High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia

HBPRCA Enews – September 2011

Greetings from Rob Widdop and the HBPRCA Executive


Greetings from the e-news desk. We have another action-packed bulletin full of information for the HBPRCA community. Don’t forget to renew your membership if you haven’t done so already. We are asking everyone to use the online form. We have a number of timely reminders about our forthcoming local and international meetings so mark your diaries or, should I say, your ‘puters’ now! (see Janna’s great piece for reference). Also don’t forget to acquaint yourselves with our new full and student members. Rob Widdop, HBPRCA Secretary

ISH 2012

In This Issue

President’s Message
2011 Annual Scientific Meeting News/ISH 2012 
Membership Update
Membership Initiatives
Society Liaison News
Upcoming Meetings
President’s Message – Jaye Chin-Dusting


As the year hurtles towards the Annual Scientific Meeting, I’d like to compliment Anne and Jim on their stewardship of the meeting program. Our interaction with ASCEPT and AuPS while in Perth should be a real highlight. I’d also like to encourage you and your colleagues to submit abstracts for this meeting – they are due by October 3 and there will be no extensions as there is a very short review time for all three society committees.

Markus and Eduardo have teamed up to arrange a general practitioner update for Perth GPs on the Tuesday evening prior to the ASM. It will be very interesting to see the response of local clinicians. Invitations are being distributed by the HBPRCA, our sponsors (Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bay Medical, Boehringer Ingelheim, MSD, Novartis, OMRON, Servier for whose support we are, as always, very appreciative.

The rollout of the in-clinic monitors is continuing with the assistance of Boehringer-Ingelheim. The feedback to date has been overwhelmingly positive. And the World Hypertension Day accolades continue – Ogilvy Healthworld and the HBPRCA have been nominated for a PRIME Advertising Award!

As many of you will be aware, there is an opportunity for career advancement at the University of Sydney – it would be terrific to see a HBPRCA member as the Chair in Cardiovascular Pharmacology, so please click here if you are interested.

2011 Annual Scientific Meeting News from Anne Barden and Jim Sharman

ABSTRACT DEADLINE – OCTOBER 3 Did we mention that the deadline for submitting abstracts is midnight on Monday October 3 and that there will be no extensions? Abstracts will be reviewed, judged and selected for presentation either on the joint day or at our own meeting on the Thursday and Friday.

Plans are underway for the student symposium on Tuesday afternoon, which will be followed by a students only social function. Thanks to all those who voted for the type of function.

We really would like to see you in Perth, for the 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting (December 7 – 9). Just last week fares were $189 each way from Melbourne!


  • Professor Peter Rothwell, Professor of Clinical Neurology, John Radcliffe Hospital Oxford – RD Wright Lecture
  • Professor Rob Parton, University of Queensland – Austin Doyle Lecture
  • Associate Professor Martin Ng, University of Sydney – Colin I Johnston Lecture
  • Wednesday is conjoint with ASCEPT and AuPS – a great chance for networking!
  • Joint conference dinner on Wednesday evening
  • Student symposium and function on Tuesday afternoon and evening
  • Student poster judging (yes, the students adjudicate on the poster quality) will be incorporated
  • ANCHA will again be joining us – please make sure any nurses working in the field know about the meeting
  • Student registration fees will be highly subsidised by HBPRCA

We look forward to seeing you in Perth – Anne Barden and Jim Sharman

 ISH 2012 – Hypertension Sydney

ISH 2012 logo

As you are all aware, the HBPRCA will be hosting ISH 2012 in Sydney, 30 September – 3 October. As members of the HBPRCA, we would like you to advertise the Symposium, by downloading this slide and including it at the end of your presentations. Please click here to download.

  • Have you included the logo in your email signature or made sure you have the slide for use in presentations? All members are encouraged to use these images whenever possible

When spruiking Hypertension Sydney to your friends and colleagues, please remind them that excitement is building for the 24th Meeting of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) that will combine with the 9th Congress of the Asian Pacific Society of Hypertension (APSH) and the 34th Annual Scientific meeting of the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia (HBPRCA) at “Hypertension Sydney 2012”.

There is a rich scientific program of the very highest standard, including 2 Nobel Laureates and the international leaders in contemporary blood pressure research and related cardiovascular disease. It will be a fabulous opportunity to hear the latest clinical breakthroughs and scientific discoveries, hot off the press. The program has something for everyone – clinicians, research scientists and members of the allied health and corporate world – showcasing great original research and presenting expert overviews of major issues faced now and into the future. The meeting will also highlight the emerging young stars in the blood pressure world and reflect the global constituency of the ISH. In particular, the union with APSH promises a strong focus on the significant blood pressure-related challenges in Asia.

Of course it’s hard to beat the backdrop of the majestic beauty of the world famous Sydney Harbour where a waterside, modern convention centre where you can be assured of first class organisation in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. And the Gala Dinner will be unforgettable.

Hypertension Sydney 2012 participants will relish a Down Under experience that combines excellent clinical science and the unique natural attractions that make Australia a major international travel destination.

For further information please visit www.ish2012.org or contact ish2012@arinex.com.au.

Garry Jennings – Chair, Organising Committee

Membership News from Janna Morrison


Thank you to those of you (over 230!) who have taken the time to renew your membership in the HBPRCA. It is a great time to be part of this vibrant and growing scientific society. Don’t forget, students don’t pay membership fees – so why not invite appropriate colleagues to be a member?

Thanks to everyone who has completed the background information – did you know around 150 members are involved in teaching, over 70 have PhD’s and at least 30 medical degrees (with most of them also having at least a PhD)?

Member Profiles

New student member – Chen Leo

New full member – Alta Schutte

I completed my Bachelor’s degree, majoring in Pharmacology and Microbiology at the University of Western Australia in 2006. I am very pleased to be given at opportunity to do my honours at Department of Pharmacology, University of Melbourne with Professor Owen Woodman. I become very interested in the area of vascular pharmacology and physiology, and decided to pursue a PhD in this area of research. Currently, I am a final year PhD candidate with Professor Owen Woodman and Dr Joanne Hart at Health Innovations Research Institute, School of Medical Sciences, RMIT University. My PhD focus on the effects of diabetes on endothelial function and the potential for flavonols to preserve endothelial function in the face of diabetes-induced oxidant stress. Diabetes is a major risk factor for vascular disease and I am investigating the pathological processes resulting from high glucose levels that result in vascular dysfunction to try to identify targets for drug intervention. At the moment, I am at the stage of thesis writing and I plan to submit by the end of this year. I obtained my PhD in 2002 at the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education in South Africa. At present I am the Director of the Hypertension in Africa Research Team or HART, at the North-West University (South Africa). The research focus of HART is the identification of early markers for the development of hypertension, and ultimately the prevention of cardiovascular disease in the black South African population. Since obtaining my PhD, I was Principle Investigator of two large multidisciplinary research projects, and Co-Investigator of the South African leg of the multi-national PURE-study (Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology) involving one of the first longitudinal studies in Africans with more than 2000 participants. My mentors in South Africa include Professors YK Seedat and Esté Vorster, whereas close international collaborators include Professor Michael Olsen (Denmark) and Dr. Elena Conti (Italy). Within Australia, we (the Hypertension in Africa Research Team) enjoy collaboration with A/Prof Markus Schlaich and Dr. Gavin Lambert (Melbourne), as well as Professor Michael Stowasser (Brisbane). My HBPRCA membership provides excellent opportunities to take advantage of the high quality of hypertension research in Australia, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the past meetings and discussions in Sydney and Melbourne.
New student member – Sandra Louise New full member – Sophocles Chrissobolis
I completed a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Genetics at Curtin University, Perth in 2006. I then went on and completed an Honours degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics based at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research. My honours thesis examined the effectiveness of using the internet to establish an international database for rare genetic disorders and the use of this data to investigate genotype phenotype associations. In 2008 I began my PhD at The University of Western Australia under the main supervision of Winthrop Professor Lawrence Beilin. I am currently in the final stages of my PhD. The objectives of my PhD were to seek possible childhood origins for the association between CVD and psychological traits and to investigate potential common genetic factors that may underlie these associations. I completed my PhD at the University of Melbourne in the Department of Pharmacology under the supervision of Dr Chris Sobey, investigating how potassium channels and rho-kinase are involved in cerebral vascular function under normal conditions and during chronic hypertension. In 2004, I was awarded an NHMRC CJ Martin Overseas Training Fellowship to work at the University of Iowa in the United States under the mentorship of Professor Frank Faraci. In 2005 I was awarded the Chancellor’s prize at The University of Melbourne for excellence in my PhD thesis. While in Iowa, I studied the involvement of antioxidant defense mechanisms in protecting against vascular dysfunction caused by angiotensin II. The American Heart Association awarded me a Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2007, allowing me to continue working in Iowa. In 2009 I joined the Vascular Biology and Immunopharmacology group at Monash Universiry in 2009 which is led by A/Prof Chris Sobey, and was awarded a Foundation for High Blood Pressure Research Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2011-2012. My current research is focused on mechanisms by which aldosterone and angiotensin II are involved in cerebrovascular disease.

Member Initiatives


Better Blood Pressure Measurement Initiative Research grants were awarded to Jim Sharman, Amanda Sampson and Karen Andrews. Congratulations!

  • Jim Sharman: A pilot study of the clinical and haemodynamic effects of 5 IU versus 3 IU of oxytocin infusion during elective caesarean section
  • Amanda Sampson: Investigating the influence of the Y chromosome on the renal renin angiotensin system using unique reciprocal Y consomic rat strains
  • Karen Andrews: Targeting Inflammation in Unresolved Hypertension: Pathways and Therapy


 Society Liaison News from Chris Reid

ChrisReidThe HBPRCA has formal links with ASMR, the BHS, the AHA Council for High Blood Pressure Research, ISH, APSH, the NHF and the French Hypertension Society.

The Franco Australian Exchange Program Awardees for 2012 are Elisabeth Lambert and Craig Anderson. We would like to thank Servier Laboratories for their continued support of this program.


International Society of Hypertension joins Facebook and Twitter

Stephen Harrap, ISH President, is delighted to announce that one aspect is an an ISH New Investigators Network on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ISHNIN and Twitter (ISHNIN). This initiative is designed to put New Investigators (RHD students and post-doc researchers within 10 years of graduation – allowing for career interruption) around the world in contact with one another. It will also spread news of new ISH initiatives for New Investigators including a special satellite meetings (Hypertension Future Leaders Meetings), the first of which will occur in Orlando before the CHBPR meeting. These satellites will be devised and run by New Investigators themselves. And, there is a competition to design a logo for the network. In time, a new Mentorship scheme will be developed. Australian New Investigators are invited to be involved. To learn more, please contact the ISH Secretariat.

ASMR: Did you know HBPRCA is an affiliate member of ASMR?

To keep up with all the latest information and updates on ASMR events, awards and activities join the ASMR Facebook page!

There is a direct link to the Facebook page on the ASMR homepage (www.asmr.org.au) or alternatively just follow this link ( ASMR Facebook page) and join the page. Remember to recommend the page to your friends and colleagues that might also be interested. 

British Hypertension Society invites HBPRCA members to attend their meeting

For the first time in its 30 year history, the meeting is open to both members and non-members. The Society wrote saying they very much look forward to welcoming the HBPRCA winner from last December, Eduardo Pimenta, to the conference, and espeically invited HBPRCA to attend and may register at BHS members rates. BHS 2011 – Main Announcement and Call for Abstracts

Who are the Executive – really?

Each e-news, we will highlight one or two of the Executive so that members get to know them better. This issue, Janna Morrison – Membership Secretary (and South Australian Cardiovascular Health Network Fellow).

I moved to Adelaide in 2002 for a 3yr postdoctoral position. I’m still here. I’ve been very fortunate to have fellowship funding from the Heart Foundation since 2004. This funding has allowed my research to flourish over the past 8 yrs. My initial work focused on understanding how the small baby maintains its’ blood pressure in utero and if these mechanisms might lead to an increased risk of hypertension in adult life. With the aid of an American Physiological Society Career Enhancement Award, I began interrogating the effects of being small on heart development. More recently, I have looked at the other end of the spectrum, the effects of maternal obesity on heart development.

When I’m not working, I’m being entertained by almost 3yr old daughter Josie. She is nonstop high energy until she is asleep. She had her first trip to Canada in July for my brothers’ wedding. It was a great family trip….worth the hours of colouring on the plane and the Sesame Street tattoos on my arms. Last week, she told me that she didn’t want to go to child care anymore. She wanted to go to work. I asked her what she would do at work. She told me that she would work on her ‘puter. So I guess that means that she wants to be just like me…..always working on the computer.


Meetings in 2011

Asia Pacific Conference On Metabolic Syndrome (APCMS11) 4-5 November 2011
Sydney Convention Centre, Sydney
Click here for meeting websiteTo win one of 5 complimentary registrations – please tell us in 25 words or less why you would like to attend this meeting (email to hbprca@meetingsfirst.com.au deadline October 14
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 APSH invite HBPRCA members to attend. To assist the attendance of young investigators (<45y) there are a number of young investigator awards ($1000US) together with complimentary registration. There is also a Young Investigators Award ($1000US) for the best oral presentation. Details about the meeting can be obtained an www.apch2011.tw and the secretariat can be contacted on secretariat@apch2011.tw


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