High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia


HBPRCA Email Newsletter

December 2009


Welcome Note from Geoff Head

This is the final e-news for 2009, so we would like to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and exciting and prosperous 2010. The highlight this year was of course the very memorable Annual Scientific Meeting at the  stunning location of Luna Park. It was fantastic to see so many members there at both the main meeting and also the preliminary workshop. Congratulations to the "Meetings First" crew Athina, Jennifer and Suzy who made the meeting such a success and to Kate and Markus for a wonderful program. The three invited speakers; Frans Leenen, Michael Cowley and Alex Brown gave outstanding presentations. Thanks to Lawrie Beilin for his wonderful photography. Please click here to download these photos. If you have any photos, please email them to us, and we will add them to the album.


ISH2012 – As you are all aware, the HBPRCA will be hosting ISH2012 in Sydney, 30 September – 3 October. As members of the HBPRCA, we would like you to advertise the Congress, by downloading the slides and including them at the end of your presentations. Please click here to download.


ISH2010 – will be in Vancouver on the 26th-30th September. PowerPoint slides for this meeting are available here.


President’s Message

2009 Annual Scientific Meeting News

2009 Workshop News

Student News

Membership News

Society Liaison News

Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) Working Group Initiative

Upcoming Meetings

Articles of interest




President’s Message from Stephen Harrap

Please forgive the almost telegraphic nature of my report below, but I thought that it would be useful to summarise the various activities of your Council over the last year. It makes an impressive portfolio and one that would not have achieved success without the dedicated efforts of our Executive and Secretariat. I am a very lucky President indeed!

You might know that by the end of 2010 many of the Executive will have completed 2 consecutive 3-year terms. So we shall have to reconstitute the Executive next year. I’d ask all of you, especially our younger members, to give serious thought to putting yourself forward. It’s a great experience and an opportunity to develop and implement the great ideas that you might have been thinking about to improve and extend the Council.

In the meantime, may I wish each and every one of you all the very best for Christmas and for a healthy and rewarding New Year!



Council-Sponsor Initiatives

We particularly appreciate the dedicated ongoing support by Sponsors for our Council and its many activities during difficult times.


1.       Better Blood Pressure Measurement Initiative

·         Two “Off The Cuff” DVDs completed and distributed thanks to presenters, Elixir Healthcare Education and Bristol-Myers Squibb Australia

·         Over 16,000 semi-automated BP machines distributed to General Practitioners and Medical Specialists across Australia thanks to Servier Australia and OMRON.

·         Semi-automated BP machines available for research projects in Tasmania (Mark Nelson), India (Amanda Thrift), Indigenous Australians (Melinda Carrington) and Queensland (Jim Sharman) thanks to Servier Australia and OMRON.

·         New Better Blood Pressure Measurement Initiative research funds (thanks to Servier Australia) awarded to:

·         Dr Faline Howes, Dr Emily Hansen, Prof Mark Nelson from the Menzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania for “A qualitative study to explore the implementation of hypertension (HT) management guidelines into general practice.” $5000.

·         Dr Audrey Adji, Prof Michael O’Rourke for a study to make a critical analysis of evidence regarding central carotid and ascending aortic pressure waveforms and their clinical utility. $4000.

·         Deployed posters emphasizing the importance of blood pressure in General Practices across Australia with the message “Measure, Evaluate, Control” thanks to Medical Media and Ray Turner.

·         Support for development of a BP Measurement Teaching Module at the University of Sydney thanks to Susie Mihailidou.


2.       Initiated the incorporation of brief biographies from our Sponsor Highlights in e-News with thanks to Barbara Iliopoulos (JLM Accutek Heathcare), Ira Alvarez (Novartis), Robert Buenaventura (sanofi-aventis).

3.       Raising Blood Pressure Awareness in Government has been developed to a certain stage with thanks to John Funder and the other members of the discussion group (including our sponsors), but the precise strategy and funding have not been determined.

4.       Support for the Franco-Australian Exchange Awards in collaboration with the Société Française d'Hypertension Artérielle funding Erin O’Callaghan in her visit to Paris and Dr Pathak Atul in his visit to Melbourne. Thanks to Servier Australia, Bruce Neal and Geoff Head.


Council Relations

1.       Continued our successful Young Investigator Exchange with the British Hypertension Society thanks to Bruce Neal.

2.       Supported Michael Da Silva to travel to Chicago and present as a guest of the AHA Council for High Blood Pressure Research. Achieved agreement with the AHA Council for High Blood Pressure Research to have a reciprocal Young Investigator Exchange thanks to Rhian Touyz, Bruce Neal and Kate Denton.

3.       Established formal representation of the Council on the Program Committee of the Cardiac Society of ANZ thanks to Louise Burrell and provided suggestions for the Gaston Bauer Lecturer award.

4.       World Hypertension Day supported by the Council through the publicity regarding salt and blood pressure thanks to Bruce Neal and AWASH.

5.       Strengthened relations with the Heart Foundation of Australia through the joint efforts on the 24-hour Ambulatory BP Project thanks to Geoff Head.

6.       Completed and submitted a major manuscript on 24-hour ambulatory BP Project thanks to Geoff Head and his strong team of researchers.

7.       Liaised closely with the ISH as an Officially Affiliated Society of the ISH International Forum.

8.       Strengthened the Workshop as key component of the ASM thanks to Geoff Head and his Program Committee.



Now over 300!


New “Special Circumstances” category to help early post-doc members avoid membership subscription charges while they are overseas or those on maternity leave. Thanks to Doug McKitrick.



New improved “Resources” section and capability to include Council related publicity including video clips.



An extremely valuable means of communication and information, thanks to Geoff Head and Athina Patti.


Executive Committee

A strong team with great ideas, enthusiasm and ability, most of who will retire at the end of 2010. Thanks, goodbye and good luck to Ardiuno Mangoni who is going to Aberdeen to assume a Personal Chair in Medicine of Old Age.



Hosted by the HBPRCA, Garry Jennings is chairing the Organising Committee and we are working with arinex as our Professional Conference Organiser according to a well-defined plan.



Athina Patti, Jennifer Seabrook and the team at Meetings First continue to provide us with the best support that one could imagine.



2009 Annual Scientific Meeting News from Kate Denton and Markus Schlaich

A busy meeting as usual, which I hope you enjoyed.  We had some excellent presentations by our invited speakers, Frans Leenan, Michael Cowley and Alex Brown.  These presentations depend on your nominating exceptional speakers in each category; please continue to send in your suggestion in response to our call. I would also like to recognise Mark Glover, the BHS winner on his excellent presentation, this relationship continues to draw our societies together.


And congratulations to all our prize winners-

·          Student Oral Presentation Award and winner of the CHBPR Award; Sonia Tesnovic, Department of Pharmacology, Monash University

·          Early Career Investigator Oral Award and winner of the BHS Award; Melanie Armitage, Centre for Vascular Health, Monash University

·          Early Career Investigator Poster Award: Sarah Hennebry, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute

·          Student Poster Presentation: George Lindesay, Macquarie University


Sonia Tesnovic, Monash University

George Lindesay, Macquarie University


In the New Year we will be sending out a questionnaire to canvas the membership regarding ways in which to re-organise the timing of the meeting program to allow greater recognition of posters and to allow increased time for interaction between the members.  If you have some suggestions, I would be delighted to hear form you.


Mark this in your diaries!

1 – 3 December 2010
Crown Conference Centre, Melbourne



Workshop News from Geoff Head

With over 80 registrants, the "Environmental Influences on Cardiovascular disease from Fetus to Adult" was an outstanding success thanks to the excellent presentations from all 23 speakers and to the excellent "programming" of by the committee. The talk from our international guest speaker Kevin Grove was a particular highlight. Thanks to all those involved.


Next year we are back in Melbourne for the ASM and we would like to hear from council members about their preferred topics for the workshop, which will most likely be back to the Wednesday slot.



Workshop Committee: Geoff Head, Kate Denton, Markus Schlaich, Louise Burrell, James Armitage, Mary Wlodek, Bruce Neal and Annemarie Hennessy



Student Liaison News from Ann Goodchild and Erin O’Callaghan

It was great to see so many students attend the 2009 ASM of the HBPRCA. The council prides itself on its support of students and early career researchers which comes in the form of travel support, mentoring challenges and an array of prizes that range from books to international trips to attend the Council for High Blood Pressure Research (USA) and the British Hypertension Society Annual Scientific Meetings.  Our sponsors kindly support these initiatives including sending the Student Oral winner to either the Council for High Blood Pressure Research (USA) or the British Hypertension Society Annual Scientific Meetings and Clinical Science for Early Career Poster Award.”


We would like to thank our very informative and entertaining speakers at the student symposium who joined enthusiastically in the discussion following. These included Professor Frans Leenen, Dr Phil Kearney (Merck) and Dr Michelle Kett (Monash University).


We would like to acknowledge and thank the mentors who participated in the student judging round. These included Carolyn Barrett, James Armitage, James Pearson, Sarah Hennebry, Karen Moritz, Eugenie Lumbers, Tamara Paravicini, James Sharman, Mark Butlin and Rob Widdop.


To best represent the student and early career researchers we need to hear your views. Please contact our student representative Erin O’Callaghan (erinocal@gmail.com) or myself (ann.goodchild@asam.mq.edu.au). We welcome all suggestions.


Feedback on the meeting (just cut, paste and send it back!)

Please rate the following with a scale of 1-5 with 1 being excellent and 5 being poor.

A)       Student Symposium: Please provide suggestions for improvements- including topics to be covered, structure, timing etc

B)      The mentored student judging of posters initiative: Please provide criticism or suggestions for improvement

C)      The moderated poster sessions: Please provide criticism or suggestions for improvement

D)      Any other comments on the meeting



Membership News from Doug McKitrick

We thank everyone who has this year made an effort to encourage or support colleagues, staff or students to become members of the HBPRCA. The results have been outstanding. As announced at the Annual General Meeting, the number of applications for Ordinary membership in the HBPRCA in 2009 rose solidly and even more strongly for Student memberships, giving us a combined membership (all categories) in excess of 300 for the first time.


Speaking of Student memberships we remind all supervisors that student membership in the HBPRCA is free and is a requirement for student presenting authors at the Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM). Membership application forms and the simple application instructions are available in the Membership area of the HBPRCA website. And with the memory of the fantastic 2009 Sydney meeting still fresh don't forget to encourage your colleagues - scientists, clinicians and health professionals - to consider joining the HBPRCA.



Society Liaison News from Bruce Neal

The United Kingdom

The British Hypertension Society was represented at our recent Annual Meeting by Dr. Mark Glover from the Clinical Pharmacology Unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.  Mark gave a great presentation on ‘The thiazide-sensitive Na-Cl co-transporter in the distal nephron and followed this with a visit to the laboratory at the University of Queensland.  The next Annual Scientific Meeting of the British Hypertension Society will be held from 13th – 15th September 2010, at St. John’s College, Cambridge. The British Hypertension Society extends an invitation to members of the HBPRCA to submit abstracts and attend the 2010 meeting. We will be sending Melanie Armitage from Monash University, who was the winner of the Early Career Investigator Oral Award at this year’s meeting.  Melanie will be presenting her abstract titled “Endothelial dysfunction in aged spontaneously hypertensive rats is reversed by NADPH oxidase inhibition”.



It’s now just a few months until Erin O’Callaghan, departs for Paris where she will be spending three months working with Genevieve Nguyen at the College de France Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology at INSERM.  Erin was the winner of this years Franco-Australian Exchange travel grant.  A little later in the year Pr Pathak Atul from Tolouse will be coming across to Australia to spend time with Professor Gavin Lambert at the Baker Institute in Melbourne.


The United States of America

In November, Michael De Silva made the trip to the 63rd High Blood Pressure Research Conference in Chicago to present his abstract on "Defining the Role(s) of Nox2-containing NADPH Oxidase in the Cerebral Circulation." Michael also visited two laboratories in the US during his visit and we look forward to hearing from him about his experiences in the next edition of e-news. At this year’s meeting we made the second award under this scheme and Sonja Tesanovic from Monash University will be attending the US conference in 2011 to present her abstract titled “Athero-protective effects of the ACE inhibitor, perindopril, are partially mediated via activation of both mas and AT2 receptors in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice.”  We are also delighted to report that the US has now reciprocated with the winner of the prestigious Goldblatt Award to attend our meeting and present each year.  This will kick in from next year and we look forward to welcoming our first awardee in Melbourne in 2010.




Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) Working Group Initiative

Members: Geoff Head, Susie Mihailidou, Karen Duggan, Alexandra Bune, James Sharman, Arduino Mangoni, Peter Howe, Narelle Berry, Diane Cowley, Michael Stowasser, Lawrie Beilin, Jonathan Hodgson, John Chalmers, Carla Morey, Mark Nelson, Mark Brown, Barry McGrath and John Ludbrook


Our current findings comparing clinic measurements from staff and physician and the ambulatory blood pressure equivalents were reported to the Council at the recent meeting in Sydney. Currently several members of the working group are participating in a joint working group with the national Heart Foundation to update the ambulatory guidelines with a view to incorporate our findings.  The group has met and set out a path to achieve this by the middle of next year.   


One of the issues to come out of this process is a need to incorporate home monitoring evaluations as well. In light of this, we would be interested to see how many members of the ABPM working group might be willing to extend their current participation with a home monitoring co-hort. I would be pleased to receive opinions (either way) to discuss with the working group early in the New Year ideas to develop a new national prospective study.



Upcoming Meetings
The 23rd Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Hypertension


Click here to register.  The one-year Countdown to the 23rd Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH 2010) to be held September 26 - 30, 2010 in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada is on!  This important International Meeting, focussing on Global Cardiovascular Risk Reduction will be at the forefront of new concepts in basic, clinical and population science.  Be sure to register by January 15, 2010 to take advantage of the Super Early Bird rates.



ISH 2010 is already accepting abstract submissions. Early decisions on acceptance of abstracts will give participants who require travel visas a longer lead time for applications. The three major program tracts are Basic Science, Clinical Science, and Population Health / Public Policy. The target audience includes Basic Scientists, Clinicians (Cardiology, Endocrinology, General Medicine, Neurology, Nephrology, Primary Care Physicians, Nurses, Nutritionists and Pharmacists), and Population Health and Public Policy specialists and is inclusive of all individuals interested in cardiovascular health. Complete guidelines and directions on how to submit an abstract can be found on the ISH 2010 website.



The ISH 2010 theme, Global Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, will capture the newest information in the field of hypertension and will also focus on all aspects of cardiovascular risk. Future perspectives, new research, treatment and prevention will be showcased over four days of invited plenary talks and oral and poster presentations.  Special Symposium initiatives include an Alaskan Cruise and several high profile Summits to discuss priority needs and actions for non-communicable disease prevention. The meeting will provide a forum for scientific exchange, global interaction and global initiatives with the objective of a legacy of new initiatives in Global Cardiovascular Risk Reduction.



ISH 2010 has arranged for a selection of hotels close to the Meeting venue that will meet everyone’s budget. The Meeting has also arranged a fabulous optional Tour and Social Event program exclusively for ISH 2010 attendees. Accommodation as well as Tours and Social Events can be booked conveniently during the online registration process, or you may update your registration with Accommodation and/or Tour and Social Event Participation once your travel arrangements are made.



Visit the ISH 2010 website for detailed information on the Meeting including Scientific Program, Registration, Abstract Submission, Accommodation, Tours and Social Events. The Main Announcement is available on the website as a pdf download to review at your leisure.


We look forward to seeing you in Vancouver!



Articles of interest

Hungry Jack's burger raises salt issues (Bruce Neal quoted)

Hungry Jack's has been roasted over the nutritional value of one of its new burgers, which was found to contain well over a person's recommended daily intake of salt… read more


Hungry Jack's chipped over monster burger (Bruce Neal quoted)

HEALTH experts are demanding warning labels be put on a new burger that contains almost twice as much saturated fat and 40 per cent more salt than the recommended daily intakes… read more


Healthy diet costs double for poor families (Brian Morris quoted)

A HEALTHY diet would cost 40 per cent of the disposable income of a welfare-dependent family, twice as much as for those on an average income, a study published today says… read more


If you have been quoted in the media, please email us the link to hbprca@meetingsfirst.com.au


PCBs hike blood pressure

No one would choose to eat polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs — yet we unwittingly do. And a new study finds that the cost of their pervasive contamination of our food supply can be high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease… read more


Mummies reveal heart disease plagued ancient Egyptians

ORLANDO, Fla. — The curse of the mummy may truly be fatal. An examination of mummified bodies has revealed that ancient Egyptians suffered from hardening of the arteries in surprising frequency, suggesting that blame for heart disease extends beyond the modern culprits of smoking, fast food and the remote control… read more




October Newsletter

Click here to download.


ASMR Workforce Survey

We are delighted to provide you with a copy of our newly released survey Planning the Health and Medical Research Workforce 2010-2019


ASMR commissioned Dr Deborah Schofield, Associate Professor and Director of Research Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health (NRUDRH), School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney to conduct the study.


At the launch in Parliament House this morning, ASMR's President Dr Sarah Meachem said, “Australia needs a program which creates a self-sustaining and agile workforce able to meet head on, challenges in indigenous health, the overt diseases associated with the ageing population and the emerging covert health risks associated with climate change. The development, design and implementation of informed, innovative and visionary policy reform is essential to attract and retain our best human capital and to expand international partnerships and collaborations.”


Also speaking at the launch, Mr Mark Butler MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Health congratulated the Society on the report and referred to the importance of the study in highlighting the pressures of demographics and workforce retention faced by the sector.


Some key findings are:

Australia has 15,200 PhD's within a health and medical research workforce of 23,400.

6,250 members of the health and medical research workforce will leave the sector by 2019, and of these, 4,000 will hold a PhD or equivalent.

To maintain current PhD levels as a working population ratio to 2019, we must replace the 4,000 lost and add another 1,700 persons at a cost of around $810 million.

Australia would need to expand 2.5 fold to be on par with knowledge-based workforces such as the European workforce. Australia would require about 5,700 additional health and medical research PhD graduates to be comparable with US levels, about 22,800 to be comparable with German levels and about 38,000 to be equivalent with Switzerland.


ASMR extends particular thanks to those organisations who have given their financial support for this study.


Catherine West

Snr. Executive Officer



ASMR Update – November 2009

It is with great pleasure that I introduce myself as the incoming President of ASMR.  I consider it a real privilege to lead this prodigious Society over the coming months as it continues with its vital role of public, political and scientific advocacy.  My thanks go to the immediate Past-President, Sarah Meachem and the outgoing Directors, Andrew Brown, Martin Delatycki, Andrew Laslett and Fabienne Mackay for all their hard work and dedication over the past year.


ASMR Federal Budget Campaign

Due to the episodic and unpredictable nature of Federal funding to our sector, we are once again faced with the very real possibility of NHMRC funding being cut in the 2010 Federal Budget next May.  This will be nothing short of a disaster with grant and fellowship success rates set to plummet to almost unsustainable levels.  Meanwhile, the future health of our nation faces enormous challenges from an ageing population and the potential impact of climate change on health – challenges that can only be met by a strong, vibrant and flexible health and medical research sector, underpinned by solid and realistic funding.  ASMR has commenced its campaign to get this message across to both sides of government, you can still make a difference and I urge you all to fully participate in the process.  Please write and visit your local MP, write to the PM, the Health Minster and the Treasurer sending a strong and clear message of the vital role played by HMR in the future health of the nation and the critical importance of maintaining the NHMRC budget in 2010.  Details of the campaign including key messages, template letters and email/contact addresses of MPs are all available on the ASMR website (www.asmr.org.au) under ‘Political advocacy’.

ASMR National Scientific Conference

The ASMR NSC ‘Neurogenetics on the Apple Isle’ held in Hobart from November 15-17 was a huge success and my congratulations go to the Convenor, Martin Delatycki and the Scientific Program Committee chaired by Nigel Laing, for putting together such a high calibre meeting.

Our recent initiative to hold themed NSCs while still maintaining the breadth of the scientific focus is clearly working well, and we are now calling for proposals for the ASMR NSC in 2011 and 2012.  Please email your ideas to Cath West in the Executive Office.

ASMR Annual Report 2009

Finally, please find click here to view the ASMR Annual Report 2009 containing the President’s report and audited financial statements for the past year.

I am very much looking forward to representing you all over what promises to be a very busy but hopefully rewarding year for ASMR.
Kind regards


Dr Alison Butt





HBPRCA would like to acknowledge the support of the following companies:


Corporate members


Corporate Sponsors



Meetings in 2010

Malaysian Society of Hypertension Annual Scientific Meeting

29 – 31 January 2010

Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur

Click here for meeting website

2010 Medical Applications of Synchrotron Research Meeting
15 - 18 February 2010
Melbourne Exhibition Centre
Click here for meeting website

EDDP 2010 – International Conference on Early Disease Detection and Prevention
25 – 28 February 2010

Munich, Germany

Click here for meeting website

6th International Congress of Pathophysiology

22 - 25 September 2010
Click here for meeting website



Meetings in 2011

8th Asian-Pacific Congress of Hypertension 2011

(8th APCH 2011)

24 - 27 November 2011
Taipei International Convention Center (TICC), Taiwan
Click here for meeting website




HBPRCA Secretariat

Athina Patti at Meetings First

4/184 Main Street



Phone +61 3 9739 7697

Fax +61 3 9739 7076

Email hbprca@meetingsfirst.com.au

Web www.hbprca.com.au