Division of Hematology & Thromboembolism

Patricia Liaw

B.Sc., M. Sc., Ph.D.

Professor, Division of Hematology and Thromboembolism, Department of Medicine

Member, Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Research Institute (TaARI)





Dr. Patricia Liaw is a Professor at McMaster University.  Her overall research interest is to study the mechanistic links between blood clotting, inflammation, and the host immune system. Her approach is to integrate basic studies with translational/clinical research projects to better understand why dysregulation of these pathways contributes to morbidity and mortality in a variety of vascular disease states.

Dr. Liaw’s current research focuses on three key areas: (1) extracellular DNA as a novel link between coagulation, inflammation, and innate immunity in sepsis, (2) biochemical and genetic determinants of thrombosis, and (3) mechanisms of thrombosis in cancer patients.  Her integrative research approach includes studies at the levels of cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and clinical research studies. The techniques utilized in her research include flow cytometry, cytokine and apoptosis assays, confocal microscopy, tissue culture, protein expression and purification, studies of human blood, and mouse models of thrombosis and sepsis.

Selected Publications

  1. Liaw PC, Ito T, Iba T, Thachil J, Zeerleder S.  DAMP and DIC: The role of extracellular DNA and DNA-binding proteins in the pathogenesis of DIC.  Blood Rev. 2015 Dec 31 [epub ahead of print].
  2. Gould TJ, Vu TT, Stafford AR, Dwivedi DJ, Kim PY, Fox-Robichaud AE, Weitz JI, Liaw PC. Cell-Free DNA Modulates Clot Structure and Impairs Fibrinolysis in Sepsis.  Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2015; Dec;35(12):2544-53.
  3. Pepler L, Dwivedi D, Liaw PC. Pepler L, Dwivedi D, Liaw PC. Characterization of mice harboring an EPCR variant with impaired ability to bind protein C: Novel role of EPCR in hematopoiesis Blood. 2015;  Jul 30;126(5):673-82.
  4. Gould TJ, Lysov, Z, Liaw PC.  Extracellular DNA and histones: Double-edged swords in immunothrombosis.  J Thromb Haemost 2015;  Jun;13 Suppl 1:S82-91.
  5. Mai SH, Khan M, Dwivedi DJ, Ross CA, Zhou J, Gould TJ, Gross PL, Weitz JI, Fox-Robichaud AE, Liaw PC.  Delayed But Not Early Treatment With DNase Reduces Organ Damage and Improves Outcome in a Murine Model of Sepsis.  Shock. 2015; Aug;44(2):166-72.
  6. Bhagirath VC, Dwivedi DJ, Liaw PC.  Comparison of the Pro-Inflammatory and Pro-Coagulant Properties of Nuclear, Mitochondrial, and Bacterial DNA.  Shock. 2015; Sep;44(3):265-71.
  7. Gould TJ, Vu T, Swystun LL, Dwivedi D, Mai S, Weitz JI, Liaw PC. Neutrophil Extracellular Traps promote thrombin generation through platelet-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2014 Sep;34(9):1977-84.
  8. Lysov Z, Swystun LL, Kuruvilla S, Arnold A, Liaw PC. Lung cancer chemotherapy agents increase procoagulant activity via protein disulfide isomerase-dependent tissue factor decryption. Blood Coag Fibrinolysis. 2015 Jan;26(1):36-45.
  9. Wu C, Dwivedi D, Pepler L, Lysov Z, Waye J, Julian J, Desch K, Ginsburg D, Weitz JI, Kearon C, Liaw PC. Targeted Gene Sequencing to Identify Polymorphisms in the Protein C and EPCR Genes in Patients with Unprovoked Venous Thromboembolism.  Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biology. 2013;Nov;33(11):2674-81.
  10. Dwivedi D, Toltl LJ, Swystun LL, Pogue J, Dyal L, Liaw KL, Weitz JI, Cook DJ, Fox-Robichaud A, Liaw PC.  Prognostic utility and characterization of cell-free DNA in patients with severe sepsis.  Crit Care. 2012;Aug 13;16(4):151-162.
  11. Swystun LL, Mukherjee S, Liaw PC.  Breast cancer chemotherapy induces the release of cell free DNA, a novel procoagulant stimulus.  J Thromb Haemost. 2011; Nov; 9(11): 2313–2321.