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Dr Ling Gao

Dr Ling Gao is a Senior Staff Scientist at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute where she joined in early 2003 as a Post Doctoral Scientist in the Cardiac Transplantation Laboratory, headed by Professor Peter Macdonald. Her research work focuses on optimisation of donor heart preservation, aiming to: 1) improve patients outcomes post heart transplantation and, 2) increase safe use of marginal criteria donor hearts.

Dr Gao’s passion in medical research began with her Masters research degree during 1985 -1988. She investigated the treatment effects of a traditional Chinese medicine, panax pseudo-ginseng, for ischemia reperfusion injury in a rabbit model of superior mesenteric artery occlusion (SMAO). She completed a PhD degree in 2002 at the University of Sydney on the application of pharmacokinetic / pharmacodynamic studies of muscle relaxant rocuronium during liver transplantation surgery as a real time predictor of graft liver function.

Dr Gao’s current research at the Victor Chang Insitute mainly involves the use of isolated working rat heart and porcine heart transplantation models to identify pharmaceutical agents that enhance preservation of donor hearts when added to current storage solutions.

She is an expert in pharmacological studies using isolated perfused rat heart and is experienced in the management of large animal anesthesia for pre-clinical research of cardiovascular diseases. During the last 15 years, Dr Gao has made significant contributions to the identification of a number of cardioprotective agents, which have been used as supplements to the preservation solution in clinical heart transplantations at  St Vincents Hospital in Sydney.

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