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Congratulations to Dr Lining (Arnold) Ju, who was awarded the 2019 Ministerial Award for Rising Stars in Cardiovascular Research.

This prestigious award recognises early to mid-career researchers who have demonstrated excellence in research achievement and also the potential to become a future leader in their field.

The award was announced by The Hon Brad Hazzard MP, Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research at this year’s NSW Cardiovascular Research Network (CVRN) Showcase and Awards Ceremony.

“I am truly grateful to the Heart Research Institute, NSW CVRN and The Hon Brad Hazzard for their commitment to saving lives from heart disease,” Dr Ju says. “This award is a reminder of where I came from and why I chose this career. Over the last five years, three family members have passed away due to heart attack or stroke. As a bioengineer, it is my great pleasure to contribute my two cents to cardiovascular research. If there is even just a tiny part of my work that can contribute to helping our families and communities, then that would be the fulfilment of my career.”

As a member of the Thrombosis Group at HRI, Dr Ju seeks to better diagnose, treat, control and cure diseases like heart disease by analysing the mechanical forces behind blood flow to understand how this affects our health.

It was my father’s heart attack while I was completing my PhD that convinced me I should work on solving real-world problems,” says Dr Ju, who pioneered development of a state-of-the-art biomechanical nanotool called Biomembrane Force Probe.

Using this innovative technology, Dr Ju has discovered for the first time that the mechanical forces generated by disturbed blood flow can rapidly trigger blood clotting.

“We have also demonstrated that targeting this mechanism can efficiently prevent disease-forming clots, particularly for people with diabetes who cannot be treated by existing anti-clotting drugs. Considering that diabetes represents the biggest challenge confronting the Australian healthcare system, this discovery will protect those that are most vulnerable to heart diseases.”

Dr Ju was recently awarded an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship and is former recipient of a National Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. He is also the first bioengineer to receive the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ)-Bayer Young Investigator Grant and Australian Vascular Biology Society (AVBS) Achievement Award.

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