Dr Anna Waterhouse

PhD, BSc (Hons I)
"To succeed as a scientist, it takes hard work, dedication and a curious mind."

Dr. Waterhouse is a Group Leader at the Heart Research Institute and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney. She is the recipient of an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA). Her research combines cardiovascular device engineering and biological interactions at material interfaces, aiming to understand how devices fail in order to create materials that interact with the body in a more biological way, mimicking the body's own tissue. Prior to joining the HRI she was a Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Scientist at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University with Prof. Don Ingber. Dr Waterhouse received her PhD from the University of Sydney and the Heart Research Institute on biomimetic coronary stent coatings to treat coronary artery disease under the supervision of Prof. Tony Weiss, Assoc. Prof. Ng and Prof. Bilek.

Current Appointments

Cardiovascular Medical Devices Group Leader

Heart Research Institute

Senior Lecturer 

University of Sydney

ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award recipient
Dr Anna Waterhouse leads group:
Research covers areas of:

More about Dr Anna Waterhouse

Research Project Opportunities
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Understanding the interactions of medical devices with patients’ blood, proteins and cells will allow the development of more sophisticated and compatible materials for medical devices for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. To achieve these goals we utilise cutting edge bioengineering tools to develop new methodologies to assess and understand the interplay of events at the biointerface. This includes immobilising proteins or creating anti-adhesive coatings and investigating the biological response at the interface of the materials using advanced microscopy and surface analysis tools.

Biomimetic model systems

Advances in material fabrication techniques and 3D printing in micro and nanotechnology have revolutionised bioengineering, allowing high precision manipulation of materials for modelling medical systems and devices in the lab. Using these strategies, biomimetic in vitro model systems can be generated to recreate physiological conditions to evaluate medical device materials, geometries and drugs. Device failure mechanisms and how different disease states contribute to them can be investigated with the aim of developing new treatments or preventions.

Bioengineering smart materials

Medical device thrombosis and biofouling leading to sepsis cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Furthermore, there is an urgent need to reduce the complications that arise from drugs designed to combat these issues, such as anticoagulants that cause bleeding and the overuse of antibiotics that result in antibiotic resistant pathogens. Using bioengineering strategies, increasingly sophisticated materials can be constructed. Combining physical, chemical and biological surface modification methods, medical devices can be manipulated to interact with, repel or adhere proteins or cells to improve medical device function, create novel diagnostics and medical devices and both drug and non-drug based avenues for therapies.

Latest Publications
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Cartwright, M., Rottman, M., Shapiro, N., Seiler, B., Lombardo, P., Gamini, N., Tomolonis, J., Watters, A., Waterhouse, A., Leslie, D., et al (2016). A Broad-Spectrum Infection Diagnostic that Detects Pathogen-Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMPs) in Whole Blood. EBioMedicine, 9, 217-227. 

Jain, A., Graveline, A., Waterhouse, A., Vernet, A., Flaumenhaft, R., Ingber, D. (2016). A shear gradient-activated microfluidic device for automated monitoring of whole blood haemostasis and platelet function. Nature Communications, 7, 1-10. 

Sotiri, I., Overton, J., Waterhouse, A., Howell, C. (2016). Immobilized liquid layers: A new approach to anti-adhesion surfaces for medical applications. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 241(9), 909-918. 

Wise, S., Michael, P., Waterhouse, A., Santos, M., Filipe, E., Hung, J., Kondyurin, A., Bilek, M., Ng, M. (2015). Immobilization of bioactive plasmin reduces the thrombogenicity of metal surfaces. Colloids And Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 136, 944-954. 

Didar TF, Cartwright MJ, Rottman M, Graveline AR, Gamini N, Watters AL, Leslie DC, Mammoto T, Rodas MJ, Kang JH, Waterhouse A, Seiler BT, Lombardo P, Qendro EI, Super M, Ingber DE.

Didar, T., Cartwright, M., Rottman, M., Graveline, A., Gamini, N., Watters, A., Leslie, D., Mammoto, T., Rodas, M., Waterhouse, A., et al (2015). Improved treatment of systemic blood infections using antibiotics with extracorporeal opsonin hemoadsorption. Biomaterials, 67, 382-392. 

Leslie, D., Waterhouse, A., Berthat, J., Valentin, T., Watters, A., Jain, A., Kim, P., Hatton, B., Nedder, A., Donovan, K., et al (2014). A bioinspired omniphobic surface coating on medical devices prevents thrombosis and biofouling. Nature Biotechnology, 32(11), 1134-1140. 

For a full list of Dr Anna Waterhouse's publications, visit pubmed.gov

Research Grants
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An in vitro model of biomaterial-induced thrombosis; Waterhouse A; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), 2016


2016     Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Scientist, Harvard University, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering

2011     PhD, Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering, University of Sydney

2005     Honours (1st Class) Cell Biology, University of Manchester