Dr Maggie Lucy Kalev



I am a medical academic trained in New Zealand (since 1995), South Africa (1991-1994) and Poland (prior to 1991). My medical specialisation is in laboratory haematology with a Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia gained in 2000. I first joined the University of Auckland in 1999 when I undertook a PhD into the mechanisms of leukaemogenesis, completing it in 2003. I then continued in a post-doctoral position until 2008 learning genetic modification and gene therapy approaches. In 2009, I was appointed to a position of Senior Lecturer in Cancer Biology and returned to haematological science. My current University position includes 0.2 FTE as a Consultant Haematopathologist at Auckland City Hospital, where my expertise is in blood cancer diagnosis. Since my appointment at the University of Auckland in 2009, I have established and now lead an independent research group that focuses on blood and cancer biology.

Academic qualifications:

  • 2003              PhD in Molecular Medicine, University of Auckland
  • 2000              FRCPA in Haematology, Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
  • 1990              MBChB Medicine and Surgery, Pomeranian Medical School (Pomorska  Akademia Medyczna), Szczecin, Poland

Professional positions held:

  • 2009-present  Senior Lecturer, Head of Research Group, Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology, University of Auckland (0.8 FTE)
  • 2005-present  Consultant Haematologist, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Haematology Laboratory, Auckland City Hospital (0.2 FTE)
  • 2000-2008      Consultant Haematologist, contract sessions, Diagnostic MedLab, Auckland
  • 2004-2008      Research Fellow, Functional Genomics and Translational Neuroscience Laboratory, University of Auckland
  • 1999-2003      PhD Fellowship, Developmental Genetics and Leukaemia Laboratory, University of Auckland
  • 1996-1998      Registrar in Haematology, Auckland City and Middlemore Hospitals, New Zealand Blood Service
  • 1993-1994      Registrar in Haematology (Haematology Laboratory, Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Haematology Ward and Outpatients), Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1991-1994      Senior House Officer in Haematology and Cardiology (Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Haematology Outpatients, Intensive Coronary Care Unit and Haematology Laboratory), Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1990-1991     Resident in Cardiology, Intensive Care Unit, Collegium Medicum of the Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland
  • 1989-1990     Intern, Military Hospital, Cracow, Poland

Research | Current

Research group: Blood and Cancer Biology Laboratory.

Research interests:

  • Laboratory and molecular haematology
  • Leukaemia and cancer biology
  • Megakaryocytes and platelets
  • Calcium signalling
  • Experimental therapeutic targets
  • Gene editing 

Research projects:

1. Can we find novel ways to regulate platelet production?

Platelets are critical for normal blood clotting and tissue repair. Platelets are produced by precursor cells called megakaryocytes located in the adult bone marrow. The process of platelet production remains incompletely understood. This project examines mechanisms that regulate megakaryocyte maturation and platelet production. We work with the bioengineering team to develop and test a bioreactor device in which to examine the dynamics or proplatelet formation and platelet release. Human and mouse haematopoietic precursors are tested in culture, and a transgenic mouse model is used to examine aspects of platelet production in vivo. Our focus is on signals that trigger proplatelet formation and platelet release into bone marrow blood vessels. Our overriding aim is to identify novel ways to correct abnormal platelet counts in patients, and to help enhance platelet production ex vivo for transfusion purposes and tissue repair.


2. What drives megakaryocytic cancers?

Megakaryocytic cancers include acute megakaryoblastic leukaemia and certain chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms (essential thrombocytosis and primary myelofibrosis). The pathogenesis of these cancers remains incompletely elucidated and patients outcomes are often poor. This research is a part of the MegBio project https://megbio.blogs.auckland.ac.nz/ developed by our team. We examine patient samples using approaches that include genome and transcriptome testing to uncover novel pathogenic mechanisms that drive disease. Our overriding aim is to identify new targets for the treatment of patients with megakaryocytic cancers.


Current grants as PI:

2021-2023    Cancer Research Trust; project grant: Unfolded protein response in myeloproliferative neoplasms; $79,715.

2019-2022    Auckland Medical Research Foundation; project grant: Unfolded protein response in myeloproliferative neoplasms; $159,999.

2019-2022    Bone Marrow Cancer Trust (Christchurch); project grant: The role of mutated calreticulin in myeloproliferative neoplasms; $191,645.

2016-2022   Funding from donations by Anne, Victoria and David Norman.

Teaching | Current

  • MEDSCI 302 Cancer Biology: Cancer Hallmarks, Cancer Epidemiology, Tumour Microenvironment, Tumour Invasion and Metastasis, Tumour Angiogenesis, Impact of Oncogenes and Tumour Suppressors on Cancer Development and Progression - Clinical Examples, Integration of Morphology, Immunophenotyping and Genetics in Cancer Diagnosis and Research. Course Director.
  • MEDSCI 713 Principles of Cancer Therapy: Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Cellular Therapies, Modulation of Tumour Microenvironment. Course Coordinator and Director during 2009-2020.
  • MEDSCI 714 Advanced Cancer Biology: Lymphoma Biology, Leukaemia Biology. Course Coordinator and Director during 2009-2015.
  • Contributes to other MEDSCI and MBChB teaching from stage 2 to 5 (2000-2015).

Postgraduate supervision

PhD Students:

  • 2019-present      Mifra Faiz (University of Otago); advisor. Ongoing.
  • 2018-present      Jixia Li; main supervisor. Ongoing.
  • 2015-present      James Hearn; main supervisor. Completed.
  • 2015-2018          Sarvenaz Taghawi; co-supervisor. Completed.
  • 2012-2016          Tania Kamal; main supervisor. Completed.
  • 2013-2016          Stacey D'mello; main supervisor. Completed.
  • 2012-2016          Alexander Trevarton; advisor. Completed.
  • 2010-2015          Thomas Chen; co-supervisor. Completed.

Masters Students:

  • 2018     Leandro Ladvanszky; main supervisor. Completed.
  • 2018     Ahmed Adam; main supervisor. Completed - First Class.
  • 2015     Yohanes Nursalim; main supervisor. Completed - First Class.
  • 2013     James Hearn; main supervisor. Completed - First Class.
  • 2012     Young-Eun Park; main supervisor. Completed - First Class.
  • 2012     Sugandha Chugh; main supervisor. Completed - Second Class.
  • 2011     Peng (Paul) Sun; main supervisor. Completed - First Class.
  • 2010     Thomas Chen; main supervisor. Completed - First Class.
  • 2009     Srividya Arunachalam; main supervisor.

Honours Students:   

  • 2006     Supinya Dejnoprat; main supervisor. Completed; First Class.
  • 2005     Alexander Trevarton; main supervisor. Completed; First Class

Summer Students:

  • 2020     Chris Varghese; main supervisor
  • 2019     Valery Yizhuo Liu; main supervisor
  • 2019     Chris Varghese; main supervisor
  • 2017     Ahmed Adam; main supervisor.
  • 2015     Filip Nikolic; main supervisor
  • 2015     Alyona Oryshchuk; main supervisor.
  • 2013     James Hearn; main supervisor
  • 2012     Rushi Penumarthy; main supervisor.
  • 2011     Caroline Kang; main supervisor.
  • 2011     Rushi Penumarthy; main supervisor.
  • 2008     Acrane Li; main supervisor.
  • 2007     Vincent Chong; main supervisor. Report highly commended by the University of Auckland Judging Panel.
  • 2007     Farrah Rodrigues; main supervisor.
  • 2006     Isuru Dilshan; main supervisor.
  • 2005     Kathryn Goldstone; main supervisor. Report highly commended by the University of Auckland Judging Panel.
  • 2004     Alexander Trevarton; main supervisor.
  • 2003     Anika Lam; main supervisor.


2019    Invited research visit at the University of Zurich
2017    Invited research visit at the University of Zurich
2016    Invited to the steering group for the International Working Group into Peripheral Glutamate Signalling 

2012    Selected into Women in Leadership Programme, University of Auckland
2010    PJ Smith New Zealand Freemasons Travelling Fellowship to the University of Sydney
2010    Visiting Research Fellow, University of Sydney, Australia
2009    McBeath Child Cancer Award, School of Medicine Foundation, University of Auckland
2009    Selected into the Forum of Academic Leaders, University of Auckland
2003    Best Doctoral Thesis Award, University of Auckland
1999    Registrar in Research Award, Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
1998    Ruth Spencer Medical Research Fellowship, Auckland Medical Research Foundation
1997    Neil Prentice Memorial Prize for the Top Candidate in Pathological Sciences Examination in Australasia
1989    Gold Medal: Best Medical Graduate, Pomeranian Medical School, Poland
1989    Scholarship of the Polish Foundation Talent-Promotion-Progress, Ministry of Health, Poland


  • Leads an independent research group into blood and cancer biology
  • Works as a specialist haematologist in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, LabPlus Haematology, Auckland City Hospital.
  • Directs teaching into cancer biology and cancer therapy: MedSci 302 (Cancer Biology; 2009-present), MedSci 713 (Principles of Cancer Therapy; 2009-present) and MedSci 714 (Advanced Cancer Biology - 2009-2015)
  • Teaches cancer biology, experimental cancer therapy and clinical haematology in MedSci and MBChB courses

Areas of expertise

  • laboratory haematology
  • molecular haematology
  • leukaemia biology
  • haematopoiesis
  • megakaryocytes and platelets 
  • cancer biology
  • cancer research

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Committee functions:

  • Faculty Research Development Fund Committee, School of Medical Sciences, Member, 2009-2015; 2018-2019.
  • Co-opted member of the Staff Advisory Committee for the School of Medical Sciences, 2013.

International service to:

  • CureGRIN Foundation (https://curegrin.org/; Toronto, Canada)
  • NCT03247218 clinical trial 
  • Peripheral Glutamate Signalling Interest Group within the European Calcium Society
  • Australasian Leukaemia & Lymphoma Group (ALLG; https://www.allg.org.au/

Professional groups:

2015 – present   Member, New Zealand Laboratory Haematology Working Group
2012 – present   Member, International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH)
2007 – present   Member, American Society of Hematology (ASH)
1998 – present   Member, Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand (HSANZ)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Hearn, J. I., Green, T. N., Chopra, M., Nursalim, Y. N. S., Ladvanszky, L., Knowlton, N., ... Bohlander, S. K. (2020). N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Hypofunction in Meg-01 Cells Reveals a Role for Intracellular Calcium Homeostasis in Balancing Megakaryocytic-Erythroid Differentiation. Thrombosis and haemostasis, 120 (4), 671-686. 10.1055/s-0040-1708483
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Cherie Blenkiron, James Hearn, Taryn Green, Dean Singleton, Nicholas Knowlton, Stefan Bohlander, Raewyn Poulsen, Yohanes Nursalim
  • Chien, N., Petrasich, M., Chan, G., Theakston, E., Ruskova, A., Eaddy, N., ... Browett, P. J. (2019). Early treatment of acute promyelocytic leukaemia is accurately guided by the PML protein localisation pattern: real-life experience from a tertiary New Zealand centre. Pathology, 51 (4), 412-420. 10.1016/j.pathol.2019.01.003
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peter Browett
  • Kalev-Zylinska, M. L., Hearn, J. I., Rong, J., Zhu, M., Munro, J., Cornish, J., ... Poulsen, R. C. (2018). Altered N-methyl D-aspartate receptor subunit expression causes changes to the circadian clock and cell phenotype in osteoarthritic chondrocytes. Osteoarthritis and cartilage, 26 (11), 1518-1530. 10.1016/j.joca.2018.06.015
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46125
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Raewyn Poulsen, James Hearn, Jing Rong, Jacob Munro, Jillian Cornish, Nicola Dalbeth
  • Hanna, M. Z., Kalev-Zylinska, M. L., Jackson, S. R., Royle, G., & Blacklock, H. A. (2018). Distinctive features of polycythaemia vera in New Zealand Polynesians. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131 (1482), 38-45. Related URL.
  • Kamal, T., Green, T. N., Hearn, J. I., Josefsson, E. C., Morel-Kopp, M. C., Ward, C. M., ... Kalev-Zylinska, M. L. (2018). N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor mediated calcium influx supports in vitro differentiation of normal mouse megakaryocytes but proliferation of leukemic cell lines. Research and Practice in Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 2 (1), 125-138. 10.1002/rth2.12068
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: James Hearn, Taryn Green
  • Green, T. N., Hamilton, J. R., Morel-Kopp, M.-C., Zheng, Z., Chen, T.-Y. T., Hearn, J. I., ... Barber, P. A. (2017). Inhibition of NMDA receptor function with an anti-GluN1-S2 antibody impairs human platelet function and thrombosis. Platelets, 28 (8), 799-811. 10.1080/09537104.2017.1280149
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jack Flanagan, Deborah Young, Alan Barber, James Hearn, Taryn Green
  • D’mello SAN, Joseph, W. R., Green, T. N., Leung, E. Y., During, M. J., Finlay, G. J., ... Kalev-Zylinska, M. L. (2016). Selected GRIN2A mutations in melanoma cause oncogenic effects that can be modulated by extracellular glutamate. Cell Calcium, 60 (6), 384-395. 10.1016/j.ceca.2016.09.003
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/31303
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Graeme Finlay, Euphemia Leung, Taryn Green
  • Kamal, T., Green, T. N., Morel-Kopp, M. C., Ward, C. M., McGregor, A. L., McGlashan, S. R., ... During, M. J. (2015). Inhibition of glutamate regulated calcium entry into leukemic megakaryoblasts reduces cell proliferation and supports differentiation. Cellular Signalling, 27 (9), 1860-1872. 10.1016/j.cellsig.2015.05.004
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Stefan Bohlander, Sue McGlashan, Peter Browett, Taryn Green


Contact details

Alternative contact

LabPlus Haematology, Auckland District Health Board

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 502 - Bldg 502
Level 2, Room 201F
New Zealand

Social links

Web links