Dr Ashley Ng is a clinical haematologist with expertise in treating a range of benign and malignant haematological conditions and bone marrow transplant. His specific clinical interest at the VCCC is in the treatment of acute leukemia.
He graduated first in class with honours for his medical degree (MBBS), and completing a Bachelor of Medical Science (BMedSci) during his undergraduate training. He undertook haematology training while conducting clinical research projects in the areas of thrombosis, infectious diseases, lymphoma, positron-emission tomography scanning and haemato-pathology, and participating in the design of the Australia Lymphoma and Leukemia Group Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma NHL21 clinical trial.
Following completion of dual fellowships in haematology (FRACP) and haemato-pathology (FRCPA Haem), he trained in molecular and cellular biology undertaking a PhD with Professor Warren Alexander and Associate Professor Benjamin Kile at WEHI (2007-2010), elucidating the role of the transcription factor Erg in haematopoietic stem cell function.
His research provided the first definitive evidence that trisomy of Erg was required for the malignant myeloproliferation in Down syndrome and provided a mechanism by which ERG trisomy predisposes to abnormal haematopoiesis in human disease. His laboratory established the importance of genetic co-operativity between increased Erg expression with signaling molecules and epigenetic modifiers in leukaemogenesis of erythro-megakaryocytic leukaemia.
He initiated collaborative projects examining megakaryocytic lineage specification from haemopoietic stem cells, identified thrombopoietin dependent bi-potential erythroid-megakaryocytic progenitors and definitively demonstrated the importance of the Mpl receptor on megakaryocytes in mitigating thrombopoietin signaling on haemopoietic stem and progenitor cells to prevent myeloproliferation, a mechanism which may contribute to the pathogenesis of essential thrombocytosis. This research demonstrated a biological mechanism of action for Eltrombopag in refractory aplastic anaemia.
He has published 27 peer reviewed primary research articles, 14 over the last 5 years, with contributions in high impact journals including Immunity, Blood, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Oncogene, Haematologica, plus an invited review for Leukemia and Lymphoma. His work has been cited over 900 times, with an H-index of 11 over the last 5 years.
Four publications have received editorial commentaries, and others cited by the British Committee for Standards in Haematology/UK Myeloma Forum Guidelines (2010) and the Infectious Diseases Working Party (AGIHO) of the German Society of Hematology and Oncology (DGHO) (2013) establishing that his research has impacted directly on patient clinical outcomes.
Cure Cancer Research Australia/Leukemia Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (2011-2013)
NHMRC Postgraduate Fellowship, AMGEN/HSANZ New Investigator Fellowship (2008-2011)
Graduated First with Honors (M.B.B.S. Hons), Australian Medical Association Prize, The NOVARTIS Prize, The Rowden White Prize, Jamieson Prize in Clinical Medicine, Beaney Scholarship in Surgery, Robert Gartly Healy Prize in Surgery, Peter Ryan Prize in Surgery, Embly Prize in Anaesthetics, Howard Williams Prize in Paediatrics (1998)
Fulton Prize for Obstetrics and Gynaecology (1997)
Bachelor of Medical Science Prize (1996)
AMA - J G Hunter Research Fellowship, Thomas and Elizabeth Ross Bachelor of Medical Science Scholarship, Faculty of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Medical Science Scholarship (1995)
Walter and Eliza Hall Exhibition Prize in Pathology, Boot’s Exhibition Prize in Pharmacology (1994)
1. Ng AP, Hyland CD, Metcalf D, Carmichael CL, Loughran SJ, Di Rago L, et al. Trisomy of Erg is required for myeloproliferation in a mouse model of Down syndrome. Blood. American Society of Hematology; 2010 May 13;115(19):3966–9. First paper to demonstrate Erg was a critical gene in trisomy contributing to malignant myeloproliferation in a Down syndrome model
2. Ng AP, Hu Y, Metcalf D, Hyland CD, Ierino H, Phipson B, et al. Early Lineage Priming by Trisomy of Erg Leads to Myeloproliferation in a Down Syndrome Model. 2015;11(5):e1005211. This paper established the mechanism of lineage priming of haematopoietic stem cells by trisomy of Erg, phenocopying progenitor changes in human fetal livers from Down syndrome infants and genocopying gene expression changes in human Down syndrome haematopoietic stem cells
3. Ng AP, Kauppi M, Metcalf D, Hyland CD, Josefsson EC, Lebois M, et al. Mpl expression on megakaryocytes and platelets is dispensable for thrombopoiesis but essential to prevent myeloproliferation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2014 Apr 22;111(16):5884–9. This paper established Mpl expression on megakaryocytes was dispensible for platelet formation but prevented myeloproliferation by mitigating TPO signaling on haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells.
4. Stevenson WS, Morel-Kopp M-C, Chen Q, Liang HP, Bromhead CJ, Wright S, et al. GFI1B mutation causes a bleeding disorder with abnormal platelet function. J Thromb Haemost. 2013 Nov;11(11):2039–47. This paper was first to describe a human clinical bleeding disorder syndrome associated with a mutation in the hematopoietic transcription factor, Gfi1b.
5. Ng AP, Wei A, Bhurani D, Chapple P, Feleppa F, Juneja S. The sensitivity of CD138 immunostaining of bone marrow trephine specimens for quantifying marrow involvement in MGUS and myeloma, including samples with a low percentage of plasma cells. Haematologica. 2006 Jul;91(7):972–5. This paper established the importance of immunostaining in quantifying the degree of bone marrow involvement in MGUS and myeloma. This is now the gold-standard adopted by the British Committee for Standards in Haematology/UK Myeloma Forum Guidelines (2010).