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Richard H. Aster, MD

Richard H. Aster, MD

Senior Investigator

Departments of Medicine and Pathology
Medical College of Wisconsin

Education and training

Postdoctoral Training
University of Michigan
Massachusetts General Hospital
National Institutes of Health
Thorndike Laboratory, Harvard Medical School

Doctoral Training
MD, University of Michigan, 1957

Contact Information

Richard H. Aster, MD

Senior Investigator
Email Phone: (414) 937-6338 Fax: (414) 937-6284

  • Research Interests

    Transfusion Medicine

    Blood cells are targeted for destruction by antibodies in many clinically important disorders. Some of these conditions have an autoimmune etiology; others are caused by alloantibodies, isoantibodies or drug sensitivity. We are engaged in studies to improve the understanding of this family of disorders.

    Areas of current research interest are:

    • Drug-induced immune thrombocytopenia, hemolytic anemia, and neutropenia
    • Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (HIT)
    • Neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (NAIT)
    • Pathogenesis of idiopathic (autoimmune) thrombocytopenia (ITP)

    Current studies are aimed at characterizing the basis for the aberrant immune response that causes these conditions, mechanism(s) by which drugs promote binding of drug-induced antibodies to their targets and development of improved diagnostic tools for characterizing these conditions. We expect these studies will lead to improved methods to diagnose, treat and prevent hematologic diseases associated with autoimmunity, alloimmunity and drug sensitivity.

  • Grant Support

    Grant: R01-HL-13629 "Hemorrhagic Diseases" - National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, (Principal Investigator) 1970-2017. 

  • Lab

    Daniel Bougie, PhD
    Research Scientist II 

    Anand Padmanabhan, MD, PhD
    Medical Director, Assistant Investigator

    Brian Curtis, PhD
    Director, Platelet Neutrophil Immunology Lab

    Allison Ujcich
    Supervisor, Platelet Neutrophil Immunology Lab

    Mark Rasmussen
    Research Technologist

    Shannon Pechauer
    Research Technologist

    Jessica Sutton
    Research Technologist

  • Publications
    • Peterson JA, Gitter M, Bougie DW, Pechauer S, Hopp KA, Pietz B, Szabo A, Curtis BR, McFarland J, Aster RH Low-frequency human platelet antigens as triggers for neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia. Transfusion. 2014 May;54(5):1286-93. PMC3989475
    • Zheng Y, Wang AW, Yu M, Padmanabhan A, Tourdot BE, Newman DK, White GC, Aster RH, Wen R, Wang D. B-cell tolerance regulates production of antibodies causing heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. Blood. 2014 Feb 6;123(6):931-4. PMC3916881
    • Aster RH. Core fucosylation and IgG function in NAIT. Blood. 2014 Jan 23;123(4):463-4 (Commentary) PMC3901063
    • Bougie DW, Peterson JA, Kanack AJ, Curtis BR, Aster RH. Transfusion-related acute lung injury-associated HNA-3a antibodies recognize complex determinants on choline transporter-like protein 2. Transfusion. 2014; 54: 3208-15. PMC4240753
    • Suh SE, Jang MJ, Chong SY, Aster RH, Curtis BR, Oh D. A case of oxaliplatin-induced immune-mediated thrombocytopenia. Blood Res. 2014 Mar;49(1):61-4 PMC3974961
    • Khawandanah MO, Weiss SM, Cherry MA, Maymani H, Selby GB, Aster RH, George JN, Holter-Chakrabarty JL. Autoimmune hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia attributed to an intrauterine contraceptive device. Transfusion. 2015; 55:657-60. PMC4372189
    • Padmanabhan A, Jones CG, Bougie DW, Curtis BR, McFarland JG, Wang D, Aster RH. Heparin-independent, PF4-dependent binding of HIT antibodies to platelets: Implications for HIT pathogenesis. Blood, 2015; 125: 155-161. PMC4281824.
    • Zheng Y, Yu M, Padmanabhan A, Aster, RH, Yuan, L, Wen R, Wang D. Critical role of T cells in PF4/heparin antibody production in mice. Blood, 2015 125;1826-29 PMC 4357587
    • Reese JA, Bougie DW, Curtis BR, Terrell DR, Vesely SK, Aster RH, MD, George JN. drug-induced thrombotic microangiopathy: Experience of the Oklahoma registry and the BloodCenter of Wisconsin. Am J Hematol 2015;90:406-10 PMID: 25639727
    • Bakchoul T, Fuhrman J, Chong BH, Bougie DW, Aster RH. Recommendations for the use of NOD/SCID mouse model in autoimmune- and drug-induced thrombocytopenia; communication from the SSC of the ISTH. J Thromb Haemost 2015; 13:872-5 PMC4424079
    • Comstock IA, Longmire M, Aster RH, Milki A, Drug-induced thrombocytopenia following a transvaginal oocyte retrieval for in vitro fertilization. Case Reports in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Epub 2015 Feb 25.. PMC4355607
    • Fuentes RE, Zaitsev S, Ahn HS, Hayes V, Kowalska M, Lambert MP, Wang Y, Siegel DL, Bougie DW, Aster RH, Myers DD, Stepanova V, Cines DB, Muzykantov VR, Poncz M. A chimeric platelet-targeted urokinase prodrug selectively blocks new thrombus formation. J Clin Invest. 2016 Feb;126(2):483-94 PMCID: PMC4731161.
    • Padmanabhan A, Jones CG, Bougie DW, Curtis BR, Aster RH. A modified PF4 dependent, CD62p expression assay selectively detects serotonin-releasing antibodies in patients suspected of HIT. Thromb Haemost. 2015;114:1322-23 PMCID: PMC4849413
    • Zhu J, Zhu J, Bougie DW, Aster RH, Springer TA. Structural basis for quinine-dependent antibody binding to platelet integrin αIIbβ3. Blood. 2015;126:2138-45 PMCID: PMC4626254.
    • Bougie DW, Peterson JA, Rasmussen M, Aster RH. Mechanism of quinine-dependent monoclonal antibody binding to platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa. Blood 2015; 126:2146-2152 PMCID: PMC4626255.
    • Sullivan MJ, Peterson J, McFarland JG, Bougie D, Aster RH, Curtis BR. A new low-frequency alloantigen (Khab ) located on platelet glycoprotein IIIa as a cause of maternal sensitization leading to neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia. Transfusion. 2015 Jun;55(6 Pt 2):1584-5.. PMID: 25494608 PMC5111853
    • Falk G, Winans CG, Bowens K, Bougie DW, Curtis BR, Aster RH. An unexpected development after surgery-post-transfusion purpura! Am J Hematol. 2016 Aug;91(8):848-51. PMC5045246
    • Padmanabhan A, Jones CG, Curtis BR, Bougie DW, Sullivan MJ, Peswani N, McFarland JG, Eastwood D, Wang D, Aster RH. A novel PF4-dependent platelet activation assay identifies patients likely to have heparin-induced thrombocytopenia/thrombosis (HIT). Chest 150: 506-515, 2016 . PMC Journal – In Process.
    • Bougie DW, Nayak D, Aster RH. Immune destruction of human platelets in the NOD/SCID mouse. Transfusion 56: 2648-49, 2016 PMCID: PMC5111357
  • Other


    • Method of detecting heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. US Patent 5,972,718 Issued October 26, 1999
    • Method and kit for detecting heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. US Patent 5,972,717 Issued October 26, 1999
    • Nucleic acids for the detection of the Bak polymorphism in human platelet membrane glycoprotein IIb US Patent 5,652,357 Issued July 19, 1997
    • Polymorphism of human platelet membrane glycoprotein IIIa and diagnostic and therapeutic applications thereof 5,091,302 Issued February 25, 1992; US Patent 5,391,714 Patent Issued February 21, 1995; US Patent 5,670,337 Issued September 23, 1997; Japanese Patent 3,221,679 Issued August 17, 2001
    • Typing for the alloantigen HPA-3a (5b) and detection of HPA-3a-specific antibodies. Pending.
    • A method of detecting platelet-activating antibodies in patients suspected of having heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. Pending.

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