The Cardiac Physiology and Transplantation Division, headed by Professor Michael Feneley, is made up of four groups that take diverse and complementary approaches to heart disease, heart failure and transplantation.
Professor Michael Feneley also leads the Cardiovascular Mechanics Laboratory, which investigates the contractile properties of the heart and how these properties change in different disease states.
The Heart Transplantation Laboratory, headed by Professor Peter Macdonald, is focused on the preservation of donor organs and clinical trials of new therapies to improve patient outcomes after heart transplantation. Prof Macdonald is also investigating new treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension.
The Pulmonary Hypertension Laboratory is run by Professor Anne Keogh, who is a Senior Heart Transplant Cardiologist at St Vincent’s Hospital. Prof Keogh’s research program at the Victor Chang Institute focuses on pulmonary arterial hypertension, heart transplantation, immunosuppression and left heart failure clinical trials.
The Vascular-Ventricular Interactions Laboratory, headed by Professor Michael O’Rourke, has been focusing on how arterial stiffening adversely effects left ventricular load and function upstream and small vessel structure and function downstream.
The Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Division, headed by Professor Richard Harvey, aims to understand the molecular basis of inherited birth defects, the identification and characterisation of adult cardiac stem cells and the genetic pathways controlling cardiac regeneration.
The groups in this division use both mouse and zebrafish as model genetic systems as well as collaborating with clinicians to analyse inherited birth defects in humans. The division consists of three laboratories; The heart development and adult cardiac stem cell laboratory headed by Professor Richard Harvey, the Embryology laboratory headed by Professor Sally Dunwoodie and the Cardiac Regeneration Laboratory headed by Dr Kazu Kikuchi.
The Molecular Cardiology and Biophysics Division, headed by Professor Robert Graham, aims to understand both the molecular signaling pathways that operate within the heart and the molecular basis of inherited genetic heart diseases including cardiomyopathies and arrhythmia syndromes.
The division consists of five laboratories including the Receptor Signaling Laboratory headed by Professor Robert Graham, the Inherited Heart Diseases Laboratory headed by Professor Diane Fatkin, the Mechanobiology Laboratory headed by Professor Boris Martinac, the Mark Cowley Lidwill Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory headed by Professor Jamie Vandenberg and the Computational Cardiology Laboratory headed by Dr Adam Hill. Based in Western Australia, Professor Livia Hool is the head of the Cardiovascular Electrophysiology Laboratory.
The aim of the Vascular Biology Program is to better understand the process called atherosclerosis, or the hardening of blood vessels. Atherosclerosis is the single biggest cause of heart attacks and stroke, and thus death, in Australia. This program studies the contribution of oxidative processes to atherosclerosis, and how the disease can be inhibited. There is currently one laboratory in the Vascular Biology Division, headed by Professor Roland Stocker, who joined the Institute at the end of 2012.
The Molecular, Structural and Computational Biology Division seeks to understand the function of the heart in health and disease at the molecular level, and to understand the mechanisms of gene regulation.
There are three groups in this division, headed by Dr Daniela Stock, Associate Professor Catherine Suter and Dr Joshua Ho. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of proteins that are central to the development, maintenance and proper functioning of our hearts, as well as the processes of gene expression, is crucial for diagnosis, drug design and treatment of disease.
The Structural Biology Laboratory is headed by Dr Daniela Stock, the Epigenetics Laboratory is headed by Associate Professor Catherine Suter, and the Bioinformatics and Systems Medicine Laboratory is headed by Dr Joshua Ho alongside Group Leader, Dr Eleni Giannoulatou. After seven years at the Victor Chang Institute Dr Lawrence Lee is continuing his pioneering research into bionanotechnology at UNSW. He is now a valued member of our Honorary Faculty.
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