CBR External Travel Awards: Earl W. Davie Symposium 2022

Award Recipient: Molly Y. Mollica, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Scholar-Fellow, Bloodworks Northwest Research Institute, University of Washington

Supervisor: José López, M.D.

Conference: Earl W. Davie Symposium on November 22, 2022

Location: Vancouver, BC

Poster Presentation Title: Force Generation and Cytoskeletal Structure of Single Platelets

The Earl W. Davie Symposium is an annual one-day research symposium in honor of Dr. Earl Davie, whose research uncovered the “waterfall cascade” sequence for blood clotting. The symposium Is held in Vancouver, BC and includes speakers and poster presentations on topics such as hemostasis and thrombosis, structural biology, and cardiovascular disease.

The November 2022 Earl W. Davie Symposium involved keynote presentations on factor Va by Dr. Sriram Krishnaswamy, factor V interaction with TFPI by Dr. Alan Mast, and lipoproteins and von Willebrand Factor by Dr. José López. Additionally, there were other oral presentations on innate lymphoid cell lineage tracing, factor X, lipid nanoparticle-engineered platelets, and filamin A.

Thanks to the University of British Columbia Centre for Blood Research Travel Award, I was able to attend the Earl W. Davie Symposium 2022 in Vancouver, BC. In addition to attending all of the oral presentations and networking with symposium attendees, I presented my poster titled “Force Generation and Cytoskeletal Structure of Single Platelets”. This work was conducted in my current role as a Postdoctoral Scholar-Fellow in José López’s lab and in my previous role as a Ph.D. student co-advised by Nathan Sniadecki and Wendy Thomas. The poster describes a new technique called “black dots” that co-measures immunofluorescent stains and high yield, high resolution single-platelet force generation in a single image. The presented work applies black dots to identify unique F-actin cytoskeleton morphologies and significantly different force generation of fibrinogen-bound versus von Willebrand Factor-bound platelets.

I would like to thank the Centre for Blood Research for supporting my travel to Vancouver to attend the Earl W. Davie Symposium. It was an excellent professional experience, learning opportunity, and networking engagement. Even more directly, attending the symposium led to an exciting new collaboration with Dr. Hugh Kim, who I met at the symposium. Finally, I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the celebration of Earl Davie and his revolutionary research. I look forward to future opportunities to engage with the University of British Columbia Centre for Blood Research.

*With funding from the Sheldon Naiman and Linda Vickars Endowment Fund, the CBR supports travel and accommodation expenses for trainees to attend and present at the EWD symposium.

Molly Mollica at the Earl W. Davie Symposium 2022

Molly Mollica presenting her poster titled, “Force Generation and Cytoskeletal Structure of Single Platelets” at the Earl W. Davie Symposium 2022