Prof Karen Dwyer



Deputy Head Of School


Faculty of Health


School of Medicine


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

+61 3 522 71421



  • Diploma of Management, Swinburne University of Technology 2013
  • Melbourne Teaching Certificate, The University of Melbourne 2011
  • Doctor of Philosophy.The University of Melbourne, Australia, 2004
  • Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Physicians (Nephrology), 2001
  • Bachelor of Medicine; Bachelor of Surgery,The University of Melbourne, 1994


Professional activitites:

Associate Editor, Transplantation

Convenor, Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting 2014

Convenor, Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand Post graduate Course 2007

The Transplantation Society, Scientific Program Committee, 2015 -

Chair, Scientific Program and Education Committee, Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand, 2013-2015

Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand, Council Member 2013-2015; Secretary 2015 -

Animal Ethics Committee, Senior Medical Staff Representative; 2008-2014

Medication Safety Committee, Medical Staff Representative: 2013-2015

Scientific committee consultant, GENESIS Research Awards Charter 2011

Actively involved in medical school education

Peer review: regular reviewer for >10 journals including Nature, Transplantation, American Journal of Transplantation, Jouranl of American Society of Nephrology, Nephrology, Journal of Immunology

Student supervision:

BSc (Hons): 2 completed; 1 current

PhD: 4 completed; 3 current

MPhil:1 completed

Read more on Karen's profile


Australian Medical Association
Australia and New Zealand Society of Nephrology (ANZSN)
Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ)
Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)
American Society of Transplantation
The Transplantation Society
International Xenotransplantation Association
International Hand and Composite Allotransplantation Society

Knowledge areas

Prof Dwyer has 15 years clinical experience in the diagnosis and management of renal-related disease, including acute and chronic kidney injury, refractory hypertension and renal transplantation.

Her research interests focus on purinergic signalling, specifically the role of CD39 and adenosine signalling in health and disease.  She has developed small animal models to examine acute and chronic ischaemic induced kidney injury, and renal, liver and islet transplant related injury.

Prof Dwyer also has an interest in clinical research project specifically surrounding the diabetes arising post transplantation.


Current projects:

  1. Acute and Chornic Kidney Disease as Interconnected Syndromes: The questions to be answered in these studies are:
    1. What is the burden of chronic kidney disease following an in-patient episode of acute kidney injury utilising patient data from metropolitan and regional hospitals?
    2. What epigenetic changes are induced by an episode of ischemic-induced acute kidney injury?
    3. Do the epigenetic changes identified in the periphery correlate with changes occurring within the renal parenchyma?
    4. What is the optimal timing of timing of pharmacological A2BR activation to prevent ischaemic-induced kidney injury?
    5. What is the impact of A2BR inhibition on the development of kidney fibrosis?
    6. Is A2BR activation efficacious in the setting of cold ischaemic injury encountered in kidney transplantation?
    7. Does the novel adenosinergic compound VCP476 protect against ischaemic-induced kidney injury?
  2. Impaired glucose handling following kidney transplantation: the role of the microbiome.The questions to be answered in this study are:
    1. What changes in gut microbiota composition occur following kidney transplantation?
    2. Do the changes in gut microbiome observed in Study #1 correlate with glucose handling capacity?
    3. Are epigenetic changes induced post-transplant that increase the likelihood of developing diabetes/prediabetes? 


Filter by


CD39 and CD73 activity are protective in a mouse model of antiphospholipid antibody-induced miscarriages

A Samudra, K Dwyer, C Selan, S Freddi, L Murray-Segal, M Nikpour, M Hickey, K Peter, S Robson, M Sashindranath, P Cowan, H Nandurkar

(2018), Vol. 88, pp. 131-138, Journal of autoimmunity, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1


CD39-adenosinergic axis in renal pathophysiology and therapeutics

B Kishore, S Robson, K Dwyer

(2018), Vol. 14, pp. 109-120, Purinergic signalling, Berlin, Germany, C1


Mineral adaptations following kidney transplantation

S-J Tan, A Crosthwaite, D Langsford, V Obeysekere, F Ierino, M Roberts, P Hughes, T Hewitson, K Dwyer, N Toussaint

(2017), Vol. 30, pp. 463-473, Transplant international, Chichester, Eng., C1


The differential effect of apyrase treatment and hCD39 overexpression on chronic renal fibrosis after ischemia-reperfusion injury

V Roberts, D Campbell, B Lu, J Chia, P Cowan, K Dwyer

(2017), Vol. 101, pp. e194-e204, Transplantation, Philadelphia, Pa., C1


Development of a novel strategy to target CD39 antithrombotic activity to the endothelial-platelet microenvironment in kidney ischemia-reperfusion injury

M Sashindranath, K Dwyer, S Dezfouli, C Selan, S Crikis, B Lu, Y Yuan, M Hickey, K Peter, S Robson, P Cowan, H Nandurkar

(2017), Vol. 13, pp. 259-265, Purinergic signalling, Berlin, Germany, C1


A1 beta-casein milk protein and other environmental pre-disposing factors for type 1 diabetes

J Chia, J McRae, S Kukuljan, K Woodford, R Elliott, B Swinburn, K Dwyer

(2017), Vol. 7, pp. 1-7, Nutrition & diabetes, London, Eng., C1


Evaluation of CD4?CD25???CD39? T-cell populations in peripheral blood of patients following kidney transplantation and during acute allograft rejection

J McRae, J Chia, S Pommey, K Dwyer

(2017), Vol. 22, pp. 505-512, Nephrology, Chichester, Eng., C1


Overexpression of human CD55 and CD59 or treatment with human CD55 protects against renal ischemia-reperfusion injury in mice

A Bongoni, B Lu, E Salvaris, V Roberts, D Fang, J McRae, N Fisicaro, K Dwyer, P Cowan

(2017), Vol. 198, pp. 4837-4845, Journal of immunology, Rockville, Md., C1


Diabetes mellitus following renal transplantation: clinical and pharmacological considerations for the elderly patient

D Langsford, A Steinberg, K Dwyer

(2017), Vol. 34, pp. 589-601, Drugs and aging, Berlin, Germany, C1


Gender equity in transplantation: a report from the women in transplantation workshop of the Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand

K Dwyer, C Clark, K MacDonald, M Paraskeva, N Rogers, J Ryan, A Webster, G Wong

(2017), Vol. 101, pp. 2266-2270, Transplantation, Baltimore, Md., C1


Systematic review of the gastrointestinal effects of A1 compared with A2 ?-Casein

S Brooke-Taylor, K Dwyer, K Woodford, N Kost

(2017), Vol. 8, pp. 739-748, Advances in nutrition, Oxford, Eng., C1


Role of the CD39/CD73 purinergic pathway in modulating arterial thrombosis in mice

R Covarrubias, E Chepurko, A Reynolds, Z Huttinger, R Huttinger, K Stanfill, D Wheeler, T Novitskaya, S Robson, K Dwyer, P Cowan, R Gumina

(2016), Vol. 36, pp. 1809-1820, Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology, Philadelphia, Pa., C1


CD39 overexpression does not attenuate renal fibrosis in the unilateral ureteric obstructive model of chronic kidney disease

V Roberts, B Lu, J Chia, P Cowan, K Dwyer

(2016), Vol. 12, pp. 653-660, Purinergic signalling, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, C1


Anti-CD73 antibody therapy inhibits breast tumor growth and metastasis

J Stagg, U Divisekera, N McLaughlin, J Sharkey, S Pommey, D Denoyer, K Dwyer, M Smyth

(2010), Vol. 107, pp. 1547-1552, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Washington, D. C., C1-1


AMP and adenosine are both ligands for adenosine 2B receptor signaling.

Jessica Holien, Benjamin Seibt, Veena Roberts, Evelyn Salvaris, Michael Parker, Peter Cowan, Karen Dwyer

(), Vol. 28, pp. 202-206, Bioorg Med Chem Lett, England, C1-1


Funded Projects at Deakin

Other Public Sector Funding

A1 beta-casein derived beta-casomorphin peptides in milk and Type 1 diabetes

Prof Karen Dwyer, Dr Ashwantha Enjapoori

  • 2017: $25,000

Industry and Other Funding

Characterisation of bioactive peptides in milk

Prof Karen Dwyer, Dr Ashwantha Enjapoori

  • 2017: $26,000
  • 2016: $120,000

A1 beta-casein derived beta-casomorphin peptides in milk and Type 1 diabetes

Prof Karen Dwyer, Dr Ashwantha Enjapoori

  • 2017: $37,527
  • 2016: $12,509

The influence of A1 beta-casein on Type 1 Diabetes susceptibility in NOD mice

Prof Karen Dwyer, Dr Ashwantha Enjapoori

  • 2018: $62,500
  • 2017: $175,000


No completed student supervisions to report