Associate Professor Carlos Salomon Gallo

Associate Professor

UQ Centre for Clinical Research
Faculty of Medicine
c.salomongallo@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 65044

Overview

I am Associate Professor, NHMRC Investigator Fellow (EL2) and group leader (Exosome Biology Laboratory) at UQ Centre for Clinical Research. I am nationally and internationally (>20 invitations to international meetings in the last 5 years) acknowledged key opinion leader on Extracellular Vesicle (rated 3th worldwide (Top 0.015%) and 1st in Australia in expertise for “Extracellular Vesicles and Exosomes” on Expertscape) and biomarker discovery (140 publications, and >8000 citations in the last 7 year). I have made a major conceptual contribution to EV biology with diagnostic and therapeutic implications. In the last 8 years, my primary research and commercialisation activities have focused on the identification and validation of biomarkers, and development of In Vitro Multivariate Index Assays for clinically relevant complications (including ovarian cancers, and obstetrical syndromes) and their translation into clinical applications. In Academia, I have pursued these objectives through the development and leadership of clinical translation research teams and facilities, both in Australia and overseas. For example, I had a leadership role in established the Centre for Clinical Diagnostics (CCD). Within the UQCCR, I established an exosome research team to evaluate the clinical utility of extracellular vesicles as liquid biopsies, IVDs and therapeutics. Much of our effort in this field of endeavour has involved optimising isolation methods for extracellular vesicles and their analytical analysis - including the use of protein solution array (e.g. Luminex), mass spectrometry profiling (using MS/MS SWATH) and more recently miRNA analysis.

Research Interests

  • Exosomes
    My research program focused on obstetrics and gynaecology, and it has investigated the release of extracellular vesicles by the placenta during gestation, and tumour cells in ovarian cancer progression, and their utility as a biomarker for a wide range of pregnancy complications, and ovarian cancer. To date, the major impact of my publications has been: (1) identifying new pathways for fetal-maternal, and cancer communication; and (2) establishing the clinical utility of endogenous nanovesicles as liquid biopsy biomarkers for complications of pregnancy, and ovarian cancer, and their utility as therapeutic agents. These two outcomes of my research program provide a NOVEL CONCEPTUAL basis, and evidence for translation, resulting in changes in clinical practice and management. My research group (Exosome Biology Laboratory) explore the role of extracellular vesicles (EVs) under normal and pathological conditions. My group applies ISO standards (ISO17025 and 13185) to the isolation, characterisation of EVs and has elucidated their role so as to evaluate their clinical utility as biomarkers of disease and therapeutic interventions. During the past 10 years, my primary research and commercialisation activities have focused on the identification and validation of biomarkers, and development of In Vitro Multivariate Index Assays for clinically relevant complications (including ovarian cancers, and obstetrical syndromes) and their translation into clinical applications.

Research Impacts

My research program focused on obstetrics and gynaecology, and it has investigated the release of extracellular vesicles by the placenta during gestation, and tumour cells in ovarian cancer progression, and their utility as a biomarker for a wide range of pregnancy complications, and ovarian cancer. To date, the major impact of my publications has been: (1) identifying new pathways for fetal-maternal, and cancer communication; and (2) establishing the clinical utility of endogenous nanovesicles as liquid biopsy biomarkers for complications of pregnancy, and ovarian cancer, and their utility as therapeutic agents. These two outcomes of my research program provide a NOVEL CONCEPTUAL basis, and evidence for translation, resulting in changes in clinical practice and management. My research group (Exosome Biology Laboratory) explore the role of extracellular vesicles (EVs) under normal and pathological conditions. My group applies ISO standards (ISO17025 and 13185) to the isolation, characterisation of EVs and has elucidated their role so as to evaluate their clinical utility as biomarkers of disease and therapeutic interventions. During the past 10 years, my primary research and commercialisation activities have focused on the identification and validation of biomarkers, and development of In Vitro Multivariate Index Assays for clinically relevant complications (including ovarian cancers, and obstetrical syndromes) and their translation into clinical applications.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Biochemistry, Universidad de Concepcion
  • Master of Clinical Biochemistry and Inmunology, UC
  • Doctor in Medical Sciences, Uchile(CL)

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) affects ~5% of all pregnancies and parallels the global increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes. In the USA alone, GDM affects more than 135,000 pregnancies per year. Lifestyle changes that impact adversely on caloric balance are thought to be a contributing factor in this emerging pandemic (Ferrara, Kahn et al. 2004; Robitaille and Grant 2008). The current ‘gold standard’ for the diagnosis of GDM is the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at 24–28 weeks of gestation (Salomon, Westermeier et al. 2012). When GDM is diagnosed in the late second or early third trimester of pregnancy the ‘pathology’ is most likely well-established and the possibility to reverse or limit potential adverse effect on perinatal outcomes may be limited (Agarwal, Weigl et al. 2011). Early detection of predisposition to and/or onset of GDM, thus, is the first step in developing, evaluating and implementing efficacious treatment. If such early detection tests were available, they would represent a major advance and contribution to the discipline and afford the opportunity to evaluate alternate treatment and clinical management strategies to improve health outcomes for both mother and baby. Based upon recent technological developments and studies, we consider it realistic that a clinically useful antenatal screening test can be developed. Unlike diseases such as cancer where biomarkers need to be exquisitely specific, a useful antenatal screening test would ideally be highly sensitive, but not necessarily highly specific. The consequence of a false positive would be no worse than an erroneous triage to high-risk care.

    Recent studies highlight the putative utility of tissue-specific nanovesicles (e.g. exosomes) in the diagnosis of disease onset and treatment monitoring (Taylor and Gercel-Taylor 2005; Armitage, Poston et al. 2008; Simpson, Jensen et al. 2008; Atay, Gercel-Taylor et al. 2011; Atay, Gercel-Taylor et al. 2011; Chen, Ge et al. 2012). To date there is a paucity of data defining changes in the release, role and diagnostic utility of placenta-derived nanovesicles (e.g. exosomes) in pregnancies complicated by GDM.

  • Ovarian cancer (OC) is one of the most diagnosed gynecological cancers in women. Due to the lack of effective early stage screening, women are more often diagnosed at an advanced stage; therefore, it is associated with poor patient outcomes. There are a lack of tools to identify patients at the highest risk of developing this cancer. Moreover, early detection strategies, therapeutic approaches, and real-time monitoring of responses to treatment to improve survival and quality of life are also inadequate. Tumor development and progression are dependent upon cell-to-cell communication, allowing cancer cells to re-program cells not only within the surrounding tumor microenvironment, but also at distant sites. Recent studies established that extracellular vesicles (EVs) mediate bi-directional communication between normal and cancerous cells. EVs are highly stable membrane vesicles that are released from a wide range of cells, including healthy and cancer cells. They contain tissue-specific signaling molecules (e.g., proteins and miRNA) and, once released, regulate target cell phenotypes, inducing a pro-tumorigenic and immunosuppressive phenotype to contribute to tumor growth and metastasis as well as proximal and distal cell function. Thus, EVs are a "fingerprint" of their cell of origin and reflect the metabolic status. Additionally, via the capacity to evade the immune system and remain stable over long periods in circulation, EVs can be potent therapeutic agents.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Palma, Carlos, Jellins, Jessica, Lai, Andrew, Salas, Alexis, Campos, America, Sharma, Shayna, Duncombe, Gregory, Hyett, Jon and Salomon, Carlos (2021). Extracellular vesicles and preeclampsia: current knowledge and future research directions. New frontiers: extracellular vesicles. (pp. 455-482) edited by Suresh Mathivanan, Pamali Fonseka, Christina Nedeva and Ishara Atukorala. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-67171-6_18

  • Nair, Soumyalekshmi and Salomon, Carlos (2020). Potential role of exosomes in reproductive medicine and pregnancy. Exosomes: A Clinical Compendium. (pp. 357-381) edited by Lawrence Edelstein, John Smythies, Peter Quesenberry and Denis Noble. London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-816053-4.00016-X

  • Sharma, Shayna and Salomon, Carlos (2020). Techniques associated with exosome isolation for biomarker development: Liquid biopsies for ovarian cancer detection. Biomarkers for Immunotherapy of Cancer. (pp. 181-199) edited by Magdalena Thurin, Alessandra Cesano and Francesco M. Marincola. New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9773-2_8

  • 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. Hypoxia and human diseases. (pp. 365-381) edited by Jing Zheng and Chi Zhou. Rijeka, Croatia: Intech. doi: 10.5772/65688

  • Sharma, Shayna, Scholz-Romero, Katherin, Rice, Gregory E. and Salomon, Carlos (2017). Methods to enrich exosomes from conditioned media and biological fluids. In P. Murthi and C. Vaillancourt (Ed.), Preeclampsia methods and protocols (pp. 103-115) New York, NY United States: Humana Press. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-7498-6_8

  • Guanzon, Dominic, Iljas, Juvita Delancy, Rice, Gregory E. and Salomon, Carlos (2017). Using a next-generation sequencing approach to profile MicroRNAs from human origin. In Preeclampsia methods and protocols (pp. 203-217) New York, NY United States: Humana Press. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-7498-6_16

  • 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. Gestational Diabetes: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment. (pp. 29-47) edited by Luis Sobrevia. Rijeka, Croatia: InTech. doi: 10.5772/55298

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed 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.

  • Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) affects ~5% of all pregnancies and parallels the global increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes. In the USA alone, GDM affects more than 135,000 pregnancies per year. Lifestyle changes that impact adversely on caloric balance are thought to be a contributing factor in this emerging pandemic (Ferrara, Kahn et al. 2004; Robitaille and Grant 2008). The current ‘gold standard’ for the diagnosis of GDM is the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at 24–28 weeks of gestation (Salomon, Westermeier et al. 2012). When GDM is diagnosed in the late second or early third trimester of pregnancy the ‘pathology’ is most likely well-established and the possibility to reverse or limit potential adverse effect on perinatal outcomes may be limited (Agarwal, Weigl et al. 2011). Early detection of predisposition to and/or onset of GDM, thus, is the first step in developing, evaluating and implementing efficacious treatment. If such early detection tests were available, they would represent a major advance and contribution to the discipline and afford the opportunity to evaluate alternate treatment and clinical management strategies to improve health outcomes for both mother and baby. Based upon recent technological developments and studies, we consider it realistic that a clinically useful antenatal screening test can be developed. Unlike diseases such as cancer where biomarkers need to be exquisitely specific, a useful antenatal screening test would ideally be highly sensitive, but not necessarily highly specific. The consequence of a false positive would be no worse than an erroneous triage to high-risk care.

    Recent studies highlight the putative utility of tissue-specific nanovesicles (e.g. exosomes) in the diagnosis of disease onset and treatment monitoring (Taylor and Gercel-Taylor 2005; Armitage, Poston et al. 2008; Simpson, Jensen et al. 2008; Atay, Gercel-Taylor et al. 2011; Atay, Gercel-Taylor et al. 2011; Chen, Ge et al. 2012). To date there is a paucity of data defining changes in the release, role and diagnostic utility of placenta-derived nanovesicles (e.g. exosomes) in pregnancies complicated by GDM.

  • Ovarian cancer (OC) is one of the most diagnosed gynecological cancers in women. Due to the lack of effective early stage screening, women are more often diagnosed at an advanced stage; therefore, it is associated with poor patient outcomes. There are a lack of tools to identify patients at the highest risk of developing this cancer. Moreover, early detection strategies, therapeutic approaches, and real-time monitoring of responses to treatment to improve survival and quality of life are also inadequate. Tumor development and progression are dependent upon cell-to-cell communication, allowing cancer cells to re-program cells not only within the surrounding tumor microenvironment, but also at distant sites. Recent studies established that extracellular vesicles (EVs) mediate bi-directional communication between normal and cancerous cells. EVs are highly stable membrane vesicles that are released from a wide range of cells, including healthy and cancer cells. They contain tissue-specific signaling molecules (e.g., proteins and miRNA) and, once released, regulate target cell phenotypes, inducing a pro-tumorigenic and immunosuppressive phenotype to contribute to tumor growth and metastasis as well as proximal and distal cell function. Thus, EVs are a "fingerprint" of their cell of origin and reflect the metabolic status. Additionally, via the capacity to evade the immune system and remain stable over long periods in circulation, EVs can be potent therapeutic agents.