Professor Levon Michael Khachigian

My Expertise

Cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, cancer, transcriptional control, scientific method.

Fields of Research (FoR)

Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology, Cancer Cell Biology


Qualifications: BSc (Hons I) PhD DSc UNSW MIP (Law) UTS

Research Interests

Cardiovascular disease and cancer remain the most prevalent causes of morbidity and mortality. Wet age-related macular degeneration can cause severe loss of central vision and disability. The pathogenesis of these and a myriad of other proliferative, migratory, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases are underpinned by molecular and cellular changes in our blood vessels....view more

Qualifications: BSc (Hons I) PhD DSc UNSW MIP (Law) UTS

Research Interests

Cardiovascular disease and cancer remain the most prevalent causes of morbidity and mortality. Wet age-related macular degeneration can cause severe loss of central vision and disability. The pathogenesis of these and a myriad of other proliferative, migratory, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases are underpinned by molecular and cellular changes in our blood vessels. Professor Levon Khachigian's research is uncovering key networks of transcriptional control and inducible gene-regulatory circuits that lead to vascular disease. Building on these mechanistic insights, his group is developing new experimental drugs and approaches that have the potential to treat a myriad of health problems, from cancer and arthritis through to eye and heart disease.

Levon heads the Vascular Biology and Translational Research Laboratory in the School of Biomedical Sciences, UNSW Faculty of Medicine & Health. His research program sits within the Faculty's Thematic Areas of Cardiovascular and Cancer Biology, and has two major objectives:

  1. To better understand how potentially harmful genes are controlled in vascular cells. This arm investigates signalling and transcriptional mechanisms of growth factor- and/or pro-inflammatory cytokine-dependent gene expression, post-translational mechanisms that modify protein behaviour, characterization of genes that are induced or repressed by acute vascular cell injury, and molecular control in vascular cell migration and proliferation. The group has considerable expertise in preclinical models of cardiovascular disease, inflammation and cancer;
  2. To develop novel vascular therapeutic agents for cardiovascular and inflammatory disease, tumour growth and metastasis. The lab is harnessing the outcomes of its fundamental research by pioneering the development of novel anti-gene, gene-therapeutic and small molecule pharmacological strategies targeting regulatory genes in experimental vascular diseases. These agents may be applied to conditions such as wet age-related macular degeneration. The strategy involves interdigitating in-house laboratory research with national and international collaborations with a range of clinical and preclinical specialists, global contract research organisations, leading industrial medicinal chemists and drug development consultants.

Levon received his PhD from UNSW in 1993 and after postdoctoral training in vascular pathobiology at Harvard Medical School returned to the UNSW Centre for Vascular Research (CVR) in 1996 where he established an independent research group. He was appointed Professor in 2004 and Director of CVR in 2009.

If you are a PhD or Hons student interested in a research project, scroll down to the bottom of this page for a list of projects.


Broad Research Areas    

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Inflammation
  • Cancer
  • Cell Biology and Gene Regulation
  • Pathology


Specific Research Keywords    

  • Cardiovascular and inflammatory disease
  • Oncology, tumour growth and metastasis
  • Molecular and cellular mechanisms
  • Signalling and transcription
  • Transcriptional regulation


Teaching Interests    

  • Drug discovery
  • Molecular pathobiology
  • Molecular biology, signalling and transcriptional control
  • Atherosclerosis and post-angioplasty restenosis
  • Inflammation
  • Angiogenesis
  • Cancer


Funding Sources    

  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • National Heart Foundation of Australia
  • NSW Health


Prizes and Distinctions

  • 2021 Distinguished Research Fellow, Australian Cardiovascular Alliance
  • 2017 NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowship
  • 2016 Scopus Eureka Prize for Excellence in International Scientific Collaboration (FANTOM5 consortium)
  • 2012 Distinguished Researcher Award, Australian Vascular Biology Society
  • 2010 The Royal Society of Victoria Medal for Excellence in Scientific Research
  • 2010 Premier’s Award for Excellence in Translational Research
  • 2010 Business Events Sydney Ambassador
  • 2009 NHMRC Australia Fellowship
  • 2009 Rotary International Vocational Excellence Award
  • 2007 OSMR Eureka James Callachor Prize for Medical Research
  • 2006 GlaxoSmithKline Award for Research Excellence
  • 2006 Wakefield Medal for Research Supervision
  • 2005 Khwarizmi International Award for Science and Technology
  • 2005 NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowship
  • 2004 Australasian Science Prize
  • 2003 C'wealth Health Minister's Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research
  • 2003 Gottschalk Medal, Australian Academy of Science
  • 2003 Eureka Prize for Scientific Research
  • 2003 Alumni Award for Achievement
  • 2002 NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship
  • 2002 RT Hall Prize, Cardiac Society of Australia & New Zealand
  • 2001 Eppendorf Award for Young Australian Researcher (now Millennium Science Award)
  • 2001 AMGEN Medical Researcher Award
  • 2001 Young Tall Poppy Award
  • 1999 NHMRC Research Fellowship
  • 1997 Glaxo-Wellcome Australia Research Award (NSW)
  • 1997 NHMRC R. Douglas Wright Research Fellowship
  • 1993 NHMRC C.J. Martin Fellowship
  • 1993 J. William Fulbright Award
  • 1993 Rotary Foundation International Ambassadorial Award
  • 1988 Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Trust Award for Young Australians


Society Past Presidencies

  • Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR)
  • Australian Vascular Biology Society (AVBS)


Conference Organization

  • Chair, 15th International Vascular Biology Meeting, Sydney
  • Vascular Biology Section Chair & Conference Treasurer, 20th Congress of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Sydney


Selected Publications

Zhang J, Joshua AM, Li Y, O’Meara CH, Morris MJ, Khachigian LM. Targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and small molecules and peptidomimetics as emerging immunoregulatory agents for melanoma. Cancer Letters 2024: in press

Khoo A, Boyer M, Jafri Z, Makeham T, Pham T, Khachigian LM, Floros P, Dowling E, Fedder K, Shonka D, Garneau J, O’Meara CH. Human papilloma virus-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma and the immune system: pathogenesis, immunotherapy and future perspectives. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2024; in press

O’Meara CH, Nguyen V, Jafri Z, Boyer M, Shonka DC, Khachigian LM. Personalized medicine and the potential role of electrospinning for targeted immunotherapeutics in head & neck cancer. Nanomaterials 2023;14:6

Khachigian LM, Varcoe RL, Suoranta TS, Laham-Karam N, Ylä-Herttuala S.  Gene therapeutic strategies for peripheral artery disease and new opportunities provided by adeno-associated virus vectors. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2023;43:836-851

Khachigian LM. The MEK/ERK/Egr-1 axis and its regulation in cardiovascular disease. Vascular Pharmacology 2023;153:107232

Li Y, Wu B, Hossain MJ, Quagliata L, O’Meara C, Wilkins MR, Corley S, Khachigian LM. Flubendazole inhibits PD-1 and suppresses melanoma growth in immunocompetent mice. Journal of Translational Medicine 2023;21:467

O’Meara C, Jafri Z, Khachigian LM. Immune checkpoint inhibitors, small molecule immunotherapies and the emerging role of neutrophil extracellular traps in therapeutic strategies for head and neck cancer. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2023;24:11695

Broadhead GK, Khachigian LM. Translating discoveries as novel biomarkers and interventions in ophthalmology. Journal of Translational Medicine 2023:21:386

Khachigian LM, Black BL. TCF7L1 exacerbates abdominal aortic aneurysm prevalence and severity. JACC: Basic to Translational Science 2023; 8:171-173

Khachigian LM, Liew G, Teo KYC, Wong TY, Mitchell P.  Emerging therapeutic strategies for unmet need in neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Journal of Translational Medicine 2023:21:133

Billah M, Naz A, Noor R, Bhindi R, Khachigian LM. Early growth response-1: friend or foe in the heart? Heart, Lung and Circulation 2023:32;e23-e35

Liew G, Tsang T, Marshall B, Saw M, Khachigian LM, Ong S, Ho IV, Wong V. Proportion of people with diabetic retinopathy and macular oedema varies by ethnicity in a tertiary retinal clinic in Australia: findings from the Liverpool Eye and Diabetes Study (LEADS). BMJ Open 2023;13:e055404

Deshpande N, Wilkins MR, Khachigian LM. RNA sequencing identifies genes reliant upon Ser26 in early growth response-1 in vascular endothelial cells exposed to fibroblast growth factor-2. Vascular Pharmacology 2022;143:106952

Khachigian LM, Black BL. Ferdinandy P, De Caterina R, Madonna R, Geng YJ. Transcriptional regulation of vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation, differentiation and senescence: novel targets for therapy. Vascular Pharmacology 2022: 146:107091 (Cover image)

Santiago FS, Li Y, Khachigian LM. Serine 26 in early growth response-1 is critical for endothelial proliferation, migration and network formation. Journal of the American Heart Association 2021:10:e020521

Santiago FS, Li Y, Zhong L, Raftery MJ, Lins L, Khachigian LM. Truncated YY1 interacts with BASP1 through a 339KLK341 motif in YY1 and suppresses vascular smooth muscle cell growth and intimal hyperplasia after vascular injury. Cardiovascular Research 2021;cvab021

Khachigian LM. Early growth response-1, an integrative sensor in cardiovascular and inflammatory disease. Journal of the American Heart Association 2021:10:e023539

Yeh MC, Wu B, Li Y, Elahy M, Prado-Lourenco L, Sockler J, Lau H, Day RO, Khachigian LM. BT2 suppresses human monocytic-endothelial cell adhesion, bone erosion and inflammation Journal of Inflammation Research 2021;14:1019-1028

Khachigian LM. Emerging insights on the functions of the anthelmintic flubendazole as a repurposed anticancer agent. Cancer Letters 2021:S0304-3835(21)00460-2

Li Y, Alhendi AMN, Yeh MC, Elahy M, Santiago FS, Deshpande NP, Wu B, Chan E, Inam S, Prado-Lourenco L, Marchand J, Joyce RD, Wilkinson-White LE, Raftery MJ, Zhu M, Adamson SJ, Barnat F, Viaud-Quentric K, Sockler J, Mackay JP, Chang A, Mitchell P, Marcuccio SM, Khachigian LM. Thermostable small molecule inhibitor of angiogenesis and vascular permeability that suppresses a pERK-FosB/ΔFosB-VCAM-1 axis. Science Advances 2020;6:eaaz7815

O’Mara C, Coupland L, Kordbacheh F, Quah B, Chang CW, Davis DS, Bezos A, Browne A, Freeman C, Hammill D, Chopra P, Pipa G, Madge P, Gallant E, Segovia C, Dalhunty AF, Arnolda L, Mitchell I, Khachigian LM, Stephens R, von Itzstein M, Parish CR. Neutralizing the pathological effects of extracellular histones with small polyanions. Nature Communications 2020;11:6408

Khachigian LM. Pharmaceutical patents: Reconciling the human right to health with the incentive to invent. Drug Discovery Today 2020; 25:1135-1141

Alam T, Agrawal S, Severin J, Young RS, Andersson R, Arner E, Hasegawa A, Lizio M, Ramilowski J, Abugessaisa I, Ishizu Y, Noma S, Tarun H, Taylor MS, Lassmann T, Itoh M, Kasukawa T, Kawaji H, Marchionni L, Sheng G, Forrest A, Khachigian LM, Hayashizaki Y, Carninci P, de Hoon MJL. Comparative transcriptomics of primary cells in vertebrates. Genome Research 2020; 30:951-961

Allahwala UK, Khachigian LM, Nour D, Ridiandres A, Billah M, Ward M, Weaver J, Bhindi R. Recruitment and maturation of the coronary collateral circulation: current understanding and perspectives in arteriogenesis. Microvascular Research 2020; 132:104058

Billah M, Ridiandries A, Allahwala UK, Mudaliar H, Dona A, Hunyor S, Khachigian LM, Bhindi R.  Remote ischemic preconditioning induces cardioprotective autophagy and signals through IL-6 dependent JAK-STAT pathway. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2020; 21:1692

Khachigian LM. Repurposing drugs for skin cancer. Current Medicinal Chemistry 2020;27:7214-7221

Li Y, Acharya G, Elahy M, Xin H, Khachigian LM. The anthelmintic flubendazole blocks human melanoma growth and metastasis and suppresses programmed cell death protein-1 and myeloid-derived suppressor cell accumulation. Cancer Letters 2019: 459:268-276

Khachigian LM. Deoxyribozymes as catalytic nanotherapeutic agents. Cancer Research 2019; 79: 879-888

Billah M, Ridiandries A, Rayner BS, Allahwala U, Dona A, Khachigian LM, Bhindi R. Egr-1 functions as a master switch regulator of remote ischemic preconditioning-induced cardioprotection. Basic Research in Cardiology 2019; 115:2

Santiago FS, Sanchez-Guerrero E, Zhang G, Zhong L, Raftery MJ, Khachigian LM. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1 phosphorylates early growth response-1 at serine 26. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2019: 510:345-351

Billah M, Ridiandries A, Allahwala U, Mudaliar H, Dona A, Hunyor S, Khachigian LM, Bhindi R. Circulating mediators of remote ischemic preconditioning.  Oncotarget 2019; 10:216-244

Khachigian LM. Transcription factors targeted by miRNAs regulating smooth muscle cell growth and intimal thickening after vascular injury. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2019; 20:E5445

Alhendi AMN, Patrikakis M, Daub CO, Kawaji H, Itoh M, de Hoon M, Carninci P, Hayashizaki Y, Arner E, Khachigian LM. Promoter usage and dynamics in vascular smooth muscle cells exposed to fibroblast growth factor-2 or interleukin-1β.  Scientific Reports 2018; 8:13164

Cai H, Cho EA, Li Y, Sockler J, Parish CR, Chong BH, Edwards J, Dodds TJ, Ferguson PM, Wilmott JS, Scolyer RA, Halliday GM, Khachigian LM.  Melanoma protective anti-tumor immunity activated by catalytic DNA.  Oncogene 2018; 37:5115-26

Cannistraci CV, Nieminen T, Nishi M, Khachigian LM, Viikila J, Laine M, Cianflone D, Maseri A, Keong YK, Bhindi R, Ammirati E. “Summer shift”: a potential effect of sunshine on the time onset of ST-elevation acute myocardial infarction. Journal of the American Heart Association

Sheahan AV, Biankin AV, Parish CR, Khachigian LM. Targeted therapies in the management of locally advanced and metastatic pancreatic cancer. Oncotarget 2018; 9:21613-21627

Khachigian LM. The yin and yang of YY1 in tumor growth and suppression. International Journal of Cancer 2018; 143:460-465

Buckler JN, Banwell MG, Kordbacheh F, Parish CR, Santiago FS, Khachigian LM.   Developing neolignans as pro-angiogenic agents: stereoselective total syntheses and preliminary biological evaluations of the four guaiacylglycerol 8-O-4′-coniferyl ethers. ACS Omega 2017; 2: 7375-7388

Noguchi S, Arakawa T, Fukuda S, Furuno M, Hasegawa A, Hori F, Kato S, Kaida K, Kaiho A, Kanamori-Katayama M, Kawashima T, Kojima M, Kubosaki A, Manade R, Murata M, Nagao-Sato S, Nakazato K, Ninomiya N, Nishiyori-Sueki H, Noma S, Saijyo E, Saka A, Sakai M, Simon C, Suzuki N, Tagami M, Watanabe S, Yoshida S, Arner P, Axton R, Babina M, Baillie LM, Barnett T, Beckhouse A, Blumenthal A, Bodega B, Bonetti A, Briggs J, Brombacher F, Carlisle A, Clevers H, Davis C, Dietmar M, Dohi T, Edge A, Edinger M, Ehrlund A, Ekwall K, Endoh M, Enomoto H, Eslami A, Baglioni M, Fairbairn L, Farah-Carson M, Faulkner G, Ferrai C, Fisher M, Forrester L, Fujita R, Furusawa J, Geijtenbeek T, Gingeras T, Goldowitz D, Guhl S, Guler R, Gustincich S, Ha T, Hamaguchi M, Hara M, Hasegawa Y, Herlyn M, Heating P, Hitchens K, Hume D, Ikawa T, Ishizu Y, Kai C, Kawamoto H, Kawamura Y, Kempfle J, Kenna T, Kere J, Khachigian LM, Kitamura T, Klein S, Klinken P, Knox A, Kojima S, Koseki H, Koyasu S, Lee W, Lennartsson A, Mackay-Sim A, Mejhert N, Mizuno Y, Morikawa H, Morimoto M, Moro K, Morris K, Mothashi H, Mummery C, Nakachi Y, Nakahara F, Nakamura T, Nakamura Y, Nozaki T, Ogishima S, Ohkura N, Ohno H, Ohshima M, Okada M, Okazaki Y, Orlando V, Ovchinnikov D, Passier R, Patrikakis M, Pombo A, Pradhan-Bhatt S, Qin X, Rehli M, Rizzu P, Roy S, Sajantila A, Shimon S, Sato H, Satoh H, Savvi S, Saxena A, Schmidt C, Schneider C, Schulze-Tanzöl G, Schneemann A, Sheng G, Shin J, Sugiyama D, Sugiyama T, Summers K, Takahashi N, Takai J, Tanaka H, Tatsukawa H, Tomoiu A, Toyota H, van de Wetering M, van den Berg L, Verardo R, Vijayan D, Wells C, Winterinham L, Wolventang E, Yamaguchi Y, Yamamoto M, Yanagi-Mizuochi C, Yoneda M, Yonekura Y, Zhang P, Zucchelli S, Abugessaisa I, Arner E, Harshbarger J, Kondo A, Lassmann T, Lizio M, Sahin A, Sengstag T, Severin J, Shimoji H, Suzuki M, Kawai J, Suzuki H, Kondo N, Itoh M, Daub C, Kasukawa T, Carninci P, Kawaji H, Forrest A, Hayashizaki Y. FANTOM5 CAGE profiles of human and mouse samples. Scientific Data 2017; 4:170112

Li Y, McRobb LS, Khachigian LM.  MicroRNA miR-191 targets the zinc finger transcription factor Egr-1 and suppresses intimal thickening after carotid injury.  International Journal of Cardiology 2016; 212:299-302

Li Y, McRobb LS, Khachigian LM.  Inhibition of intimal thickening after vascular injury with a cocktail of vascular endothelial growth factor and cyclic Arg-Gly-Asp peptide. International Journal of Cardiology 2016; 220:185-191

Khachigian LM. Early growth response-1 in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Journal of Molecular Medicine 2016; 94:747-53

Arner E, Daub CO, Vitting-Seerup K, Andersson RA, Lilje B, Drablos F, Lennartsson A, Rönnerblad M, Hrydziuszko O, Vitezic M, Freeman TC, Alhendi A, Arner P, Baillie JK, Beckhouse A, Bodega B, Briggs J, Brombacher F, Davis M, Detmar M, Ehrlund A, Endoh M, Eslami A, Fagiolini M, Fairbairn L, Faulkner GJ, Ferrai C, Fisher ME, Forrester L, Goldowitz D, Guler R, Ha T, Hara M, Herlyn M, Ikawa T, Kai C, Kawamoto H, Khachigian LM, et al. Transcribed enhancers lead waves of coordinated transcription in transitioning mammalian cells. Science 2015; 347:1010-4

Aitken S, Shigeyuki Magi S, Alhendi AMN, Itoh M, Kawaji H, Lassmann T, Daub CO, Erik Arner E, Carninci P, Forrest ARR, Hayashizak Y, FANTOM Consortium, Khachigian LM, Okada-Hatakeyama M, Semple CA. Transcriptional dynamics reveal critical roles for non-coding RNAs in the immediate-early response. PLoS Computational Biology 2015; 11:e1004217

Forrest AR, Kawaji H, Rehli M, Baillie JK, de Hoon MJ, Haberle V, Lassmann T, Kulakovskiy IV, Lizio M, Itoh M, Andersson R, Mungall CJ, Meehan TF, Schmeier S, Bertin N, Jørgensen M, Dimont E, Arner E, Schmidl C, Schaefer U, Medvedeva YA, Plessy C, Vitezic M, Severin J, Semple CA, Ishizu Y, Young RS, Francescatto M, Alam I, Albanese D, Altschuler GM, Arakawa T, Archer JA, Arner P, Babina M, Rennie S, Balwierz PJ, Beckhouse AG, Pradhan-Bhatt S, Blake JA, Blumenthal A, Bodega B, Bonetti A, Briggs J, Brombacher F, Burroughs AM, Califano A, Cannistraci CV, Carbajo D, Chen Y, Chierici M, Ciani Y, Clevers HC, Dalla E, Davis CA, Detmar M, Diehl AD, Dohi T, Drabløs F, Edge AS, Edinger M, Ekwall K, Endoh M, Enomoto H, Fagiolini M, Fairbairn L, Fang H, Farach-Carson MC, Faulkner GJ, Favorov AV, Fisher ME, Frith MC, Fujita R, Fukuda S, Furlanello C, Furuno M, Furusawa J, Geijtenbeek TB, Gibson A, Gingeras T, Goldowitz D, Gough J, Guhl S, Guler R, Gustincich S, Ha TJ, Hamaguchi M, Hara M, Harbers M, Harshbarger J, Hasegawa A, Hasegawa Y, Hashimoto T, Herlyn M, Hitchens KJ, Shannan J, Sui H, Hofmann OM, Hoof I, Hori F, Huminiecki L, Iida K, Ikawa T, Jankovic BR, Jia H, Joshi A, Jurman G, Kaczkowski B, Kai C, Kaida K, Kaiho A, Kajiyama K, Kanamori-Katayama M, Kasianov AS, Kasukawa T, Katayama S, Kato S, Kawaguchi S, Kawamoto H, Kawamura YI, Kawashima T, Kempfle JS, Kenna TJ, Kere J, Khachigian LM, et al. A promoter level mammalian expression atlas. Nature 2014; 507:462-70

Xie J, Zhang S, Hu Y, Li D, Cui J, Xue J, Zhang G, Khachigian LM, Wong J, Sun L, Wang M. Regulatory roles of c-jun in H5N1 influenza virus replication and host inflammation. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Molecular Basis of Disease 2014; 1842(12 Pt A):2479-88

Cho EA, Moloney FJ, Cai H, Au-Yeung A, China C, Scolyer RA, Yosufi B, Raftery MJ, Deng JZ, Morton SW, Hammond PT, Arkenau HT, Damian DL, Francis DJ, Chesterman CN, Barnetson RStC, Halliday GM, Khachigian LM. Safety and tolerability of an intratumorally injected DNAzyme, Dz13, in patients with nodular basal-cell carcinoma: a Phase 1 first-in-human trial (DISCOVER). The Lancet 2013;381:1835-43

Yee GPC, de Souza P, Khachigian LM. Current and potential treatments for cervical cancer. Current Cancer Drug Targets 2013;13:205-20

Li Y, Bhindi R, Deng ZJ, Morton SW, Hammond PT, Khachigian LM. Inhibition of vein graft stenosis with a c-jun targeting DNAzyme in a cationic liposomal formulation containing 1,2-dioleoyl-3-trimethylammonium propane/1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine. International Journal of Cardiology 2013;168:3659-3664

Sanchez-Guerrero E, Jo SR, Chong BH, Khachigian LM. EGFR and the complexity of receptor crosstalk in the cardiovascular system. Current Molecular Medicine 2013; 13:3-12

Sheahan AV, Phillips PA, Khachigian LM. Therapeutic perspectives on pancreatic cancer. Current Cancer Drug Targets 2013;13:400-10

Cai H, Santiago FS, Prado-Lourenco L, Wang B, Patrikakis M, Davenport MP, Maghzal GJ, Stocker R, Parish CR, Chong BH, Lieschke GJ, Wong TW, Chesterman CN, Francis DJ, Moloney FJ, Barnetson RStC, Halliday GM, Khachigian LM. DNAzyme targeting c-jun suppresses skin cancer growth. Science Translational Medicine 2012;4:139ra82

Sanchez-Guerrero E, Chen E, Kockx M, An SW, Chong BH, Khachigian LM. IL-1beta signals through the EGF receptor and activates Egr-1 through MMP-ADAM. PLoS ONE 2012;7:e39811

Chan CWS, Kaplan W, Parish CR, Khachigian LM. Reduced retinal microvascular density, improved forepaw reach, comparative microarray and gene set enrichment analysis with c-jun targeting DNA enzyme. PLoS ONE 2012;7:e39160

Malabanan K, Nath A, Khachigian LM. Platelet-derived growth factor-BB mediates cell migration through Induction of activation transcription factor-4 and tenascin C. American Journal of Pathology 2012;180:2590-7

Zhang N, Chan CS, Sanchez-Guerrero E, Khachigian LM. Repression of PDGF-R-alpha after cellular injury involves TNF-alpha, formation of a c-Fos-YY1 complex and negative regulation by HDAC. American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology 2012;302:C1590-8

Ishii H, Hulett MD, Li JM, Santiago FS, Parish CR, Khachigian LM. Yin yang-1 inhibits tumor cell growth and inhibits p21WAF1/Cip1 complex formation with cdk4 and cyclin D1. International Journal of Oncology 2012;40:1575-80

Little PJ, Getachew R, Rezaei HB, Sanchez-Guerrero E, Khachigian LM, Wang H, Liao S, Zheng W, Ballinger ML, Osman N. Genistein inhibits PDGF-stimulated proteoglycan synthesis in vascular smooth muscle without blocking PDGF-beta receptor phosphorylation. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 2012;525:25-31

Bhindi R, Fahmy RG, McMahon AC, Khachigian LM, Lowe HC. Intracoronary delivery of DNAzymes targeting human EGR-1 reduces infarct size following myocardial ischaemia reperfusion. Journal of Pathology 2012;227:157-64

Perdomo J, Jiang X-M, Khachigian LM, Chong BH. SUMOylation regulates the transcriptional repression activity of FOG-2 and its association with GATA-4. PLoS ONE 2012;7:e50637

Hitchins M, Rapkins R, Chau-To K, Srivastava S, Wong J, Khachigian LM, Polly P, Goldblatt J, Ward RL. Dominantly inherited constitutional epigenetic silencing of MLH1 in a cancer-affected family is linked to a single nucleotide variant within the 5'UTR. Cancer Cell 2011;20:200-13

Chen JB, Liu M, Parish CR, Chong BH, Khachigian LM. Nuclear import of early growth response-1 involves importin-7 and the novel nuclear localization signal serine-proline-serine.  International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology 2011;43:905-12

Li D, Bhindi R, Khachigian LM. Recent developments in drug eluting stents. Journal of Molecular Medicine 2011;89:545-53

Truong A, Wong TY, Khachigian LM. Emerging therapeutic approaches in the management of retinal angiogenesis and edema. Journal of Molecular Medicine 2011; 89:343-61

Beck K, Wu BJ, Ni J, Santiago FS, Malabanan K, Li C, Wang Y, Khachigian LM, Stocker R. Interplay between heme oxygenase-1 and the multifunctional transcription factor Yin Yang 1.  Circulation Research 2010;107:1490-7

Liang SX, Pinkevych M, Khachigian LM, Parish CR, Davenport MP, Chong BH. Drug-induced thrombocytopenia: Development of a novel NOD/SCID mouse model to evaluate clearance of circulating platelets by drug-dependent antibodies and the efficacy of IVIG. Blood 2010;116:1958-60

Chan JC, Prado-Lourenco L, Khachigian LM, Di Bartolo B, Bennett MR, Kavurma MM.  TRAIL promotes VSMC proliferation and neointima formation after arterial injury in a FGF-2, Sp1 and NFkappaB-dependent manner. Circulation Research 2010;106:1061-71

Wang B, Chen J, Santiago FS, Janes M, Kavurma MM, Chong BH, Pimanda JE, Khachigian LM. Phosphorylation and acetylation of histone H3 and autoregulation by EGR-1 mediate IL-1beta induction of EGR-1 transcription.  Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2010;30:536-45

Luo X, Cai H, Ni J, Bhindi R, Lowe HC, Chesterman CN, Khachigian LM. c-Jun DNAzymes inhibit myocardial inflammation, ROS generation, infarct size, and improve cardiac function after ischemia-reperfusion injury. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2009;29:1836-42

Tan NY, Khachigian LM. Sp1 phosphorylation and its regulation of gene transcription.  Molecular and Cellular Biology 2009;29:2483-8

Abdel-Malak NA, Mayaki D, Khachigian LM, Hussain SNA. Early growth response-1 regulates angiopoeitin-1-induced endothelial cell proliferation, migration and differentiation. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2009;29:209-16

Malabanan K, Kanellakis P, Bobik A, Khachigian LM. ATF-4 induced by FGF-2 regulates VEGF-A transcription in vascular SMCs and mediates intimal thickening in rat arteries following balloon injury. Circulation Research 2008;103:378-87

Tan N, Midgley VC, Kavurma MM, Santiago FS, Luo X, Peden R, Fahmy RG, Berndt MC, Molloy MP, Khachigian LM. Angiotensin II-inducible platelet-derived growth factor-D transcription requires specific Ser/Thr residues in the second zinc finger region of Sp1. Circulation Research 2008;102:e38-51

Santiago FS, Ishii H, Shafi S, Khurana R, Kanellakis P, Bhindi R, Ramirez M, Bobik A, Martin J, Chesterman CN, Zachary IC, Khachigian LM. Yin yang-1 inhibits intimal thickening by repressing p21WAF1/Cip1 transcription and p21WAF1/Cip1-Cdk4-Cyclin D1 assembly. Circulation Research 2007;101:146-55

Fahmy RG, Waldman A, Zhang G, Mitchell A, Tedla N, Cai H, Chesterman CN, Geczy CR, Perry MA, Khachigian LM. Suppression of vascular permeability and inflammation by targeting of the transcription factor c-Jun. Nature Biotechnology 2006;24:856-863

Liu MY, Eyries M, Zhang C, Santiago FS, Khachigian LM. Inducible platelet-derived growth factor D-chain expression by angiotensin II and hydrogen peroxide involves transcriptional regulation by Ets-1 and Sp1. Blood 2006;107:2322-9

Santiago FS, Khachigian LM. Ets-1 stimulates platelet-derived growth factor A-chain gene transcription and vascular smooth muscle cell growth via co-operative interactions with Sp1.  Circulation Research 2004;95:479-487

Zhang G, Dass CR, Sumithran E, Di Girolamo NR, Sun LQ, Khachigian LM. Effect of deoxyribozymes targeting c-Jun on solid tumor growth and angiogenesis in rodents.  Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2004;96:683-696

Fahmy RG, Dass CR, Sun LQ, Chesterman CN, Khachigian LM. Zinc finger transcription factor Egr-1 supports FGF-dependent angiogenesis during neovascularization and tumor growth.  Nature Medicine 2003;9:1026-1032

Francis DJ, Parish CR, McGarry M, Santiago FS, Lowe HC, Brown KJ, Bingley J, Hayward IP, Cowden WB, Campbell JH, Campbell GR, Chesterman CN, Khachigian LM.  Blockade of vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and intimal thickening after balloon injury by the sulfated oligosaccharide PI-88: phosphomannopentaose sulfate directly binds FGF-2, blocks cellular signaling and inhibits proliferation.  Circulation Research 2003;92:e70-77

Khachigian LM, Fahmy RG, Zhang G, Bobryshev YV, Kaniaros A. c-Jun regulates vascular smooth muscle cell growth and neointima formation after arterial injury: inhibition by a novel DNAzyme targeting c-Jun. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2002;277:22985-22991

Rafty LA, Santiago FS, Khachigian LM. NF1/X represses PDGF A-chain transcription by interacting with Sp1 and antagonizing Sp1 occupancy of the promoter. EMBO Journal 2002;21:334-343

Lowe HC, Fahmy RG, Kavurma MM, Baker A, Chesterman CN, Khachigian LM. Catalytic oligodeoxynucleotides define a critical regulatory role for early growth response factor-1 in the porcine coronary artery model of in-stent restenosis.  Circulation Research 2001;89:670-677

Santiago FS, Lowe HC, Kavurma MM, Chesterman CN, Atkins DG, Khachigian LM.  Novel DNA enzyme targeting NGFI-A mRNA inhibits vascular smooth muscle proliferation and regrowth after injury.  Nature Medicine 1999;5:1264-1269

Khachigian LM, Lindner V, Williams AJ, Collins T.  Egr-1-induced endothelial gene expression: a common theme in vascular injury. Science 1996; 271:1427-1431

My Research Supervision

Supervision keywords

Areas of supervision

Here is a list of projects:

  1. Development of novel anti-inflammatory therapeutics for cardiovascular disease
  2. Development of novel cancer pharmacotherapeutics
  3. Development of novel therapeutics for acute respiratory distress syndrome
  4. Development of novel therapeutics for wet age-related macular degeneration

Likely techniques: Cell and tissue culture, microscopy, cell proliferation assays, cell migration assays, tubule formation assays, RNA-seq and transcriptomics, Western blotting and quantitation, histological processing, immunohistochemical staining and analyses, animal handling and experimental models

If you're an interested student, please contact Levon directly at

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UNSW Medicine & Health


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