Frank Arfuso


  • The University of Western Australia (M309), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • 350 Citations
  • 10 h-Index
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Personal profile


While working full time as a dental practitioner, I completed a PGDipSc and went on to further part-time studies and was awarded a PhD in 2003. Having gained valuable research skills in histology, immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy, I became an Honorary Research Fellow in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry in 2004. Because of limited research opportunities in Western Australia, and raising a family, I continued working as a full-time dentist while donating my time outside of work hours to furthering knowledge in vascular biology as it pertains to tooth development. This led to a sole author paper in 2006 that promoted the use of human teeth as an in vivo model for the study of physiologic angiogenesis. In 2009 I became a Senior Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Anatomy and Human Biology within the Faculty of Life and Physical Sciences.
Thesis ‘A morphologic study of physiologic angiogenesis using the corpus luteum of the pregnant rat as an in vivo model’.
The investigation of the structural events contributing to angiogenesis has a widespread application to understanding tumour growth, inflammation, wound healing and a variety of other diseases where abnormal vascular development is the dominant pathology.
Not only did my investigations provide a detailed account of the cellular pattern of physiologic angiogenesis, it was also coupled to a stereologic study, which related the growth of the capillaries within the corpus luteum to development of that tissue as a transient endocrine organ. This involved relating alterations in endothelial cell shape, surface area of endothelial cell membrane available for trans-capillary exchange and thinness of the endothelium to the functional demand of the surrounding steroid-secreting luteal cells.
Novel findings reported in my thesis were that, in the pregnant rat corpus luteum,
i) Pericytes precede endothelial during vascularisation of the corpus luteum.
ii) Pericytes can contribute to the developing vessel wall during angiogenesis.
iii) Apoptosis does not affect endothelial cells and pericytes up to day 22 (parturition) of pregnancy.

Future research

The influence of secreted frizzled-related protein 4 on cancer stem cells

Funding overview

Australian Dental Research Foundation

Current projects

The role of sFRP4 in blocking cancer growth





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  • 3 Similar Profiles
Corpus Luteum Medicine & Life Sciences
Physiologic Neovascularization Medicine & Life Sciences
Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Medicine & Life Sciences
Caspase 14 Medicine & Life Sciences
Luteolysis Medicine & Life Sciences
Wharton Jelly Medicine & Life Sciences
Neoplasms Medicine & Life Sciences
Apoptosis Medicine & Life Sciences

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Research Output 2003 2018

  • 350 Citations
  • 10 h-Index
  • 21 Article
  • 3 Review article
Dextran Sulfate
1 Citations (Scopus)
Stem cells
Tumor Cell Line
Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
Adipose Tissue
7 Citations (Scopus)

Epigenetic reprogramming converts human Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells into functional cardiomyocytes by differential regulation of Wnt mediators

Bhuvanalakshmi, G., Arfuso, F., Kumar, A. P., Dharmarajan, A. & Warrier, S., 14 Aug 2017, Stem Cell Research and Therapy, 8, p. 185 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Open Access
Wharton Jelly
Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
Cardiac Myocytes
4 Citations (Scopus)

SFRP-mediated Wnt sequestration as a potential therapeutic target for Alzheimer's disease

Warrier, S., Marimuthu, R., Sekhar, S., Bhuvanalakshmi, G., Arfuso, F., Das, A. K., Bhonde, R., Martins, R. & Dharmarajan, A., 2016, In : International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology. 75, p. 104-111 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Alzheimer Disease
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Wnt Receptors
Amyloid beta-Peptides
beta Catenin
25 Citations (Scopus)

Evidence for Lymphatics in the Developing and Adult Human Choroid.

Koina, M. E., Baxter, L., Adamson, S. J., Arfuso, F., Hu, P., Madigan, M. & Chan-Ling, T., Feb 2015, In : Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 56, p. 1310-1327 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-3
Transmission Electron Microscopy
Blood Vessels
Lymphatic Endothelium