The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

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Fiona Pixley

Assoc/Prof Fiona Pixley

Associate Professor
Medicine and Pharmacology, School of, Pharmacology, Pharmacy and Anaesthesiology Unit

Contact details
School of Medicine and Pharmacology - Pharmacology, Pharmacy and Anaesthesiology Unit
The University of Western Australia (M510)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6457 4047
+61 8 6457 3469
MB BS W.Aust., DPhil Oxf., MRCP(UK)
Fiona Pixley is a medically trained scientist with an MBBS(Hons) from the University of Western Australia and a DPhil in Clinical Medicine/Epidemiology from the University of Oxford where she was a Rhodes Scholar. After 5 years of clinical work in Oxford and London hospitals and Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (UK), she returned to biomedical research. With the understanding that the use of molecular approaches was critical in the understanding of disease aetiologies, she spent a year learning molecular biological techniques at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford. Dr Pixley subsequently worked with Richard Stanley at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York on the identification of tyrosine phosphorylation and CSF-1 regulation of macrophage adhesion and motility. In 2007 she moved back to the University of Western Australia to start up her own laboratory in the School of Medicine and Pharmacology.
Key research
Dr Pixley’s laboratory is focussed on the role of the CSF-1 receptor signalling and tyrosine phosphorylation in the activation of downstream signal transduction pathways that regulate macrophage adhesion and motility. Compared with more commonly studied yet less motile cell types such as fibroblasts, motility is regulated quite differently in the professionally motile macrophage. A broad range of microscopic and biochemical techniques is employed in the laboratory to dissect the mechanisms by which CSF-1 receptor tyrosine phosphorylation activates specific downstream signalling pathways to stimulate macrophage motility. Dr Pixley also collaborates extensively to investigate the role of other tyrosine phosphorylated proteins, such as FAK, Pyk2 and cortactin, that are important in the regulation of macrophage differentiation, adhesion and motility. Macrophage infiltration into tissues contributes to the deterioration of a number of diseases, including tumour metastasis and rheumatoid arthritis. Examination of macrophage-specific adhesion and motility proteins and their relevant signalling pathways should help to identify potential therapeutic targets in these diseases.
Selected publications
1. Yu, W., Che, J., Xiong, Y., Pixley, F.J., Dai, X.-M., Yeung, Y.-G. and Stanley, E.R. (2008). CSF-1 receptor structure/function in MacCsf1r-/- macrophages - regulation of proliferation, differentiation and morphology. J. Leuk. Biol. 84:852-863.
2.Feng, R., Desbordes, S.C., Xie, H., Sanchez Tillo, E., Pixley, F., Stanley, E.R. and Graf, T. (2008). PU.1 and C/EBPa/b convert fibroblasts into macrophage-like cells. PNAS 105: 6057-6062.
3.Owen, K.A., Pixley, F.J., Thomas, K.S., Vicente-Manzanares, M., Ray, B.J., Horwitz, A.F., Parsons, J.T., Beggs, H.E., Stanley, E.R. and Bouton, A.H. (2007). Regulation of lamellipodial persistence, adhesion turnover, and motility in macrophages by focal adhesion kinase. J. Cell Biol. 179: 1275-1287.
4.Yamaguchi, H., Pixley, F.J. and Condeelis, J. (2006). Invadopodia and podosomes in tumor invasion. Eur. J. Cell Biol. 85: 213-218.
5.Pixley, F.J., Xiong, Y., Yu, R.Y.-L., Sahai, E., Stanley, E.R., and Ye, B.H. (2005). BCL-6 regulates RhoA activity to alter macrophage morphology and motility. J. Cell Sci. 118:1873-1883.
6.Goswami, S., Sahai, E., Wyckoff, J., Cox, D., Pixley, F.J., Stanley, E.R., Segall, J., and Condeelis, J. (2005). Macrophages promote the invasion of carcinoma cells via a CSF-1/EGF paracrine loop. Cancer Res. 65: 5278-5283.
7.Pixley, F.J. and Stanley, E.R. (2004). CSF-1 regulation of the wandering macrophage: complexity in action. Trends Cell Biol. 14: 628-638.
8.Wyckoff, J., Wang, W., Lin, E.Y., Wang, Y., Pixley, F., E. Richard Stanley, Graf, T., Pollard, J.W., Segall, J. and Condeelis, J. (2004). A paracrine loop between tumor cells and macrophages is required for tumor cell migration in mammary tumors. Cancer Res. 64: 7022-7029.
9.Neumeister*, P., Pixley*, F.J., Xiong, Y., Xie, H., Wu, K., Ashton, A., Cammer, M., Chan, A., Symons, M., Stanley, E.R., and Pestell, R.G.P. (2003). Cyclin D1 governs adhesion and motility of macrophages. Mol. Biol. Cell 14: 2005-2015.
10.Pixley, F.J., Lee, P.S.W., Condeelis, J., & Stanley, E.R.. (2001) PTPφ regulates paxillin tyrosine phosphorylation and mediates CSF-1-induced morphological changes in macrophages. Mol. Cell. Biol. 21: 1795-1809.

Roles, responsibilities and expertise
1. Researcher with expertise in macrophage biology, cell motility and imaging techniques.
2. Teacher of pharmacology to science, medical, dentistry, pharmacy and podiatry students
1. Coordinator of Molecular Pharmacology 3310 and Methods in Molecular Pharmacology 3311
2. Lectures in IMED3345, IDENT/PODI3382, Systems Pharmacology 2220 and Drugs that Changed the World 1101.
Research profile
Research profile and publications

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM