Vascular Voices: Danny Hsu, MBBS, FRACP, FRCPA (Australia)

May 23, 2024

In this series, World Thrombosis Day (WTD) shares interviews with members of its scientific Steering Committee. In today’s profile, learn about Danny Hsu, clinical and laboratory haematologist at Liverpool Hospital in Australia. 

Why did you choose to pursue a career in this field?

It was a calling! I had always been interested in the field of non-malignant haematology, even as a medical student. I remember we had a lecture on antiphospholipid syndromes and I became fascinated with the world of thrombosis!

What is an average day like for you in the clinic? What type of patients do you see?

I alternate between three and five clinic sessions a week.  Every week, I would have a Monday afternoon Thrombosis Clinic with my haematology registrar/Fellow, and a full day of clinic on a Thursday. In my non-Thrombosis Clinics, I see predominantly immune haematology patients, and this would include rare non-malignant diseases such as paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) patients.

What inspired you to join the World Thrombosis Day Steering Committee?

When I compare the resources and awareness of malignancy compared to thrombosis, it made me wonder why is there such a big gulf between our disease versus the others?  I also noted that the majority of the consultative haematology service deals with thrombotic issues, yet non-malignant haematology has the least resources in most health networks. I felt it was time for me to try to make a difference and contribute to raising awareness of thrombosis!

How do you rate awareness of thrombosis in Australia? Is it generally understood among the public?

I believe we can definitely do better to raise awareness. During the pandemic, vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) had dominated the headlines and that momentarily had captured the public’s attention. What was clear was the significant lack of awareness of VTE as the public was so anxious regarding VITT, which is so rare, yet the national risk of VTE is 1 in 1,200 person years.

What are the biggest challenges you see in thrombosis treatment and prevention?

What I perceive to be the biggest challenge is how to increase public awareness of VTE.  By raising awareness of the symptoms and risk factors of VTE, we may be able to prevent morbidity and mortality from delayed presentations to medical care.  We would need a national strategy and, importantly, need to seek funding to activate the plan.

Are you working on any interesting research projects right now?

My current research project is in collaboration with my colleagues in Newcastle (Australia) on a functional complement assay that may be able to predict clinical response to complement inhibitors in patients with thrombotic microangiopathies

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy travelling and watching movies.  I collect gin and watches…and I love fashion.  My secret vice is that I love watching the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

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