Publications:


Pase L, Layton JE, Wittmann C, Ellett F, Nowell C, Reyes-Aldasoro CC, Varma S, Rogers KL, Hall CJ, Keightley MC, Crosier PS, Grabher C, Heath JK, Renshaw RA, Lieschke GJ. Neutrophil-delivered myeloperoxidase dampens the hydrogen peroxide burst after tissue wounding in zebrafish. Current Biology Oct 9;22(19):1818-24. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2012.07.060. Epub 2012 Aug 30, 2012.
PMID: 22940471

Goldshmit Y, Matteo R, Sztal T, Ellett F, Frosca F, Moreno K, Crombie D, Lieschke GJ, Currie P, Sabbadini RA, Pebay A. Blockage of lysophosphatidic acid signaling improves spinal cord injury outcomes. American Journal of Pathology 181(3):978-92, 2012.
PMID: 22819724

Svahn AJ, Graeber MB, Ellett F, Lieschke GJ, Rinkwitz S, Bennett MR, Becker TS. Development of ramified microglia from early macrophages in the zebrafish optic tectum. Developmental Neurobiology Published online May 31. doi: 10.1002/dneu.22039. [Epub ahead of print], 2012.
PMID: 22648905

Cai H, Santiago FS, Prado-Lourenco L, Wang B, Patrikakis M, Davenport MP, Maghzal GJ, Stocker R, Parish CR, Chong BH, Lieschke GJ, Wong T-W, Chesterman CN, Francis D, Moloney FJ, Barnetson RStC, Halliday GM, Khachigian LM. DNAzyme Targeting c-Jun Suppresses Skin Cancer. Science Translational Medicine 4(139):139ra82, 2012.
PMID: 22723462

Pase L, Nowell CJ, Lieschke GJ. In vivo real time visualization of leukocytes and intracellular hydrogen peroxide levels during a zebrafish acute inflammation assay. Methods in Enzymology 506;135-156, 2012.
PMID: 22341223

Ellett F, Lieschke GJ. Computational quantification of fluorescent leukocyte numbers in zebrafish embryos. Methods in Enzymology 506;425-35, 2012.
PMID: 22341237

Keightley MC, Layton JE, Hayman JW, Heath JK, Lieschke GJMediator subunit 12 is required for neutrophil development in zebrafish. PLoS ONE 6(8):e23845, 2011.
PMID: 21901140

Ellett F, Pase L, Hayman JW, Andrianopoulos A, Lieschke GJ. mpeg1 promoter transgenes direct macrophage-lineage expression in zebrafish. Blood 2011 117(4):e49-56, 2011.
PMID: 21084707

Berger J, Berger S, Hall TE, Lieschke GJ, Currie PD. Dystrophin-deficient zebrafish feature aspects of Duchenne muscular dystrophy pathology. Neuromuscular Disorders 20(12):826-832, 2010.

PMID: 20850317

Ellett F, Kile BT, Lieschke GJ. The role of the ETS factor erg in zebrafish vasculogenesis. Mehanisms of Development 126(3-4):220-229 2009.
PMID: 19027849

Pase L, Layton JE, Kloosterman WP, Carradice D, Waterhouse PM, Lieschke GJ. miR-451 regulates zebrafish erythroid maturation in vivo via its target gata2. Blood 113(8):1794-1804, 2009. 

PMID: 18849488

Horsfield J, Anagnostou S, Hu J, Yu Cho K, Geisler R, Lieschke G, Crosier K, Crosier P. Cohesin-dependent regulation of runx genes Development 137(14):2639-2649, 2007.

PMID: 17567667

Hogan BM, Layton JE, Pyati UJ, Nutt SL, Hayman JW, Varma S, Heath JK, Kimelman D, Lieschke GJSpecification of the primitive myeloid precursor pool requires signaling through Alk8 in zebrafish.  Current Biology 16(5):506-511, 2006.

PMID: 16527746

Hogan BM, Hunter MP, Oates AC, Crowhurst MO, Hall NE, Heath JK, Prince VE, Lieschke GJZebrafish gcm2 is required for gill filament budding from pharyngeal ectoderm.  Developmental Biology 276(2):508-522, 2004.

PMID: 15581882

Lieschke GJ, Oates AC, Paw BH, Thompson MA, Hall NE, Ward AC, Ho RK, Zon LI, Layton JE.  Zebrafish SPI-1 (PU.1) marks a site of myeloid development independent of primitive erythropoiesis; implications for axial patterning. Developmental Biology 246(2):274-295, 2002.
PMID: 12051816

Lieschke GJ, Oates AC, Crowhurst MO, Ward AC, Layton JE. Morphological and functional characterization of granulocytes and macrophages in embryonic and adult zebrafish. Blood 98(10);3087-3096, 2001.
PMID: 11698295


Lieschke GJ, Currie PD.  Animal models of human disease – zebrafish swim into view.  Nature Reviews – Genetics 8(5):353-67, 2007.

Carradice D, Lieschke GJ Zebrafish hematology – sushi or science?  Blood 111(7):3331-42, 2008.

Lieschke GJ, Trede NS.  Fish immunologyCurrent Biology 19(16):R678-82, 2009.

Ellett F, Lieschke GJ. The use of zebrafish models in hematology research. Current Opinions in Pharmacology 10(5):563-70, 2010.

Pase L, Lieschke GJDiscerning different in vivo roles of microRNAs by experimental approaches in zebrafish.  Methods in Cell Biology. 104:353-378, 2011.

Wittmann C, Chockley P, Singh S, Pase L, Lieschke GJ, Grabher C. Hydrogen peroxide in inflammation – messenger, guide assassin. Advances in Hematology. 2012;2012:541471. Epub 2012 Jun 12.


Lieschke GJ, Oates AC, Kawakami K (eds).  Zebrafish: Methods and Protocols. Humana Press, Totowa NJ USA, 2009.
Other Info:

Current Memberships

  • Australian Medical Association (AMA)
  • Medical Oncology Group of Australia (MOGA)
  • Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA)
  • Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand (HSANZ)
  • Australia  and New Zealand Society of Cell and Developmental Biology (ANZSCDB)
  • National Association of Research Fellows (NARF)
  • Melbourne Health Expert Scientific Review Panel
  • American Society of Hematology (ASH)
  • International Society of Experimental Hematology (ISEH)
  • Society for Developmental Biology (SDB)
  • EuFishBioMed
  • Scientific Committee on Myeloid Biology (ASH)
  • College of Experts (NRCNZ)
  • Zebrafish Disease Models Society (ZDMS) Founding International Expert Board member
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