High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia



HBPRCA Email Newsletter

September 2007



Please note that the abstract deadline has been extended until

Wednesday the 19th


so there is still time to put in that last minute “late breaking” abstract. Students note the special symposium this year (see Enzo’s article).


A bumper e-news with a comprehensive feature article from South Australian hypertension researchers collated by our own Lyndon Wing. It’s an impressive description of contributions from Adelaide, Flinders University, the University of South Australia and the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Read on!



With best wishes,



Associate Professor Geoffrey A Head



PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE from Stephen Harrap

With the excitement building towards our Annual Scientific Meeting in Adelaide this year, your Executive has also been turning its attention to our meeting in 2008.

This will be the 30th year since the inception of the Council in 1979 and we are planning to celebrate the occasion in a memorable way. Our first decision concerned the dinner (as one does) and we have reserved the dining area in the upper storeys of the Eureka Tower. This is Melbourne’s tallest building and has commanding views across the city to the hills and south to the bay. It will be something special indeed.

We also wanted to recognise the history of the Council in our 30th year and the Executive thought that it would be a great opportunity to build the “family tree” of the Council. For this purpose, we shall be contacting existing and past members of the Council to ask them to nominate the people who had a major direct impact (as mentor, supervisor, role model) in their own blood pressure-related careers. Where possible we’d also request photographs, so that the younger generations can put faces to the notable names.

It should be both fun and informative to put together the responses and create the BP lineages in Australia. It is also a fitting way to recognise the “forebears” and see the growth in the Council over the years.

The Executive would also welcome any other suggestions as to how we might celebrate the 30th year of the Council.  Simply send these to Athina at our Secretariat and we could discuss these at our AGM in Adelaide in December. We look forward to hearing from you.



MEETING NEWS from Jaye Chin Dusting

Only one item to announce this month: get your abstracts into me now!! You may only submit your abstracts online. Please click here and use your details below to login to the Meetings First website.






MEMBERSHIP NEWS from Doug McKitrick

With the HBPRCA annual general meeting coming up we once again remind supervisors that your graduate students can enjoy free membership in the HBPRCA. This year the annual meeting will be run as a joint meeting with the Australian Society for Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT). This will provide regular members and student members with an even greater opportunity for sharing ideas and making new national and international contacts, making the meeting an event that your post docs and graduate students won't want to miss.


Details of how your students or colleagues can join our growing Society are available on the HBPRCA website (www.hbprca.com.au). But hurry, the early bird registration deadline for the 2007 Annual Meeting is fast approaching.



STUDENT NEWS from Enzo Porrello

This year’s HBPRCA meeting will feature a student symposium: “A Career in Cardiovascular Research: The Years Post Doc”. The student symposium will be held on Wednesday 5 December from 5:15 – 6:15pm at the Adelaide Hilton and will be followed by drinks at the Hilton bar, before the conference dinner at 7pm. The symposium will feature 3 speakers: an eminent scientist (Prof Ian Frazer), an early career investigator (Dr Alyson Miller) and somebody with experience in industry (to be confirmed). The 3 speakers will reflect on their own careers and experiences in science and provide a personal perspective on what it takes to “make it”. The symposium will be interactive and informal, and will maximise opportunities for young researchers to ask questions about career options in science.


We are very fortunate to have Professor Ian Frazer and Dr Alyson Miller as our guest speakers at this year’s student event. Professor Frazer is Director of the Diamantina Institute of Cancer Immunology and Metabolic Medicine a research institute of the University of Queensland at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. Since 1983, he has pursued an interest in development of vaccines to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and related human cancers in the cervix and elsewhere. In 2006, he was chosen as the Australian of the Year. Dr Miller is a HBPRCA postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacology at Monash University. She has made major contributions to the field of oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species and is the recipient of numerous national and international early career awards.


This is a fantastic opportunity for all HBPRCA students to get a first-hand insight into scientific career paths and a great chance to get to know each other. I hope that many of you will be able to attend.



SEPTEMBER FEATURE ARTICLE – Cardiovascular Research in South Australia 2007

With the Annual Scientific Meeting of the High Blood Pressure Council of Australia coming back to Adelaide this December for the first time since the early 1990s, it is timely to give members an overview of the significant range of cardiovascular research which is currently active in South Australia.  The major sites engaged in such research are the Flinders University School of Medicine and Flinders Medical Centre, the Royal Adelaide and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals linked with the University of Adelaide Medical School, the University of Adelaide Department of Public Health and the University of South Australia Faculty of Health Sciences.



A key research activity linked to the Council, which has been led from South Australia since its inception in the early 1990s is the Second Australian National Blood Pressure Study (ANBP2).  Professor Lindon Wing, who has recently retired from the Deanship of the Flinders University School of Medicine, continues as Chair of the ANBP2 Management Committee.  The Data Management Centre for ANBP2 continues to be led by Professor Phil Ryan and Kristyn Willson in the Department of Public Health at the University of Adelaide.  The study is still actively working on publications from the various associated sub-studies and together with Associate Professor Chris Reid in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University is engaged in a 10-year follow-up of participants.



There are a number of groups in the joint Flinders University School of Medicine/Flinders Medical Centre complex with major cardiovascular interests.  These include groups led by Professor Ian Gibbins and Associate Professor Judy Morris, Professor Bill Blessing, Dr Eugene Nalivaiko, Associate Professor Ida Llewellyn-Smith, Dr Arduino Mangoni and Professor Phillip Aylward.


Ian Gibbins and Judy Morris’ group     

Ian Gibbins is Professor and Head of Anatomy and Histology, Flinders University.  Judy Morris is an Associate Professor in the same department.

For many years, they have been interested in the role of autonomic and visceral sensory neurons in the regulation of the vasculature.  Most recently, they have been investigating the regulation of two vascular beds: the mesenteric circulation, controlled by the prevertebral sympathetic ganglia; and the pelvic vasculature, controlled by pelvic pathways.  The prevertebral ganglia also regulate gastrointestinal motility and secretion, but together with their vasomotor pathways, they effectively act to control blood volume.  They have made comprehensive studies of the synaptic organisation of these pathways, and these studies have formed the basis of their recent electrophysiological studies.  They have found that low levels of peptides, such as angiotensin II or substance P, can dramatically potentiate synaptic transmission through the prevertebral ganglia, thereby facilitating the retention of fluid by the GIT.  These effects are not obviously affected in conditions such as experimental Type I diabetes.  Remarkably, in these pathways, as well as in the pelvic vasodilator pathways investigated by Judy Morris and Phil Jobling, ganglionic transmission is dramatically facilitated by a potent neurotransmitter, whose identity is totally unknown.

Their current research is focussing on the identification and synaptic organisation of small unmyelinated sensory neurons that lack neuropeptides.  They have predicted that there is a unique population of these neurons that has been largely overlooked, and that may be responsible for much of the nociceptive transmission from the viscera, including from blood vessels.


Low magnification confocal view of part of a guinea-pig coeliac ganglion.  The green neurons (green = neuropeptide Y) on the left are mostly vasoconstrictor neurons innervating the mesenteric circulation.  The blue neurons (blue = somatostatin) inhibit the activity of secretomotor neurons in the gut; their activity is enhanced by activation of peptide-containing visceral afferents, as well as direct projections from neurons in the gut (pink = vasoactive intestinal peptide in the endings of those neurons).  (Adapted from Fig 1a in: Gibbins IL, Teo EH, Jobling P, Morris JL (2003) Synaptic density, convergence and dendritic complexity of prevertebral sympathetic neurons. Journal of Comparative Neurology 455: 285-298).


Recent publications

-          Morris JL, Koenig P, Shimizu T, Jobling P, Gibbins IL (2005) Most peptide-containing sensory neurons lack proteins for exocytotic release and vesicular transport of glutamate. Journal of Comparative Neurology 483: 1-16 (with cover illustration).

-          Morris JL, Gibbins IL, Jobling P (2005) Post-stimulus potentiation of transmission in pelvic ganglia enhances sympathetic dilatation of guinea-pig uterine artery. Journal of Physiology 566: 189-203 (with editorial commentary).

-          Gibbins IL, Teo EH, Jobling P, Morris JL (2003) Synaptic density, convergence and dendritic complexity of prevertebral sympathetic neurons. Journal of Comparative Neurology 455: 285-298 [with cover illustration and editorial commentary].

-          Gibbins IL, Jobling P, Teo EH, Matthew SE, Morris JL (2003) Heterogeneous expression of SNAP-25 and synaptic vesicle proteins by convergent synaptic inputs to sympathetic neurons. Journal of Comparative Neurology 459: 25-43 [with cover illustration].

-          Baker SJ, Morris JL, Gibbins IL (2003) Cloning of a C-terminally truncated NK-1 receptor. Molecular Brain Res 111:136-147.


Bill Blessing’s group

Bill Blessing is a NH&MRC Senior Principal Research Fellow and Professor in the Department of Human Physiology.  He is Head of the Neurology Laboratory in the Department.


Bill’s lab is interested in measuring biological variables indicative of brain control of thermoregulation and energy balance, and to use their findings to elucidate higher brain functions relevant to mental disorders including schizophrenia.  They use a variety of experimental approaches including electrophysiology, neurotransmitter receptor pharmacology, neuroanatomy with combined immunohistochemistry and tract tracing (viral and conventional), together with experience in creating neurotransmitter-specific lesions using retrograde transport of neurotoxic lectins coupled to neurotransmitter specific antibodies.

Clozapine reverses MDMA-elicited vasoconstriction in the rabbit ear (from data published in Blessing WW, Seaman B, Pedersen NP, Ootsuka Y. (2003). Clozapine reverses hyperthermia and sympathetically mediated cutaneous vasoconstriction induced by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (Ecstasy) in rabbits and rats.  J Neuroscience 23 (15):6385-6391).


Recent publications

-          Blessing WW and Ootsuka Y. (2007) Activation of dopamine D(2) receptors in the CNS inhibits sympathetic cutaneous vasomotor alerting responses (SCVARs), contributing to clozapine's SCVAR-inhibiting action. Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. 31: 328-336. IF=2.8

-          Ootsuka Y and Blessing WW. (2006) Activation of 5-HT1A receptors in rostral medullary raphe inhibits cutaneous vasoconstriction elicited by cold exposure in rabbits. Brain Research 1073-1074: 252-61. IF=2.3

-          Blessing WW, Zilm A and Ootsuka Y. (2006) Clozapine reverses increased brown adipose tissue thermogenesis induced by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine and by cold exposure in conscious rats. Neuroscience 141: 2067-2073. IF=3.4

-          Ootsuka Y and McAllen RM. (2006) Comparison between two rat sympathetic pathways activated in cold defense. American Journal of Physiology, 291(3):R589-95

-          Toth IE, Toth DE, Boldogkoi Z, Hornyak A, Palkovits M and Blessing WW. (2006) Serotonin-synthesizing neurons in the rostral medullary raphe/parapyramidal region transneuronally labelled after injection of pseudorabies virus into the rat tail. Neurochemical Research 31: 277-286. IF=2.2 (1)

-          Ootsuka Y and Blessing WW. (2006) Thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue: increase by 5-HT2A receptor activation and decrease by 5-HT1A receptor activation in conscious rats. Neuroscience Letters 395: 170-174. IF=1.9 (2)


Eugene Nalivaiko’s group     

Dr Eugene Nalivaiko is a NHF Senior Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Human Physiology, Flinders University.  His research, both basic and clinical, is located at the crossroads of neuroscience and cardiology: he is trying to elucidate mechanisms whereby mental disorders - anxiety and depression - provoke cardiac disorders.  He has recently demonstrated that in animals, similar to humans, acute stressors may precipitate cardiac arrhythmias, that these arrhythmias are sympathetically mediated, and that they could be prevented by suppressing excessive cardiac sympathetic drive at its origin, in the brain.






Recent publications

Animal studies

-          Salomé N, Ngampramuan S, Nalivaiko E (2007) Intra-amygdala injection of GABAA agonist, muscimol, reduces tachycardia and modifies cardiac sympatho-vagal balance during restraint stress in rats. Neuroscience (in press).

-          Nalivaiko E, De Pasquale CG, Blessing WW (2004) Ventricular arrhythmia triggered by alerting stimuli in conscious rabbits pre-treated with dofetilide. Basic Research in Cardiology 99:142-151.

-          Nalivaiko E, Blessing WW (2004) CRF1 receptor antagonist CP-154,526 reduces cardiovascular responses during acute psychological stress in rabbits. Brain Research 1017: 234-237.

-          Nalivaiko E. Ootsuka Y. and Blessing WW. (2005) Activation of 5-HT1A receptors reduces cardiovascular changes elicited by acute psychological and inflammatory stresses in rabbits. Am. J. Physiol.  289: R596-R604.


Human studies

-          Nalivaiko E, Catcheside PG, Adams A, Jordan AS, Eckert DJ and McEvoy RD  (2007)  Cardiac changes during spontaneous and sound-induced arousals during non-REM sleep in healthy volunteers. Am. J. Physiol. 292: 1320-1327.


Invited reviews

-          Nalivaiko E. (2006) 5-HT1A receptors in stress-induced cardiac changes: a possible link between mental and cardiac disorders. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 33: 1259-1264.

-          Paton JFR, Boscan P, Pickering AE and Nalivaiko E (2005) The ying and yang of cardiac autonomic control: vago-sympathetic interactions revisited. Brain Research Reviews 49: 555-565.


Flinders Cardiology group

The principal investigators in this group are Professor Phillip, Associate Professor Derek Chew, Dr Carmine De Pasquale and Dr Joseph Selvanayagam.


For some years Phillip Aylward has led a team interested involved in multicentre clinical trials relating to antithrombotic therapy in acute coronary syndromes and atrial fibrillation.  Recent completed studies in which the group has had a major role are ACUITY (NEJM 2006, 355, 2203-16) and STEEPLE (NEJM 2006 355,  106-117) which looked at the preferred antithrombin in acute coronary syndromes and PCI (ACUITY) and elective angioplasty (STEEPLE).  Ongoing studies by the group are of the clopidogrel-like drugs prasugrel, cangrelor and AZD6140 in various populations but predominantly related to coronary stenting.  Atrial fibrillation is also becoming a major focus and they are involved in two studies looking at different oral antithrombins to replace warfarin.


Derek Chew’s current interests are in the application of current evidence and new technologies to the management of acute and stable coronary artery disease.  These have included a national audit of acute coronary syndrome management extending to the evaluation of risk among these patients and how well therapy matches this risk.  In addition, his group is currently exploring the factors associated with late stent thrombosis in the era of drug-eluting stents.


Recent publications

-          Chew DP, Amerena J, Coverdale S, Rankin J, Astley C, Brieger D.  (2007) Current management of acute coronary syndromes in Australia: observations from the acute coronary syndromes prospective audit (ACACIA). Internal Medicine Journal (accepted).

-          Shishehbor MH, Lauer MS, Singh IM, Chew DP, Karha J, Brener SJ, Moliterno DJ, Ellis SG, Topol EJ, Bhatt DL.  (2007) In unstable angina or non-ST-segment ACS, should patients with multivessel coronary artery disease undergo multivessel or culprit-only stenting? JACC 49 (8): 849-54

-          Worthley S, Farouque O, Meredith IT, Baldi M, Chew DP, Worthley M.  (2006). The RADI pressure wire high-sensitivity thermistor and culprit lesion temperature in patients with acute coronary syndromes. The Journal of Invasive Cardiology. 18(11):528-31.

-          White HD, Kleiman NS, Mahaffey KW, Lokhnygina Y, Pieper KS, Chiswell K, Cohen M, Harrington RA, Chew DP, Petersen JL, Berdan LG, Aylward PEG, Ferguson JJ, Califf RM.  (2006) Efficacy and safety of percutaneous coronary intervention in high-risk non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes treated with enoxaparin or unfractionated heparin in the superior yield of the new strategy of enoxaparin revascularization and glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors (SYNERGY) trial. Am Heart J. 152(6): 1042-50.

-          Chew DP.  (2005) If only all things were equal: Cost-effectiveness of drug-eluting stents. (Editorial).  Medical Journal of Australia 81:376-377.

-          Chew DP, Aylward PEG, White HD.  (2005) Facilitated percutaneous coronary intervention: is this strategy ready for implementation?  Current Cardiology Reports 7:235-241.


Carmine De Pasquale is responsible for the group’s ongoing research in relation to heart failure.

L to R: Dr Dani-Louise Bryan, Professor Andrew Bersten, Dr Carmine de Pasquale


The group’s major research is at the basic science level.  With Professor Andrew Bersten they are in their second year of a NH&MRC grant funding investigating the effect of chronic heart failure on respiratory function.  They are using a rat model of infarct-induced congestive heart failure (CHF) and are performing respiratory mechanics, surfactant analysis and pressure volume-loops on CHF lungs.  They have found that CHF lungs have normal mechanics until the effect of surfactant is removed they then have reduced compliance compared to controls.  Furthermore, CHF lungs have increased lavage surfactant suggesting there is a homeostatic mechanism in play in CHF to maintain normal respiratory mechanics.  We have presented this work and the manuscript is in preparation for submission.


De Pasquale CG*, Bryan D-L, De Smet H, Bersten AD.  Reduced surface tension normalises lung mechanics in a rodent chronic heart failure model. Presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference, San Francisco, May 2007 and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand, Christchurch, August 2007.


The group’s also has a clinical research and is engaged in multicentre clinical trials in heart failure.

Their PhD student, Rebecca Perry is exploring the ability of high-resolution transthoracic echocardiography of the left anterior descending coronary artery to act as a marker of coronary atherosclerosis.


Perry R, De Pasquale CG, Chew DP, Aylward PE, Joseph MX.  (2007) High-resolution transthoracic echocardiography of the left anterior descending coronary artery: a novel non-invasive assessment of coronary vasoreactivity. J Am Soc Echocard (in press).


In regard to multicentre clinical trials in heart failure, the group is currently involved in the RED-HF study which is a morbidity-mortality trial of the use of darbepoetin in anaemia in CHF; in the SHIFT study, another morbidity-mortality trial of the use of ivabradine (a novel potassium channel blocking drug which slows the sinus node) in CHF; in the ASCEND HF trial a morbidity-mortality trial of the use of nesiritide in acute decompensated CHF; in the REVIVE study of levosimendan in acute decompensated CHF; in the FUSION II study of twice weekly nesiritide infusions in out-patients with CHF; and in the Universe trial of rosuvastatin in CHF, which is exploring the beneficial effects of high dose statins on left ventricular function in non-ischaemic CHF.


                Krum H. Ashton E. Reid C. Kalff V. Rogers J. Amarena J. Singh B. Tonkin A.  (2007)  Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled                 study of   high-dose HMG CoA reductase inhibitor therapy on ventricular remodeling, pro-inflammatory cytokines and neurohormonal                 parameters in patients with chronic systolic heart failure.  J Card Fail. 13(1):1-7,


Joseph Selvanayagam has recently joined the group.  He has been working with Hugh Watkins in Oxford and has developed a major research interest in MRI cardiac imaging.


Arduino Mangoni’s group       

Arduino Mangoni is Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology in the Flinders University School of Medicine and Consultant Physician in Clinical Pharmacology and General Medicine at Flinders Medical Centre.  He runs a clinical research laboratory.


Arduino’s laboratory is interested in the identification of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions affecting endothelial function, arterial stiffness and blood pressure.  Current research projects include:  acute effects of NSAIDs on endothelial function and blood pressure; acute effects of haemodialysis on endothelial function and predictors of intradialytic hypotension; and acute and chronic effects of folic acid and tetrahydrobiopterin in patients with ischaemic heart disease.  They have recently developed a new protocol for the combined assessment of peripheral and coronary vasoreactivity.


Recent publications:

-          Hewitson CL, Whiting MJ, Barbara JA, Mangoni AA.  (2007)  Acute effects of haemodialysis on biochemical modulators of endothelial function.  J Intern Med  (in press).

-          Perry R, Joseph MX, De Pasquale CG, Chew DP, Yiu D, Aylward PEG, Mangoni AA.  (2007)  High resolution transthoracic echocardiography of the left anterior descending coronary artery: a novel non-invasive assessment of coronary vasoreactivity.  J Am Soc Echocard  (in press).

-          Paul B, Gieroba Z, Mangoni AA.  (2007)  Influence of comorbidities and medication use on tilt table test outcome in elderly patients.  Pacing Clin Electrophysiol  30: 540-543.

-          Jarmuzewska EA, Ghidoni A, Mangoni AA.  (2007)  Hypertension and sensorimotor peripheral neuropathy.  Eur Neurol 57: 91-95.

-          Hart S, Mangoni AA, Swift CG, Jackson SHD.  (2006)  The effect of methionine loading on endothelial function in elderly volunteers.  Heart Lung Circ  15: 358-361.

-          Hart S, Mangoni AA, Swift CG, Jackson SHD.  (2006)  The effect of methionine loading on pulse-wave velocity in elderly volunteers.  Postgrad Med J  82: 524-527.

-          Pathansali R, Mangoni AA, Creagh-Brown B, Lan ZC, Ngow GL, Yuan XF, Ouldred EL, Sherwood RA, Swift CG, Jackson SHD.  (2006)  Effects of folic acis supplementation on psychomotor performance and hemorheology in healthy elderly subjects.  Arch Gerontol Geriatr  43: 127-137.

-          Mangoni AA, Folic acid and inflammation in atherosclerosis: false hopes or the need for better trials?  Chim Clin Acta  367: 11-19.


Professor Paddy Phillips and Flinders Centre for Clinical Change and Health Services Research

Professor Paddy Phillips is a member of the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia.  He is co-leader of the Flinders Centre for Clinical Change & Health Care Research (FCCCHCR), a 93-membered Area of Strategic Research Investment at Flinders University.  Members of FCCCHCR share a common goal: to develop and disseminate evidence to inform optimum and cost-effective health care interventions.  Rigorous assessment of clinical and health system interventions and outcomes is complemented by original research to gain better understanding, and to effect knowledge transfer.


The group’s research is collaborative and involves medical specialists, allied health and nursing disciplines across a range of health care settings, including primary, acute, ambulatory, transitional, rehabilitation and residential aged care facilities.  Since December 2004, when the group was selected competitively to represent an area of key research capability for Flinders University, members have attracted more than $30M in competitive grants and tenders.

The group’s four key areas of research focus are: Evidence based clinical practice; Later life care; End-of-life care; and Chronic disease management.


A number of members of the FCCCHCR have a focus of current research in South Australia relevant to the cardiovascular system in health and disease and more specifically research which relates to blood pressure and its control, to hypertension, to cardiovascular risk factors in general, and to vascular structure, physiology and disease.

Further details are available at http://clinicalchange.flinders.edu.au/index.html.



The major active cardiovascular research groups at the Royal Adelaide Hospital are those led by Professor Stephen Worthley, Helpmann Professor of Cardiology, and by Professor Prash Sanders, Knapman Professor of Cardiology.


Stephen Worthley’s group

The group’s major interest is in cardiac MRI imaging.  They have recently completed the Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (MCR) sub-study of a large multi-centre trial in infarct angioplasty.  Previous CMR sub-study involvement with trials such as ONTARGET, STITCH and TELMAR has positioned the group as a centre of excellence in this area.


The group’s major research foci have expanded to include the development of a ‘one stop shop’ of vascular and ventricular structure and function with CMR, with particular diseases of interest including obesity, diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease.  They have established unique protocols assessing myocardial T2 relaxometry, a novel marker of myocardial iron overload in beta-thalassaemia.  Their core research work, in the field of atherosclerosis imaging, continues with co-registration work with magnetic resonance imaging and multidetector CT imaging of carotid and bypass graft atherosclerosis, including high resolution invasive imaging with intravascular ultrasound (IR IVUS).  The group’s imaging expertise has evolved to assess atrial structure and function and several patents have resulted.  In collaboration with Dr Andrew Zannettino and Dr Stan Gronthos at the Hanson Institute, the group has established large animal models of ischaemic and non-ischaemic left ventricular dysfunction and are utilising high resolution CMR to assess mechanisms of benefit of immuno-selected bone marrow stromal stem cell therapy in these groups.


Recent publications:

-          Worthley SG, Helt G, Corti R, Worthley MI, Chew DP, Fayad ZA, Zaman AG, Fallon JT, Fuster V, Badimon JJ.  (2007)  Statin therapy alone and in combination with an acyl-CoA:cholesterol-o-acyltransferase inhibitor on experimental atherosclerosis.  Pathophysiol Thromb Haemost  (in press)

-          Worthley SG, Reis ED, Helft G, Worthley MI, Fayad ZA, Siddiqui M, Nusbaum A, Hollier L.  (2007)  Serial magnetic resonance imaging predicts clinical outcome in an experimental model of spinal cord ischemia.  Stroke  (in press).

-          Psaltis PJ, Dundon BK, Teo KSL, Worthley SG.  (2007)  Delayed presentation of right heart failure secondary to intro-myocardial dissection and ventricular septal defect: utility of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.  Heart Lung and Circulation  (in press).

-          Duncan RF, Teo KSL, Worthley SG.  (2007)  Cardiac magnetic resonance documentation of a double atrial septal defect before and after percutaneous closure with an Amplatzer septal occluder.  Int J Card  (in press).

-          Duncan RF, Brown MA, Worthley SG.  (2007)  Increasing identification of isolated left ventricular non-compaction with cardiovascular magnetic resonance:  A mini case series highlighting variable clinical presentation.  Heart Lung and Circulation (in press).

-          Dundon BK, Yeend RAS, Worthley SG.  (2007)  Percutaneous closure of a post-surgical left ventricular pseudoaneurysm.  Heart  (in press).

-          Duncan RF, Brown MA, Worthley SG.  (2007)  Recurrent, multiple cardiac myxoma.  Heart Lung and Circulation (in press).

-          Dundon BK, Worthley MI, Worthley SG.  (2007)  Very late drug-eluting stent thrombosis.  Heart, Lung and Circulation  (in press).


Prash Sanders’ group  

Professor Prash Sanders heads a group with major interests in cardiac electrophysiology.


University of South Australia

Professor Peter Howe is Director of the Nutritional Physiology Research Centre, which is part of the ATN Centre for Metabolic Fitness, a national research collaboration comprising researchers from the University of South Australia, Curtin University of Technology, Queensland University of Technology, University of Technology Sydney and RMIT University.  The research focus of the ATN Centre for Metabolic Fitness is the optimisation of health through lifestyle modification.  The Nutritional Physiology Research Centre also collaborates with the University of Adelaide, Spencer Gulf Rural Health School, CSIRO Human Nutrition, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, University of Western Australia and University of Wollongong. It has active research partnerships with the food industry supported by ARC Linkage grants and consultancies, as well as research programs supported by the NHMRC, National Heart Foundation and Diabetes Australia.


The research focus of the group is in cardiovascular, metabolic, anti-inflammatory and mental health benefits of diet and physical activity and the underlying mechanisms.  Physiological effects of a range of bioactive nutrients (e.g. omega-3 fats, phyto-estrogens, antioxidants) and other dietary modifications are evaluated, alone or in combination with regular exercise in human trials.  Assessments include physical and mental performance (mood, behaviour and cognition), non-invasive cardiovascular risk factors (ambulatory blood pressure, baroreflex function, arterial elasticity, endothelial function) and circulating biomarkers (lipids, eicosanoids, cytokines) and body composition indices (total body fat, abdominal adiposity and bone density).


Recent publications

-          Grenyer BF, Crowe T, Meyer B, Owen AJ, Grigonis-Deane EM, Caputi P, Howe PR.  (2007)  Fish oil supplementation in the treatment of major depression: A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial.  Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. (in press).

-          Hill AM, Buckley JD, Murphy KJ, Howe PR.   (2007)  Combining fish-oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise improves body composition and cardiovascular disease risk factors.  Am J Clin Nutr. 85(5):1267-74.

-          Meyer BJ, Hammervold T, Rustan AC, Howe PR.  (2007)   Dose-dependent effects of docosahexaenoic acid supplementation on blood lipids in statin-treated hyperlipidaemic subjects.  Lipids. 42(2):109-15.

-          Hill AM, Worthley C, Murphy KJ, Buckley JD, Ferrante A, Howe PR.  (2007)  n-3 fatty acid supplementation and regular moderate exercise: differential effects of a combined intervention on neutrophil function.  Br J Nutr. 98(2):300-9.

-          Murphy KJ, Meyer BJ, Mori TA, Burke V, Mansour J, Patch CS, Tapsell LC, Noakes  M, Clifton PA, Barden A, Puddey IB, Beilin LJ, Howe PR.  (2007). Impact of foods enriched with n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on erythrocyte n-3 levels and cardiovascular risk factors.  Br J Nutr  97(4):749-57.

-          Hill AM, LaForgia J, Coates AM, Buckley JD, Howe PR.  (2007) Estimating abdominal adipose tissue with DXA and anthropometry.  Obesity (Silver Spring).  15(2):504-10. Coates AM, Howe PR.  (2007)  Edible nuts and metabolic health.  Curr Opin Lipidol. 18(1):25-30.

-          Buckley JD, Thorp AA, Murphy KJ, Howe PR.  (2006)   Dose-dependent inhibition of the post-prandial glycaemic response to a standard carbohydrate meal following incorporation of alpha-cyclodextrin.  Ann Nutr Metab. 108-14.

-          Patch CS, Tapsell LC, Mori TA, Meyer BJ, Murphy KJ, Mansour J, Noakes M, Clifton PM, Puddey IB, Beilin LJ, Annison G, Howe PR.  (2005) The use of novel foods enriched with long-chain n-3 fatty acids to increase dietary intake: a comparison of methodologies assessing nutrient intake.  J Am Diet Assoc. 105(12):1918-26.





Dr James Armitage, of Monash University in Melbourne, was recently presented with the prestigious John Shaw Award. 


The award, sponsored by Merck Sharp & Dohme (Australia), is named in memory of Professor John Shaw, a well known academic and clinical pharmacologist with an outstanding record in clinical pharmacology practice, teaching and research. Professor Shaw was the Medical Director of Merck Sharp & Dohme until he died after a long illness in August 1997.


The John Shaw Award is presented to the highest ranked Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow.  Dr Armitage’s research aims to understand high blood pressure in people with obesity. This will lead to better treatment of this condition and stress-related high blood pressure in the future. It may also lead to a reduction of the risk of stroke and heart attack.

The ceremony was very well attended by representatives from Merck, Sharp & Dohme, the Heart Foundation, the Baker Heart Research Institute and Monash University.  Many of Dr Armitage’s colleagues were there along with his family to see him presented with the prestigious award.  We were also honored by the attendance of Robin Shaw who had traveled from Sydney to be there.


Congratulations Dr Armitage on this fantastic achievement and good luck with your research career.  We are very grateful to Merck, Sharp and Dohme for supporting this award in honour of John Shaw and look forward to a long and productive alliance with them through the Heart Foundation Pharmaceutical Roundtable.





August 2007 Newsletter

To view the ASMR August 2007 Newsletter, please click here.


The ASMR Research Awards

The Australian Society for Medical Research invites applications for “The ASMR Research Awards”. Each award ($5000 international or $2000 domestic) will support a postgraduate student member of the Society nearing completion of their studies or a recently graduated postdoctoral member to undertake a short period of research in a laboratory outside their home city.


The award specifically excludes support for conference attendance and travel for an extended period of postdoctoral studies.


Applicants for “The ASMR Research Awards” must have been members of the ASMR for at least 12 months immediately preceding the year in which the Award application is to be considered. Applicants must have no more than 3 years active research post their highest degree (career interruptions will be considered). The Award must be taken up during the first 6 months of the following year.


The recipients of the Award will be announced at the National Scientific Conference of the Society. A condition of receipt of the Award is that the recipients will be available to present their data at the National Scientific Conference of the Society in the year of the Award. Further, the recipients will provide an article about their research for inclusion in the November issue of the newsletter of the Society in the year of the Award. Any publications resulting from work supported by the Award should acknowledge the financial contribution of “The ASMR Research Award”.



-          Complete the Application Form, making clear whether it is for an international or a domestic Award

-          Provide on a maximum of 2 A4 pages (pages in excess of this limit will be removed - use 12 point font, minimum 2cm borders) a description of your current research activities, the proposed use of the award and an indication of how the award will advance your studies. Quotes for airfares should be attached.

-          Include a brief (1 page) curriculum vitae [including Scholarships and Awards] with publications listed as follows i) peer-reviewed publications, ii) book chapters or invited reviews, iii) patents and iv) proceedings and conference abstracts.

-          Applicants must provide with their application a letter of support from the proposed laboratory to be visited. If the proposal requires additional financial support other than that provided by the award, evidence of availability of that support must be provided.


The award will be judged on the following criteria -

    • Proposed project (goals, design, methods, and feasibility),
    • Significance of project for the advancement of knowledge and potential for improvement of health,
    • How collaboration will advance the applicants studies and collaborators’ track record in the field, and
    • Applicant track record (scholarships, awards, and publications).


One International and one Domestic Award is offered annually. ASMR reserves the right not to offer an

Award in either category in any given year


The original application and four copies should be sent to: The Honorary Secretary, ASMR, 145 Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000. Applications must be received by the closing date (5:00pm, Friday September 28, 2007). Facsimiles will not be accepted.


Please click here for application form.






HBPRCA Secretariat

Athina Patti at

Meetings First

t          61 3 9739 7697

f          61 3 9739 7076

e         hbprca@meetingsfirst.com.au

w         www.hbprca.com.au



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The 2nd International Conference on Frontiers in Vascular Medicine
26 – 28 October 2007

Rydges Hotel, Melbourne CBD

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6th Congress of the Asian-Pacific Society of Hypertension

16 – 19 November 2007

Beijing, China

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High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia’s Annual Scientific Meeting

5 – 7 December 2007

Adelaide, South Australia

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Western Pharmacological Society Meeting

27 – 31 January 2008

Kona Coast, Hawaii

Further information coming soon!


The International Conference on Fixed Combination in the Treatment of Hypertension and Dyslipidemia

7 – 10 February 2008

Budapest, Hungary

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2nd International Conference on Hypertension, Lipids, Diabetes and Stroke Prevention

6 – 8 March 2008

Prague, Czech Republic

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ISH 2008 – The 22nd Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Hypertension

14 – 19 June 2008

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13th International SHR Symposium

20 - 22 June 2008

Prague, Czech Republic
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Annual Scientific Meeting of the British Hypertension Society
24 – 26 September 2008
Queen’s College, Cambridge

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2nd International Symposium on Pheochromocytoma

17 – 20 September 2008
Queens College, Cambridge

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