Professor Greg Rice

Acting Director

UQ Centre for Clinical Research
Faculty of Medicine
g.rice@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 65500

Overview

I am currently employed as Deputy Associate Dean (Research) Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (University of Queensland) and Acting Director of the Centre for Clinical Reserach.

I have extensive executive leadership and management experience in the academic, philanthropic and biotechnology industry sectors. My academic qualifications include a PhD (in comparative endocrinology); a Master of Health Administration (in change management) and a Graduate Diploma in Managing. In addition, I have completed training with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (Course for Company Directors and Directors of Non-for-Profit Organisation Course)

Research Leadership and Achievements

My research team is rapidly developing an internationally recognised leadership in exosomal signaling and the role of endogenous nanoparticles in health and disease. I have established a regulatory agency-accredited research facility that conforms to ISO standards (ISO17025 and 13185) to isolate, characterize and elucidate the role of human exosomes and to evaluate their clinical utility as biomarkers of disease and therapeutic interventions. In addition, I have more than a decade of experience within the biotechnology sector (both private and public) in the development, evaluation and implementation on diagnostics tests.

My industry experience includes being co-founder of biotechnology company HealthLinx, (HTX, 2003), Executive Director (2006), General Manager Science and Operations (2007) and Chairman (2008-2013). This company listed on the ASX in 2006 as a diagnostic company that focuses on the development and delivery of in vitro diagnostics and multivariate index assays. I have also served as a member of Clinical and Scientific Advisory Committees of ASX-listed companies and as a member of the Technical and Regulatory Standing Committee of IVD Australia (2010-2012).

I have published over 230 peer-reviewed scientific publications. I have held continuous appointment as a Research Only Academic within the NHMRC Career Awards Program for over 20 years. I have supervised 53 postgraduate students (20 Honours; 4 Masters; 7 MDs, 22 PhDs) to successful completion and have mentored 12 postdoctoral fellows. My PhD and MD students have established successful careers in academic research (58%), industry (14%) or in clinical practice (28%). Those continuing in academic research have established themselves as independent career researchers at, including Professorial and A/ Professorial appointments and a Director of Research Services at national Universities, and research fellows at Harvard Medical School Boston, University of Melbourne, Baker IDI, and the Lundenfeld Institute Mt Sinai Hospital. Those in clinical practice occupy influential positions, including: Clinical Director, Emergency Department; Heads of Gynaecology and Obstetrics unit at tertiary referral hospitals, and membership of the Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity.

Research Interests

  • Exosomal Signalling in Early Pregnancy
    Each year, ten million women worldwide develop preeclampsia and 76,000 die from preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders. The number of babies who die from these disorders is thought to be in the order of 500,000 pa (1). In Australia, preeclampsia affects 3.3% of all births (2), that is, around 9000 pregnancies each year. Early and accurate identification of women who are at risk of developing preeclampsia is now recognised as a critical step to improving the outcome for these mothers and babies. The identification of such women would allow their referral for more intensive surveillance or treatment (e.g. low dose aspirin (3)) to prevent or reduce the risk of severe disease. Preventing or reducing the severity of preeclampsia will improve outcomes for both mother and baby. In this study, we will further develop and evaluate a novel early pregnancy screening test for preeclampsia; providing Level II clinical evidence that may be used in decision making about the implementation of routine early pregnancy screening for preeclampsia and patient management, and will allow the robust evaluation of intervention therapies. The specific aims of this study are to: 1. determine the prognostic performance of an early-pregnancy screening test to identify women at risk of developing preeclampsia; and 2. to identify and evaluate additional exosome-associated biomarkers for inclusion in the screening test to improve test performance. We hypothesise that the use of this new exosomal biomarker assay at 11-14 weeks of pregnancy will outperform existing predictive modalities in identifying women at risk of developing preeclampsia.

Research Impacts

RESEARCH TRANSLATION.

In the last five years I have developed and commercialised a new ovarian cancer diagnostics; licensing a proteomics patent to industry; established clinical research facilities and training programs in tertiary care hospitals, partnered the establishment of a multimillion dollar, cross discipline consortium to implement capacity building platforms for innovation in cellular therapy and tissue engineering. Previously, I contributed to the development of dietary phytoestrogens for the treatment of menopause symptoms and the introduction of soy and linseed bread products into the Australian market for which we received an Australian Food Industry Innovation Award.

CONTRIBUTION TO RESEARCH

During my research career, I have made seminal contributions to our understanding of mechanisms involved in the initiation of human labour and delivery and, in particular, the involvement of inflammatory mediators including: the arachidonic acid metabolism pathway (PLA2s PGHS, prostanoinds); and cytokines. I was the first to provide evidence of a pre-labour increase the expression of PGHS in human gestational tissues, and one of the first to demonstrate the involvement of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the activation of the NF-kB pathway in labour onset.

Over the past 5 years, I have established an exosome biology research group that is leading the field in defining the role of exosomal signalling during pregnancy and the application of advanced mass spectrometry analysis of exosomal cargo. Over the past 5 years, my research metrics continue to increase and include: invitation to deliver more than 35 international and national lectures; the publication of more 40 research manuscripts and 16 reviews in journals of significance within my discipline; the acquisition of more than $15 million in competitive research funding; the leadership and development of a NATA-accredited, next generation academic research translation facility (Centre for Clinical Diagnostics) purpose build for the delivery of regulator-ready data; the prosecution and development of biomarker related patents; and the training of 17 post-doctoral and post graduate researchers.

INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP

Evidence of my intellectual leadership in my discipline includes: membership of the Executive Committee and appointment as President of the Australian and New Zealand Perinatal Society; founding membership of the Executive Committee and appointment as President of the International Federation of Placenta Association; membership of Editorial Boards (including Journal Placenta), membership of IVD Australia (the peak Australia industry advisory body for the development of in vitro diagnostics) and Clinical and Scientific Advisory Boards of ASX companies and Chairman of biotechnology company HealthLinx Ltd. In the past 5 years, I have been invited to deliver more than 35 international and national lectures; awarded an Honorary Professorship, University of the Andes, Chile and a Senior Clinical Researcher position, Institute of Clinical Research, Oschner Health System, New Orleans, Louisianan, USA; Chairman of IFPA 2015 and served on NHMRC GPRs, Fellowship Review Committee and Assigner Academy.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Western Australia
  • Bachelor of Science (Hons), The University of Western Australia

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Master Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Pregnancy-associated diabetes is a significant complication of pregnancy that has adverse health effects for both mother and baby. We have developed a new test to identify women during their first trimester of pregnancy who subsequently develop gestational diabetes. The test requires further clinical validation to develop a commercial product and to implement it into clinical practice. To move this test from the proof-of-principle phase to a viable commercial product, we will: (1) finalise the multivariate model to be used in the final product; and (2) validate the test for commercialisation by establishing its prognostic performance. The test will be developed in compliance with GMP principles as codified by ISO17025 and ISO13485, thus, enhancing translational and commercialisation opportunities. The final product will be a Class II medical device.

    GDM is a serious public health issue affecting 8-15% of all pregnancies worldwide. This complication of pregnancy not only causes acute adverse pregnancy outcomes for mother and infant but also increases the lifetime risk of the infant developing metabolic syndromes (including obesity and Type II diabetes) and of Type II diabetes in the mother. The most clinically relevant and commercially viable solution to this problem is to develop, validate and implement a first trimester, blood-based screening test to identify women at high risk of developing GDM.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Sharma, Shayna, Alharbi, Mona, Lai, Andrew, Kobayashi, Miharu, Kline, Richard, Wade, Katrina, Rice, Gregory E. and Salomon, Carlos (2017). Cross‐talk between hypoxia and the tumour via exosomes. In Jing Zheng and Chi Zhou (Ed.), Hypoxia and human diseases (pp. 365-381) Rijeka, Croatia: Intech. doi:10.5772/65688

  • Chan, Hsiu-Wen, Rice, Greg E. and Mitchell, Murry D. (2013). Biotransformation and transfer of genistein: a comparison with xenoestrogens and a focus on the human placenta.. In Victor R. Preedy (Ed.), Isoflavones: Chemistry, Analysis, Function and Effects (pp. 115-130) Cambridge, United Kingdom: Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing. doi:10.1039/9781849735094-00115

  • Salomon, Carlos, Sobrevia, Luis, Ashman, Keith, Illanes, Sebastian E., Mitchell, Murray D. and Rice, Gregory E. (2013). The role of placental exosomes in gestational diabetes mellitus. In Luis Sobrevia (Ed.), Gestational Diabetes: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment (pp. 29-47) Rijeka, Croatia: InTech. doi:10.5772/55298

  • Rice, Gregory E. (2011). Proteomics and the placenta. In Helen H. Kay, D. Michael Nelson and Yuping Wang (Ed.), The placenta: from development to disease (pp. 197-206) Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9781444393927.ch26

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Pregnancy-associated diabetes is a significant complication of pregnancy that has adverse health effects for both mother and baby. We have developed a new test to identify women during their first trimester of pregnancy who subsequently develop gestational diabetes. The test requires further clinical validation to develop a commercial product and to implement it into clinical practice. To move this test from the proof-of-principle phase to a viable commercial product, we will: (1) finalise the multivariate model to be used in the final product; and (2) validate the test for commercialisation by establishing its prognostic performance. The test will be developed in compliance with GMP principles as codified by ISO17025 and ISO13485, thus, enhancing translational and commercialisation opportunities. The final product will be a Class II medical device.

    GDM is a serious public health issue affecting 8-15% of all pregnancies worldwide. This complication of pregnancy not only causes acute adverse pregnancy outcomes for mother and infant but also increases the lifetime risk of the infant developing metabolic syndromes (including obesity and Type II diabetes) and of Type II diabetes in the mother. The most clinically relevant and commercially viable solution to this problem is to develop, validate and implement a first trimester, blood-based screening test to identify women at high risk of developing GDM.