Section: Overview
Overview
Key publications
Research funding
Supervising & teaching
Career

Key details

Areas of expertise

  • Regenerative medicine & stem cell biology
  • Clinical exercise immunology
  • Pathology & haematology
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Developmental biology

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

About Samy Sakkal

Samy is a multi-award–winning senior lecturer and researcher in the College of Health & Biomedicine.

His research seeks to address the shortage of immunology knowledge and its application in regenerative medicine and exercise physiology. Highlights of Samy's research include the first successful adoptive transfer of mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of experimental colitis. His research team was also the first in the world to demonstrate the impact of exercise on mucosal associated invariant T-lymphocytes. 

Before joining VU, Samy worked for the Australian Stem Cell Centre and Monash University. There he studied macrophage biology in models of kidney and lung disease in addition to developing a functional assay to identify ureteric bud progenitors.

His PhD from Monash University (2010) titled Regenerative Potential of the Female Thymus in Natural and Induced Models of Thymic Involution explored the impact of pregnancy, lactation and corticosteroids on maternal thymus plasticity.

His passion for teaching has been recognised by a $10,000 Australian Award for University Teaching from the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching in 2013 where he received a citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. In 2015 he was recognised by a College of Health & Biomedicine Teaching Excellence Award. His teaching has also been recognised by two Vice Chancellors Awards for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (2013 & 2016) including the peak teaching award & Hoadley Medal in 2016.

 

Qualifications

  • PhD, Monash Immunology & Stem Cell Laboratories, Monash University, Australia, 2010
  • BSc(Hons), Monash University, Australia, 2002
  • Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education, Victoria University, Australia, 2013

Key publications

Year Citation
2017 Hanson, E. D., Sakkal, S., Evans, W. S., Violet, J. A., McConell, G. K., & Hayes, A. (170501). Stress Hormone Response To Acute Aerobic Exercise During Prostate Cancer Treatment Paper presented at MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE (pp. 333-333). LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS.

doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000517783.10050.3e

Year Citation
2019 Hanson, E. D., Danson, E., Evans, W. S., Wood, W. A., Battaglini, C. L., & Sakkal, S. (190201). Exercise Increases Mucosal-associated Invariant T Cell Cytokine Expression but Not Activation or Homing Markers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 51(2), (379-388).

doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001780

2019 Stojanovska, V., Prakash, M., McQuade, R., Fraser, S., Apostolopoulos, V., Sakkal, S., & Nurgali, K. (190101). Oxaliplatin Treatment Alters Systemic Immune Responses. BioMed Research International, 2019

doi: 10.1155/2019/4650695

2018 Devereaux, J., Nurgali, K., Kiatos, D., Sakkal, S., & Apostolopoulos, V. (181101). Effects of platelet-rich plasma and platelet-poor plasma on human dermal fibroblasts. Maturitas, 117 (34-44).

doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2018.09.001

2018 Zhang, S. R., Piepke, M., Chu, H. X., Broughton, B. R., Shim, R., Wong, C. H., Lee, S., Evans, M. A., Vinh, A., & Sakkal, S. (180920). IL-33 modulates inflammatory brain injury but exacerbates systemic immunosuppression following ischemic stroke. JCI insight, 3(18),

doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.121560

2018 Hanson, E. D., Sakkal, S., Evans, W. S., Violet, J. A., Battaglini, C. L., McConell, G. K., & Hayes, A. (180801). Altered stress hormone response following acute exercise during prostate cancer treatment. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 28(8), (1925-1933).

doi: 10.1111/sms.13199

2018 Stojanovska, V., McQuade, R. M., Fraser, S., Prakash, M., Gondalia, S., Stavely, R., Palombo, E., Apostolopoulos, V., Sakkal, S., & Nurgali, K. (180601). Oxaliplatin-induced changes in microbiota, TLR4+ cells and enhanced HMGB1 expression in the murine colon. PLoS ONE, 13(6),

doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0198359

2018 Stavely, R., Fraser, S., Sharma, S., Rahman, A. A., Stojanovska, V., Sakkal, S., Apostolopoulos, V., Bertrand, P., & Nurgali, K. (180423). The Onset and Progression of Chronic Colitis Parallels Increased Mucosal Serotonin Release via Enterochromaffin Cell Hyperplasia and Downregulation of the Serotonin Reuptake Transporter. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, 24(5), (1021-1034).

doi: 10.1093/ibd/izy016

2017 Hanson, E. D., Danson, E., Nguyen-Robertson, C. V., Fyfe, J. J., Stepto, N. K., Bartlett, D. B., & Sakkal, S. (171101). Maximal exercise increases mucosal associated invariant T cell frequency and number in healthy young men. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 117(11), (2159-2169).

doi: 10.1007/s00421-017-3704-z

2017 Robinson, A. M., Rahman, A. A., Miller, S., Stavely, R., Sakkal, S., & Nurgali, K. (170418). The neuroprotective effects of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells are dose-dependent in TNBS colitis. Stem Cell Research and Therapy, 8(1),

doi: 10.1186/s13287-017-0540-3

Research funding for the past 5 years

Funding details for this researcher are currently unavailable.

Supervision of research students at VU

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

Currently supervised research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
1 Masters by Research Associate supervisor

Currently supervised research students at VU

Students & level Role
Masters by Research (1) Associate supervisor

Completed supervision of research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
1 Masters by Research Associate supervisor
2 PhD Associate supervisor

Completed supervision of research students at VU

Students & level Role
Masters by Research (1) Associate supervisor
PhD (2) Associate supervisor

Other supervision of research students

International supervision completion: Eli Danson, Masters of Arts (exercise physiology), University of Northern Carolina

Teaching activities & experience

Samy is an award-winning educator who has taught and coordinated teaching in the discipline areas of Immunology, Pathology & Stem Cell biology since 2011.

In 2018, he was promoted to senior lecturer. He was subsequently appointed as unit coordinator for all second year Pathophysiology units in the Bachelor of Biomedicine & Bachelor of Biomedical Science degrees where he teaches and coordinates the units RBM2530 (Pathophysiology 1) and RBM2540 (Pathophysiology 2).

Samy was responsible for rewriting the entire second-year pathophysiology curriculum for delivery in VU's award-winning block model for first delivery in 2019.

Samy is also the unit coordinator for Immunology (RBM3720) – a role he has had since 2011 – and in 2019 is also the unit coordinator for Reproductive and Developmental Biology (HBM3106).

Key academic roles

Dates Role Department / Organisation
Jan 2018 - present
Senior Lecturer (current ongoing)
Victoria University
Jul 2013 - Dec 2017
Lecturer
Victoria University
Apr 2011 - Jun 2013
Assistant Lecturer
Victoria University
Jan 2010 - Sep 2010
Research officer
Monash Immunology & Stem Cell Biology
Jul 2008 - Jul 2009
Research Officer
Australian Stem Cell Centre
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Dates Role & Department/Organisation
Jan 2018 -
present
Senior Lecturer (current ongoing)
Victoria University
Jul 2013 -
Dec 2017
Lecturer
Victoria University
Apr 2011 -
Jun 2013
Assistant Lecturer
Victoria University
Jan 2010 -
Sep 2010
Research officer
Monash Immunology & Stem Cell Biology
Jul 2008 -
Jul 2009
Research Officer
Australian Stem Cell Centre
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Awards

Year Award
2016

Vice Chancellors Award for Excellence in Learning and teaching - Peak Award - Victoria University

2015

Teaching Excellence Award - College of Health & Biomedicine - Victoria University

2013

Australian Awards for University Teaching, Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning - Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching

2013

Vice Chancellors Award for Excellence in Learning and teaching - Citation - Victoria University

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Invited keynote speeches

Year Title/Description
2015

All the world's a stage: engaging large cohorts in health sciences through the use of drama and narrative

1st Annual Learning & Teaching Symposium, Victoria University (45 minute talk)

2014

Unbiased flow cytometric analysis of platelet aggregation and activation: guidelines for standardisation

Australasian Cytometry Society, Annual meeting, Gold Coast, Australia (30 minute talk)

2014

Differential pedagogical approaches for immunology teaching: engaging undergraduate health cohorts

Australasian Society for Immunology, Annual meeting, Wollongong, Australia

Professional memberships

  • Ordinary Member, Australasian Society for Immunology
  • Ordinary Member, International Society for Stem Cell Research
  • Ordinary Member, Australasian Cytometry Society

Media appearances

02nd March 2019

IVF and advances in stem cell biology - community engagement project

92.3FM 3ZZZ community radio In this interview, the President of the radio station asks Dr Sakkal about IVF and advances in stem cell biology

16th February 2019

The Secrets of The Hunza Tribe - An Immunologist's perspective - community engagement project

92.3FM 3ZZZ community radio In this interview, the President of the radio station asks Dr Sakkal about the secrets of the Hunza tribe, which report lifespan's of over 100 years. Dr Sakkal provides his opinion on why the Hunza people enjoy a long and healthy life