The Heart Research Institute's research team is made up of medical researchers and clinicians who work tirelessly on the early detection, prevention and reversal of heart disease. The Heart Research Institute's Senior Research Group Leaders are:
Group Leader: Professor David Celermajer MBBS MSc PhD DSc FAHA FRACP FAA
David Celermajer has been Group Leader of the Clinical Research Group since 1994 and in 2003 was appointed as Clinical Director of The Heart Research Institute. He sits on the National Heart Foundation of Australia’s Cardiovascular Health Advisory Committee and is currently also a Board Member of the Menzies School of Health Research in the Northern Territory. He is currently Scandrett Professor of Cardiology at The University of Sydney and Director of Echocardiography in the Cardiology Department at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, as well as Staff Cardiologist at the Children’s Hospital in Westmead. Since 2006 he has been a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.
Group Leader (and Director): Professor Michael Davies BSc DPhil CCHEM FRACI
Michael Davies is the Director of The Heart Research Institute and has led the Free Radical Groupsince 1995. In 1996 he was awarded a QEII Fellowship, in 2000 a Senior Fellowship, and in 2009 a Professorial Fellowship of the Australian Research Council (ARC). In 2004 he was appointed as a conjoint professor at The University of Sydney and a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute.
Group Leader: Dr Alison Heather BSc PhD
Alison Heather oversees the Gene Regulation Group. She obtained her PhD in molecular microbiology at The University of Sydney and went on to complete a Post-Doctoral position in the Department of Endocrinology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where she worked on kidney complications in diabetes. In 1999 she was awarded the Endocrinology and Diabetes Foundation Fellowship, The University of Sydney during which she developed a strong interest in cardiovascular disease. In August 2009 she began a new role at the University of Technology, Sydney as a Senior Lecturer. She continues to lead the Gene Regulation Group’s research projects.
Group Leader: Associate Professor Clare Hawkins BSc DPhil
Clare Hawkins is the leader of the Inflammation Group, which was created in February 2007. She gained her PhD in Chemistry at the University of York, England, before taking up a postdoctoral position at The Heart Research Institute in the Free Radical Group. Her ability to conduct high quality research was recognised by the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1998 by the award of the Chartered Chemist qualification. She began her career as an independent researcher in 2003 by gaining an NHMRC R. Douglas Wright Biomedical Fellowship and in 2008 was awarded a prestigious National Heart Foundation of Australia Career Development Fellowship.
Group Leader: Professor Kerry-Anne Rye BSc PhD
Kerry-Anne Rye completed her PhD at Flinders University of South Australia. In 2003 she was appointed group leader of the Lipid Research Group and in 2005 became Associate Director and Senior Principle Research Fellow at The Heart Research Institute. In 2007 she was appointed as conjoint professor at The University of Sydney. Over the past 16 years Professor Rye has pioneered the use of unique model systems for studying the metabolism and anti-inflammatory properties of high-density lipoproteins.
Group Leader:Associate Professor Jeffrey Cohn BSc PhD
Jeffrey Cohn is the leader of the Nutrition and Metabolism Group and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Sydney. The Group is composed of Sally Tandy PhD, research associate and two PhD students, Alvin Kamili and Rosanna Chung
Group Leader: Associate Professor Martin Ng MBBS, PhD FRACP
Martin Ng is the leader of the Translational Research Group. The group’s overarching purpose is to “translate” scientific discoveries at the bench into exciting new treatments for cardiovascular disease. Martin Ng is also an Interventional Cardiologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital where he performs procedures to unblock the arteries of patients with coronary heart disease. Much of his research activity spans the bench at The Heart Research Institute (HRI) to the bedside at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, creating an immensely exciting synergy for the development of new therapies.
Group Leader: Professor Annemarie Hennessy MBBS PhD FRACP
Annemarie Hennessy completed her doctorate of medicine in 1985 and became a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Physicians in 1992. She completed her PhD at The University of Sydney in 1997. She is the Foundation Chair of Medicine at the University of Western Sydney. She was the Director of the Hypertension in Pregnancy Service at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and is actively involved in clinical and laboratory research into the causes of high blood pressure.
Group Leader: Dr Christina Bursill BSc PhD
Christina Bursill was recently appointed as the Immunobiology Unit Leader. Prior to this she completed her PhD at Adelaide University in lipid metabolism before heading off to Oxford University for five years to undergo a postdoctoral post in the Departments of Cardiovascular Medicine and Pathology. Christina returned to Australia four years ago to work with Professors Kerry-Anne Rye and Philip Barter at the HRI. During this time she has investigated the effects of High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL) on chemokine and chemokine receptor expression in mouse models and also in vitro in cell types involved in atherosclerosis such as macrophages, endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells. In collaboration with the Translational Research Group, headed by A/Prof Martin Ng, Christina also looks at the ability of HDL to regulate the formation of new blood vessels, a process called angiogenesis.
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