Shanahan,Cathy new

International Keynote Speaker

Professor Cathy Shanahan, King's College London, UK

Professor Shanahan was educated in Australia and obtained a PhD in Genetics from the University of Adelaide. She began research in the field of cardiovascular medicine in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Cambridge UK.  From 1995-2004 she was a British Heart Foundation Lecturer and in 2005 became a BHF Senior Fellow in the Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge.  In 2007 she left Cambridge to take up the Chair of Cellular Signalling in the School of Cardiovascular Medicine and Sciences at King’s College London and is currently Theme Lead for Vascular Biology.

Professor Shanahan’s work focuses on mechanisms of vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) dysfunction in ageing and disease and she performed pioneering work in the area of vascular calcification. She has published over 150 articles, reviews and book chapters.

She is a member of the British Atherosclerosis Society, British Society of Cardiovascular Research, European Vascular Biology Organisation and North America Vascular Biology Organisation and serves on the Editorial Boards of Circulation Research and Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.  She plays an active role in mentoring and improving participation and work experience of women in science and is Vice-Dean of Development, Diversity and Inclusion for the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine.


Clinical Keynote Speaker

Professor Vlado Perkovic, Executive Director, The George Institute, Australia

Vlado Perkovic is Executive Director of The George Institute, Australia, Scientia Professor with the Faculty of Medicine at UNSW Sydney, and a Staff Specialist in Nephrology at the Royal North Shore Hospital. His research focus is in clinical trials and epidemiology, in particular in preventing the progression of kidney disease and its complications. He leads several international clinical trials, and has been involved in developing Australian and global treatment guidelines. He has played a central role in the development of an affordable dialysis system, which was a Eureka Prize finalist in 2017.

Vlado is the President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institute and a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Committee on Research Translation, and is on the Board of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance. He is Chair of the International Society of Nephrology Advancing Clinical Trials (ISN-ACT) group; and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. He serves on the Editorial Boards of a number of leading specialist and general journals, including the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Circulation, and the New England Journal of Medicine

Invited speakers - Annual Scientific Meeting


Professor Jonathan Golledge, James Cook University, QLD

Professor Jonathan Golledge is Head of the Queensland Research Centre for Peripheral Vascular Disease and its pre-clinical arm The Vascular Biology Unit (VBU) at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University. Professor Golledge joined JCU in 2002 and established the Vascular Biology Unit with the aim of carrying out research intended to be translated into improved management of aortic aneurysm and other peripheral vascular conditions. We continue to seek high quality students and researchers to join our group. Trained as a vascular specialist, Professor Golledge took 2 years out of specialist training to obtain experience in research techniques as part of a Cambridge MChir (Doctoral equivalent), UK. His research commitment is illustrated by a large number of presentations at International and National meetings and publications in peer-reviewed journals, including a large number in top specialised journals.


Karin Jandeleit-Dahm to be supplied



Dr Renjing Liu

Dr Liu received her PhD at the University of Sydney. She undertook two postdoctoral traineeships at Yale University - the first at the Yale Stem Cell Center to study iPSC with one of the pioneers in the field; and the second at the Yale Cardiovascular Research Center where she was the first to describe the role of DNA demethylation in cardiovascular diseases and was awarded the prestigious Yale Brown-Coxe Fellowship. She returned to Sydney in late 2013 as the Inaugural David Richmond Fellow to head the Agnes Ginges Laboratory for Diseases of the Aorta at the Centenary Institute. The lab's main focus is to understand epigenetic regulation in cardiovascular diseases. Liu is the past recipient of the University of Sydney Early Career Fellowship as well as the Ramaciotti Biomedical Award. She currently holds a Future Leader Fellowship from the Heart Foundation.



Associate Professor Andrew Murphy, Baker Institute, VIC

Associate Professor Andrew Murphy is NHMRC Career Development Fellow and National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow, recipient of a CSL Centenary Award. He is head of the Haematopoiesis and Leukocyte Biology laboratory and head of the Centre for Immunometabolism at the Baker Heart Research Institute. He also holds an adjunct appointment at Monash University in the Department of Immunology. Andrew completed is PhD in 2008 in Prof Jaye Chin-Dusting’s laboratory at the Baker and postdoc’d in Prof. Alan Tall’s group at Columbia University where he was an American Heart Association Fellow. In 2013 he returned to Australia to begin his own group. His work largely focuses on how inflammatory diseases associated with cardiovascular disease, including diabetes, obesity and rheumatoid arthritis cause the overproduction of innate immune cells (monocytes, neutrophils and platelets) and how this contributes to atherogenesis or impaired lesion regression.



Dr. Adele Richart, Baker Institute

Dr Adele Richart completed her Masters (Hons) in 2009 at the University Paris-Diderot (France) and her PhD in the Department of Biology and Pharmacology of Blood Vessels in 2013 at University Paris-Descartes (France). Her major research work, funded by a competitive national scholarship, examined the role of progenitor cells in remodelling and post-ischemic neovascularisation in peripheral artery disease and myocardial infarction.

In 2014, Dr Richart was awarded a very competitive French fellowship to move to Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, to join Professor Bronwyn Kingwell’s highly successful research program in the Metabolic and Vascular Physiology Laboratory. Her current research aims to support cardiac recovery and prevent progression to heart failure after an acute coronary syndrome. Her work demonstrates that high-density lipoprotein (HDL, ‘good cholesterol’) given just after a myocardial infarction improves the functional recovery of the heart by limiting the deleterious inflammatory response and development of fibrosis. These data support the use of infusible HDL preparations for management of acute coronary syndromes in the setting of primary percutaneous interventions.

Invited speakers - Clinical Masterclass


A/Prof. Leon Adams, University of WA

Leon Adams (MBBS, FRACP, PhD) is an Associate Professor in the Medical School of the University of Western Australia and Consultant Hepatologist in the Liver Transplant Unit at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. A/Prof Adams has spent fellowships at Mayo Clinic and the University of California, San Diego. His research interests focus on translational, clinical and epidemiological aspects of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in which he has published over 145 articles and regularly obtained NHMRC funding.  He is a member of the editorial boards of Hepatology, Hepatology Communications and is Associate Editor of the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Open. He has served on numerous committee’s and faculties of the Australian Liver Association, the Gastroenterology Society of Australia, and the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease.



A/Prof. John Atherton, Royal Melbourne Hospital

John Atherton is Director of Cardiology (Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital), Associate Professor (University of Queensland), Adjunct Professor (Queensland University of Technology), Honorary Fellow (University of Melbourne) and Pre-eminent Staff Specialist (Queensland Health). He sat on the Board of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) (2009-2016) and chaired the CSANZ Professional Ethics Standards Committee, the CSANZ Heart Failure Council and the Asia-Pacific Acute Decompensated Heart Failure Registry SAC.

Dr Atherton is an appointed member of the Australian Government Medical Services Advisory Committee (2003-2018) and sits on the Heart Foundation Research Committee. He currently chairs the Working Group for the National Heart Foundation of Australia and CSANZ Heart Failure guidelines and was an official content reviewer for the 2016 European Society of Cardiology Heart Failure guidelines. He chairs the Queensland Heart Failure Reporting Outcomes (HERO) registry and co-chairs the Statewide Heart Failure Service Steering Committee. Dr Atherton’s research interests include heart failure epidemiology, investigating methods to detect presymptomatic heart disease, and cardiac genetics. He is collaborating with Prof Sanjoy Paul (University of Melbourne and Director Melbourne Epicentre, The Royal Melbourne Hospital) to characterise the prevalence and predictors of under- and over-treatment in diabetes mellitus and determine the association between old and new anti-diabetes drugs and the risk of heart failure.


Professor Robyn Clark

Prof Robyn Clark is a senior clinician and mid-career researcher; she holds qualifications as a Registered Nurse, Registered Midwife and Critical Care Nurse, a Master’s degree in Education and a PhD. Prof Clark is currently a Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, Fellow of the American Heart Association and Life Member of the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses.

Prof Clark was the inaugural recipient of a National Institute of Clinical Studies (NICS-NHMRC) PhD scholarship supported by the National Heart Foundation for researching telemonitored heart failure management in rural and remote Australia She completed a NHMRC Australian Training Fellowship at the Queensland University of Technology in 2013 after which she commenced her appointment at Flinders University in as Prof of Acute Care and Cardiovascular Research.

Prof Clark currently holds adjunct appointments at the University of South Australia, Queensland University of Technology and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). Prof Robyn Clark is internationally-recognized for her research into the most effective management of patients with heart failure and cardiovascular disease.

Prof Clark’s research program can be summarized under the overall theme of increasing ACCESS to evidence-based care for underserviced and disadvantaged populations. Prof Clark’s program of research has three streams:  stream one focuses upon improving access the heart failure and cardiovascular disease services for patients and communities especially in rural and remote Australia. This suite of research is recognized for its innovative methods, particularly its emphasis on geographical epidemiological analysis using GIS.

The second stream involves the use of information technology to bridge the gap between cardiac specialist centers and populations with limited access to cardiology services or to patients with low health literacy. This suite of research includes the evaluation of telehealth, apps and avatars as tools to deliver education and secondary interventions for heart failure and cardiac rehabilitation.

The third theme is centred on improving access for patients with cardiotoxicity after cancer treatment to appropriate cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention. Prof Clark has a strong background in epidemiology and linked data analysis and in the last 4 years has been working with cancer researchers in investigate the epidemiology and patient outcome of heart failure after cancer treatment.

All of these streams underpin a cohesive research strategy that aims to build capacity in cardiovascular care supported by technology outside of metropolitan hospitals.



Professor Peter Clifton, CSIRO

Prof. Clifton is a general physician specialising in endocrinology/dyslipidaemia. He has been Head of the Clinical Research Unit at CSIRO Health Sciences and Nutrition since 1994, and been theme leader for Obesity and Health since 2004. He is now responsible for all food and health related research in both CSIRO Human Nutrition and Food Science Australia. Prof. Clifton has developed strategies to modify cardiovascular risk, and in recent years broadened the focus to the control of obesity and obesity-related conditions, including management of hyperglycaemia and disordered lipids in diabetic and insulin-resistant subjects, and strategies to modify macronutrient intake in order to optimise weight loss in the obese.  Prof. Clifton is responsible for the management of a specialised support team comprising research dietitians, registered nurses and clinical trial managers, which plans and coordinates volunteer studies, conducts pre-launch product testing and efficacy trials, offers consultancy services, provides research advice and literature reviews, and conducts education and information programs.



Professor Gemma Figtree, University of Sydney 

Gemma Figtree is a Professor in Medicine at the University of Sydney. She co-leads the Cardiovascular Theme for Sydney Health Partners, a NHMRC Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre and is the Chair of the University of Sydney’s multi-disciplinary Cardiovascular Initiative. Gemma completed her DPhil at Oxford University in 2002 supported by a Rhodes Scholarship making fundamental discoveries regarding estrogen’s actions in the cardiovascular system. She is committed to improving the care for heart attack patients- using her knowledge of molecular and cellular biology to develop methods of identifying those at highest risk of adverse outcome, and discovering novel therapies to prevent and treat events, inspired by her clinical work as an interventional cardiologist. She has dedicated herself throughout her career to unravelling key differences in susceptibility and response to heart attack in women, with studies extending from the bench to clinical trials. Discoveries in her Laboratory have been published in leading journals Circulation, European Heart Journal, and FRBM, with > 130 publications. GF is a principal investigator on grants >$7 mill. Having recently completed a co-funded NHMRC CDF and Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship, she has been awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Excellence Award for Top Ranked Practitioner Fellow (Australia), commencing in 2018. She is committed to the advancement of her field and serves as a member of the Editorial Board of leading international cardiovascular journals Circulation and Cardiovascular Research, as well as being a founding editorial board member for Redox Biology, and an Associate Editor for Heart, Lung and Circulation. Her research and clinical perspective and leadership are recognised by her membership of the Scientific Board of Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (responsible for International Relations), and her appointment to the Expert Advisory Panel for NHMRC Structural Review of Grants Program (2016-17), and as well as the Clinical Issues Committee of the Heart Foundation. She is committed to the promotion and advocacy of cardiovascular research, working with the ACvA and the Federal government to secure strategic funding for the Mission for Cardiovascular Health. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and serves/has served as a non-executive Director on multiple community Boards.



A/Prof. Mike Inouye, Baker Institute

Mike grew up in the Seattle area before beginning undergraduate study in 1999 at the University of Washington, where he later graduated with BSc's in biochemistry and economics. During this time he was also introduced to computational genomics as the initial draft Human Genome was being finished, spending several years doing research in gene finding and protein structure prediction. He continued studying biochemistry as a graduate student at UCLA, but returned to genomics in 2005 when he moved to the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK. While at Sanger, Mike completed his PhD with Prof Leena Peltonen and Prof Gert-Jan van Ommen and was heavily involved in the first wave of genome-wide association studies, especially the statistical methods thereof. He also led large-scale studies to integrate multi-omic data, and identified a gene co-expression network related to the innate immune response and associated with diverse metabolic traits. In 2010, Mike moved to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne on an NHMRC postdoctoral fellowship to continue applying genomic expertise to problems in immunology.

In 2012, he joined the faculty at the University of Melbourne where he later began an NHMRC – Heart Foundation Career Development Fellowship, was awarded the Heart Foundation's Paul Korner Innovation Award, and co-founded the UoM Centre for Systems Genomics. In 2017, Mike was recruited to the Baker Institute to establish the Systems Genomics Laboratory and he maintains close links with the University of Melbourne and the University of Cambridge (UK).



Professor Alicia Jenkins







Dr. Jiawen Li , Adelaide Medical School

Dr. Jiawen Li received her BS degree in Optical Engineering from Zhejiang University in 2010, and her PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering from University of California Irvine in 2015. Her research interests include optical coherence tomography (OCT), imaging+sensing fibre-optic probes, Doppler OCT, multimodality imaging and ultra-thin endoscopes. Her PhD research focused on the development of highly novel multimodal miniaturized fibre-optic imaging probes, where they fully integrated two or more complementary imaging modalities in one single unit. After the completion of her PhD, She joined University of Western Australian (UWA) to lead the development of a flexible fibre-optic needle probe. Extended from this project, she proposed an innovative fibre-optic probe design that can provide co-localized imaging and aspiration. This was the cornerstone idea of an awarded grant (as the lead CI) and a journal publication (as the first and corresponding author, which also won IPAS Best ECR Paper Award).



Professor Mark Nelson, Menzies Institute

Mark Nelson is Professor and Chair, Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine and Senior Member Menzies Institute for Medical Research where he is also medical director of the Blood Pressure Clinic, both at the University of Tasmania.  He is also an Adjunct Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University.  His research interests are around large-scale clinical trials in in primary care.  He has 270 peer reviewed scientific publications, has been awarded more than $80 million in competitive grants and is a principal investigator on the NIH sponsored ASPREE / ASPREE-XT study (N = 19,000) investigating if aspirin extends healthy active life, and the NHMRC sponsored STAREE (recruitment to date >5000) similarly investigating if statins extend healthy active life.  He also has been an author on multiple guidelines for cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment and remains in clinical general practice in Hobart.



Professor Karlheinz Peter

Professor Karlheinz Peter is a senior interventional cardiologist at the Alfred Hospital and a basic scientist and Deputy Director (Basic and Translational Research) at Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. He is Professor of Medicine and Immunology at Monash University and Pharmaceutical Science at RMIT and he holds a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) principal research fellowship.

Professor Peter has been working for many years and continues to work as an interventional cardiologist, including previously as the head of the cardiac catheter laboratory at the University of Freiburg, Germany. He did his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore and at Scripps Research Foundation, La Jolla, USA. He did most of his clinical training at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. His research is focused on the cellular mechanisms of coronary artery disease and its consequence, myocardial infarction, encompassing the role of platelets, coagulation and inflammation in atherosclerosis, as well as the mechanisms leading to the rupture of atherosclerotic plaques. He has developed novel biomarker (proteomic and microRNA) approaches and molecular imaging strategies using MRI, ultrasound, CT and PET towards the localisation of thrombi, inflammatory reactions and vulnerable, rupture-prone plaques and the identification of patients at risk of myocardial infarction.



Dr Priya Sumithran, University of Melbourne

Dr Priya Sumithran (MBBS, FRACP, PhD) is an endocrinologist and research fellow at the University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine (Austin Health). Her clinical practice includes work as a physician in the Weight Control clinic at Austin Health. The focus of her PhD was investigating hormonal mechanisms contributing to weight regain after weight loss, and she continues to undertake clinical research in the areas of body weight regulation and obesity management.



Professor Gerald F Watts, University of Western Australia

Gerald F Watts is a senior consultant physician, university professor and chair of The Familial Hypercholesterolaemia-Australasia Network. He trained at Imperial and King’s Colleges in the University of London before moving to Australia. He is currently director of the Metabolic Research Centre, Cardiometabolic Services (Department of Cardiology) and Head of the School of Medicine (Royal Perth Hospital campus, University of Western Australia) and Professor of Cardiometabolic Medicine at the Royal Perth Hospital campus. Research interests include lipid disorders, obesity and cardiovascular prevention, and clinical interest focuses on delivering improved health care for FH and related conditions. Professor Watts is actively involved in teaching and supervisors several MD and PhD students and post-doctoral fellows. He has authored over 600 published works and is on the editorial board of Atherosclerosis, Clinical Science, Metabolism, Journal of Clinical Lipidology, and Current Opinion in Lipidology.



Associate Professor Andrew Wilson, St Vincent's VIC

Andrew is the Chief Medical Officer for Victoria. Spanning a successful career in clinical medicine, Andrew continues to practice as an interventional cardiologist at St Vincent’s Health Melbourne and throughout rural Victoria. He has previously worked at Stanford University Medical Centre and was a NHMRC Research Fellow at Stanford University focusing on translational research in atherosclerosis.

The role of the Chief Medical Officer is to develop ways to strengthen hospital management and systems. He ensures that Victorian hospitals and Safer Care Victoria have the right systems, governance and processes in place to support clinicians to deliver high-quality, safe care.

Andrew works closely with the Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer and the Chief Paramedic Officer to provide professional leadership and clinical advice to Safer Care Victoria, the Minister for Health, the Department of Health and Human Services and the wider health sector to ensure a joint focus on quality and safety.



Dr Sarah Zaman, Monash Heart

Dr Sarah Zaman is an Interventional Cardiologist and Staff Specialist at Monash Heart, Monash Health and an academic clinician-researcher at Monash Cardiovascular Research Centre, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. As an interventional cardiologist Dr Zaman works at the internationally-renowned Monash Heart, a centre of excellence for interventional cardiology and one of the busiest cardiology services in Australia. Dr Zaman is a current recipient of the prestigious Heart Foundation Fellowship and is a Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions Emerging Leader (SCAI-ELM) Fellow. She has previously been awarded the Monash University Early Career Practitioner Fellowship and the Robertson Family Cardiologist’s Scholarship. She has a PhD targeting prevention of sudden cardiac death following myocardial infarction conferred by the University of Sydney. Dr Zaman is developing the Women’s Heart Disease program at Monash Heart and conducts research addressing gender differences in acute coronary syndromes and female predominant conditions. As a result of her research, she leads clinical studies and has 35 publications in high-impact journals including JACC, Circulation and JAMA Cardiology. She has presented at more than 15 national and international conferences and organizes the Australian/New Zealand Endovascular Therapies scientific meetings. Dr Zaman is an active advocate for women in cardiology, having co-founded the Women in Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology groups for Australia/New Zealand and is the Cardiac Society of Australia/New Zealand Representative.

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Registration opens May 1st