- Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- University of New South Wales
Memberships & Activities
- Editorial Board, Frontiers in Oncology
- Editorial Board, Scientific Reports
- 2016-2019 Vice President, Australia and New Zealand Microcirculation Society
- Australian Network for Cardiovascular Developmental Biology
- Breast Cancer Special Interest Group, Sydney Cancer Network
- Metabolism and Microenvironment Interest group, University of Sydney
- Australia and New Zealand Microcirculation Society
- American Heart Association
- Australian Vascular Biology Society
Awards & Honors
- 2013 PaLMS International Travel Fellowship, Scientific Staff Council, Royal North Shore Hospital
- 2013 RNSH/UTS/KIMR/USYD/ SRM National Travel Fellowship, Scientific Staff Council, Royal North Shore Hospital
- 2013 Bridging Support for Senior Scientific Staff, Scientific Staff Council, Royal North Shore Hospital
- 2012 DVC (Research) Bridging Support, University of Sydney
Dr. Ashton studies RNA alternate splicing (AS), a cellular process for changing genomic instructions into functional proteins. AS plays an important role in the regulation of gene expression, protein diversity and ultimately, in species evolution. Indeed, it’s changes in AS, not the size of the genome, that have driven the evolution and biological distinctiveness of homo sapiens.
He seeks to understand the mechanisms of action for AS as they relate to cardiac disorders and cancer and to develop diagnostic tests that could determine clinical outcomes such as disease onset and progression. In particular, he focuses on cardiac disorders that occur during pregnancy, such as pre-eclampsia (a high-risk condition characterized by high blood pressure and renal failure) that can lead to heart problems in women later in life. Currently there are no diagnostic tests or treatments for pre-eclampsia, other than traditional therapies for high blood pressure.
Dr. Ashton uncovered a protein generated by AS in the placenta, and his research has shown it’s the primary driver of pre-eclampsia. By understanding and targeting this AS pathway, he and his team hope to uncover novel diagnostics and therapeutics that will translate into significant advances in obstetric care.
His oncology research is focused on the ways in which AS impacts breast cancer and melanoma.
Non-Genomic Effects of Aldosterone. Vitamins and Hormones. Mihailidou A, Tzakos A, Ashton AW. 2019;109(133):133-49.
Unique mechanisms of connective tissue growth factor regulation in airway smooth muscle in asthma: relationship with airway remodelling. Wang J, Faiz A, Ge Q, Vermeulen CJ, … Ashton, AW, et al. J Cell Mol Med. 2018;22(5):2826-37.
Analyzing Trophoblast Function Using Cell-based Assays. Powell KL, Ashton AW. Methods Mol Bio. 2018;1710:233-46.
Utility of metabolic profiling of serum in the diagnosis of pregnancy complications. Powell K, Carrozzi A, Stephens AS, Tasevski V, Morris JM, Ashton AW, et al. Placenta. 2018;66:65-73.
Trypanosoma cruzi produces the specialized pro-resolving mediators Resolvin D1, Resolvin D5 and Resolvin E2. Colas RA, Ashton AW, Mukherjee S, et al. Infect. Immun. 2018; Mar 22;86(4).
Tumstatin regulates the angiogenic and inflammatory potential of airway smooth muscle extracellular matrix. Harkness LM, Weckmann M, Kopp M, Ashton AW, Burgess JK. J Cell Mol Med. 2017;Dec 21(12):3288-97.
Role for the thromboxane A2 receptor β-isoform in the pathogenesis of intrauterine growth restriction. Powell KL, Stevens V, Upton DH, … Ashton AW, et al. Scientific Reports. 2016;6:28811.
Embryonic/fetal mortality and intrauterine growth restriction is not exclusive to the CBA/J sub-strain in the CBA × DBA model. McKelvey KJ, Yenson VM, Ashton AW, et al. Scientific Reports. 2016;Oct 21;6:35138.
NF-κB Regulation in T-cells in Pregnancy is Mediated via Fas/FasL Interactions: The Signal for which is Derived from Exosomes Present in Maternal Plasma. McCracken SA, Hadfield KA, Macfarlane M, Ashton AW, Morris JM. Reproductive Immunology: Open Access. 2016;1:1-8.