Our Scientists

Professor Sally Dunwoodie

Professor Sally Dunwoodie is an internationally renowned biomedical researcher at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. She has dedicated her life’s work to helping babies born with heart defects, and heads the largest Australian Genome Sequencing Initiative in congenital heart disease.

 Sally is also a world leader in identifying causes of vertebral defects, having discovered six of the seven known genes that cause babies to be born with the problem. 7.9 million babies are born with a serious birth defect around the globe every year. Congenital heart disease claims the lives of 16 newborn babies every month in Australia. Professor Dunwoodie and her team of scientists are dedicated to finding a cure.   

 Professor Dunwoodie’s discoveries have already changed clinical practices and have led to genetics tests being available worldwide. In 2017 Professor Dunwoodie will reveal a blockbuster breakthrough that is expected to prevent miscarriages and multiple types of birth defects, in the most significant discovery in pregnancy research this century. The breakthrough from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute is believed to be among Australia’s greatest ever medical revelations.

 Professor Dunwoodie also established and leads the Chain Reaction Program in Congenital Heart Disease which, aims to discover the genetic and environmental causes of heart defects family by family, with the promise that genetic diagnosis of birth defects will become routine.

 Sally is a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of NSW. She received her Bachelor of Science (Hons) in 1986 from the University of Sydney, before completing her PhD on the genetic control of muscle development at the Children’s Medical Research institute. Professor Dunwoodie has been a faculty member at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute since 2000.   

 With women filling just 10-15 percent of senior roles in science, Professor Dunwoodie is also an inspiring mentor for young female scientists.

Embryology Laboratory

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