Julie Oliver

Associate Professor and Associate Chair
Biological Sciences
 (414) 229-4317
 Lapham Hall N209


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina, 1994-1999
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Blood Center of SE Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, 1992-1994
  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Pharmacology, 1992
  • MS, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Pharmacology, 1986
  • BS, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 1982

Research Interests

Therapeutic Targeting of Activated Platelets

Our primary research focus is the therapeutic targeting of platelets in thrombotic disease. This work involves the synthesis of gold-coated magnetite nanoparticles; their conjugation with fibrinogen, a protein that will carry them specifically to activated platelets (as opposed to unactivated platelets); and their binding to the activated platelet surface. Nanoparticle-labeled platelets are then exposed to an oscillating magnetic field such as can be found in an MRI, where inductive heating dependent on the presence of magnetic iron oxide produces exquisitely localized platelet membrane damage and subsequent destruction of labeled cells. This novel approach to platelet targeting has applications for treating arterial thrombosis, and has especially high potential in the treatment of thrombotic stroke, for which approximately 95% of all patients receive only supportive, not interventional, care. Even if only a small percentage of those stroke patients would ultimately benefit from this treatment approach, the impact upon our health care system would be tremendous. Our preliminary in vitro data all suggest that our method will be successful, even in an established thrombus in the presence of plasma concentration of fibrinogen. This leaves our lab ready to move on to in vivo experiments in a mouse model of carotid artery thrombosis. We have also begun testing our targeting and inductive heating method in other model systems, such as tumor cells, where a surface marker that distinguishes target cells from normal cells can be exploited.

Assembly and Distribution of Coagulation Complexes on Cell Surfaces

Our expertise in nanoparticle synthesis can be applied to other systems. For example, we are testing whether platelet- or plasma-derived factor V is preferentially incorporated into coagulation complexes on the surface of activated platelets. We identify the proteins using colloidal nanoparticles of different sizes and shapes synthesized by chemical reduction of salts of different electron dense metals. We also use this method to study the expression and distribution of tissue factor, the physiologically relevant initiator of blood coagulation, on freshly isolated blood cells and on cultured cell lines.

Selected Publications

Patowary, Suparna, Alvarez-Curto, Elisa, Xu, Tian-Rui, Holz, Jessica D., Oliver, Julie A., Milligan, Graeme, and Raicu, Valerica. “The Muscarinic M3 Acetylcholine receptor exists as two differently sized complexes at the plasma membrane.” Biochemical Journal 452. (2013): 303-312.
Singh, Deo R., Mohammad, Mohammad M., Patowary, Suparna, Stoneman, Michael, Oliver, Julie A., Movileanu, Liviu, and Raicu, Valerica. “Determination of the quaternary structure of a bacterial ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter in living cells.” Integrative Biology, The Royal Society of Chemistry 5.2 (2013): 312-323.
Krystofiak, E., Mattson, E., Hirschmugl, Carol J., Gajdardziska-Josifovska, Marija, and Oliver, Julie A. “Multiple Morphologies of Gold-Magnetite Heterostructure Nanoparticles are Effectively Functionalized with Protein for Cell Targeting.” Microscopy and Microanalysis 19. (2013): 821-834.
Krystofiak, E. S., Matson, V. Z., Steeber, D. A., and Oliver, Julie A. “Elimination of tumor cells using folate receptor targeting by antibody-conjugated, gold-coated magnetite nanoparticles in a murine breast cancer model.” J. Nanomater. 431012. (2012).
Meyer, Daryl M., Oliver, Julie A., and Albrecht, Ralph M. “Colloidal palladium particles of different shapes for electron microscopy labeling.” Microscopy and Microanalysis 16. (2010): 33-42.
Oliver, Julie A., Monroe, D. M., Church, F. C., Roberts, H., and Hoffman, M. “Activated protein C cleaves factor Va more efficiently on endothelium than on platelet surfaces.” Blood 100. (2002): 745-756.
Oliver, Julie A., Monroe, D. M., Roberts, H. R., and Hoffman, M. “Thrombin activates factor XI on activated platelets in the absence of factor XII, Arterioscler.” Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 19. (1999): 170-177.
Oliver, Julie A., and Albrecht, R. M. “Colloidal gold labelling of fibrinogen receptors in epinephrine- and ADP-activated platelet suspensions.” Scanning Microsc. 1. (1987): 745-756.