Speakers

International

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Jonathan Cohen, PhD is a Professor in the Center for Human Nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, where he holds the C. Vincent Prothro Distinguished Chair in Human Nutrition Research.

Together with his scientific partner, Helen Hobbs, he has used human genetics to identify and characterize genes required for the uptake of cholesterol by cells and for the excretion of cholesterol and other neutral sterols from the body. He also discovered loss-of-function mutations in PCSK9 that confer protection against coronary heart disease, and low-frequency alleles in NPC1L1 that profoundly affect sterol absorption.

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Professor of Cardiology, Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, UK

Professor Darrel Francis is a clinician focused on the downstream complications of diabetes. Prof Francis is a thought-leader in coronary intervention and led the 2017 ORBITA trial – the world’s first randomised control trial of stenting versus placebo intervention.

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Edward A Fisher, MD, PhD is the Leon Charney Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine.

At NYU, he is also the Director of the Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Director of the Marc and Ruti Bell Program in Vascular Biology.  He is a graduate of the NYU School of Medicine and received his clinical training at Duke and Harvard. He also holds a PhD from MIT in biochemistry and nutrition and was a post-doctoral fellow at the NIH in molecular genetics. Dr Fisher’s research program includes investigations of the cell biology of the very low density lipoproteins (the precursors of LDL), the regression of atherosclerosis, including its imaging, and the development of nanoparticles to target therapies directly to atherosclerotic plaques.

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Director of the Cardiometabolic microRNA Laboratory, University of Ottawa Heart Institute Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology, University of Ottawa, Canada

Dr. Katey Rayner’s research focuses on how microRNAs control multiple aspects of the risk factors that drive both atherosclerosis and obesity, namely inflammation dysregulated energy metabolism, and how microRNAs may be used as therapeutics in the future to treat cardiometabolic diseases

National

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Dr Anna Waterhouse

Dr Waterhouse is a Group Leader of the Cardiovascular Medical Devices Group at the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney and the Heart Research Institute. She is also a member of the University of Sydney Nano Institute.

She received a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) from the Australian Research Council in 2016 and is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Dr Waterhouse received her PhD from the University of Sydney in 2011 with Prof. Anthony Weiss and did her post-doctoral training at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard Medical School, with Prof. Don Ingber.

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Professor Anthony Keech

Professor Anthony Keech is a Professor of Medicine, Cardiology and Epidemiology and Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney and Deputy Director of the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre at the University of Sydney.

His specialist areas are large trials to inform treatment strategies for acute coronary syndromes, risk factor reduction in cardiovascular disease, and prevention of vascular disease including in diabetes. He also works in the areas of microvascular complications of diabetes and underlying molecular mechanisms. He is the immediate past Chairman of the Clinical Trials Working Group of the ANZ Cardiac Society and previous Secretary and Founding member of the Asia Pacific Society of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Diseases.

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Professor Ben Freedman

Ben Freedman is Deputy Director (Cardiovascular Research Strategy) and leads the Heart Rhythm and Stroke group at Sydney’s Heart Research Institute at the Charles Perkins Centre. He is Professor of Cardiology at the University of Sydney and former head of Department of Cardiology Concord Hospital.

Professor Ben Freedman’s research interests are broad but now focus on stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation. His group’s work on screening was nominated as a finalist in the Australian Innovation award in 2013. In 2015, with five others, he formed the AF-SCREEN International Collaboration which now has 150 members from 36 countries, including many of the foremost names in AF research. In 2017, AF-SCREEN produced an important white paper on screening for AF, which was published in Circulation. He has authored over 200 publications, including more than 50 on atrial fibrillation.

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Professor Bronwyn Kingwell

BSc(Hons), PhD (University of Melbourne), FAHA, FAICD, FAHMS

Professor Bronwyn Kingwell is a NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow and at Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute (Melbourne) is head of the Translational Research Domain and the Metabolic and Vascular Physiology Laboratory. She is also a graduate and fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has adjunct Professorships at the University of Melbourne, Monash University, James Cook University, the University of NSW and the University of Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris.

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Professor Bruce Neal

Bruce Neal is Deputy Executive Director at The George Institute for Global Health in Australia, Professor of Medicine at UNSW Sydney and Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at Imperial College London.

Bruce completed his medical training at Bristol University in the UK in 1990 and spent four years in clinical posts. Prior to taking up his position at the Institute in 1999 he worked as an epidemiologist at the Clinical Trials Research Unit in Auckland, New Zealand, where he completed his PhD in Medicine. Bruce has a longstanding interest in the management of high blood pressure and diabetes and has played lead roles in multiple large-scale clinical trials. He currently chairs the Steering Committees for the recently completed CANVAS and CANVAS-R trials of the SGLT2 inhibitor canagliflozin and an ongoing 21,000 patient trial examining the effects of salt reduction on stroke.

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Dr Craig Anderson

Dr Anderson is Executive Director, The George Institute, China; Senior Principal Research Fellow, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia; Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology, University of New South Wales, Sydney; Director, Neurology Research, The George Institute, Australia; and neurologist, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia.

He has led a sustained program of large-scale international clinical trials and population research to generate reliable evidence to inform health care providers and policy makers in their decisions regarding optimal strategies for prevention and treatment of stroke and other aspects of cardiovascular disease, through a research program linking clinical medicine and public health and multidisciplinary teams in 20+ countries. He has received several awards in recognition of his contribution to stroke research.

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Dr Daniel Fazakerley

Dr Daniel Fazakerley is a post-doctoral fellow in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences based at the Charles Perkins Centre. He investigates how cells and tissues respond to insulin and how these responses become defective in metabolic disease. His overall goal is to find new ways to improve or restore insulin action. He currently leads the Mechanisms of Insulin Resistance group as part of Professor David James’ lab.

Dr Fazakerley studied for his PhD with Professor Geoff Holman at the University at Bath from 2006 to 2010. During this time he investigated the intracellular trafficking of the glucose transporter, GLUT4, in skeletal muscle. Following award of his PhD in 2010, Dr Fazakerley joined Professor James’ group, then at the Garvan Institute in Sydney, on a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust. He moved to his current position at the CPC in 2014.

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Dr Faraz Pathan

Dr Faraz Pathan is a cardiologist and cardiovascular imaging specialist. He is currently the head of cardiac imaging at Nepean hospital.

He has undertaken fellowships in cardiac imaging at Prince of Wales Hospital Sydney Australia, The Menzies Institute for Medical Research, Tasmania and the Goethe Institute for Experimental and Translational Cardiovascular Imaging, Frankfurt, Germany. He subspecialises multi-modality cardiovascular imaging including echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and cardiac computed tomography.

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Professor Karlheinz Peter

Prof Karlheinz Peter is a senior interventional cardiologist at the Alfred Hospital and a basic scientist and Deputy Director at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. He is Professor of Medicine and Immunology at Monash University and Medical 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 most of his clinical training at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He did his postdoctoral research training at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore and at Scripps Research Foundation, La Jolla. His research is focused on the cellular mechanisms of thrombosis and coronary artery disease and its consequence, myocardial infarction, encompassing the role of platelets, coagulation and inflammation.

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Professor Lea Delbridge

Lea M. Durham Delbridge, PhD, FCSANZ.
Professor and Head, Cardiac Phenomics Laboratory
School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences
University of Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

Prof Lea Delbridge heads the Cardiac Phenomics Laboratory in the Department of Physiology at the University of Melbourne. Her research goals are to understand structural and functional cardiopathology in different forms of diabetic and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Her current work is supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and the Australian Research Council. Lea has published ~ 140 peer reviewed papers in many top-discipline journals.

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Professor Mark A Febbraio

Professor Mark Febbraio is a Senior Principal Research Fellow of the NHMRC, is the Head of the Cellular and Molecular Metabolism Laboratory and Head of the Division of Diabetes & Metabolism at The Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia.

He is also the CSO of N-Gene Research Laboratories Inc., a USA based Biotechnology Company and the Founder and CSO of the recently incorporated company Kinomedica. His research is focussed on understanding cellular and molecular mechanisms associated with exercise, obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer and his aim is to develop novel drugs to treat lifestyle related diseases. He has authored over 240 peer reviewed papers in leading journals and has ~30,000 career citations.

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Professor Prash Sanders

Professor Prash Sanders is a clinical and academic electrophysiologist. He undertook his Cardiology training at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, electrophysiology and doctoral training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, before taking up a postdoctoral training in Bordeaux, France.

Professor Sanders was appointed to the Knapman-National Heart Foundation Chair of Cardiology Research at the University of Adelaide and as Clinical Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in 2005. He has since established an internationally recognised electrophysiology laboratory and research group which is at the forefront of strategies for the treatment and management of atrial fibrillation.

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Professor Rebecca Richie

Rebecca Ritchie is Head of Heart Failure Pharmacology and Chair of Science Faculty at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. She holds an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship, holds an adjunct Prof appointment at the Dept of Diabetes at Monash University and is the Membership Secretary for the ISHR Australasian Section.

Prof Ritchie is internationally-recognised for her contributions to cardiac pharmacology, with 90 career publications. Her research achievements to date have enabled her to identify potential new treatment strategies, both pharmacological and gene delivery-based, for arresting the progression of heart failure, particularly in the context of diabetes and myocardial infarction, maintaining a translational focus to this fundamental research.

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Professor Roland Stocker

Roland Stocker trained as a biochemist at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH, Zürich) in Switzerland, the Australian National University, and the University of California, Berkeley in the USA. Roland currently heads the Vascular Biology Division at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney.

He is an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow since 2001, and a member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences and the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. Roland has a longstanding interest in redox processes in health and disease. He has served or currently serves as a member of the Editorial Board of all journals dedicated to free radical research, and has also been President of the Society for Free Radical Research Australasia. He has published >300 articles and his Web of Science h-index is 78.

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Professor Stephen J. Simpson

Steve Simpson is Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre and Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney.

After graduating as a biologist from the University of Queensland, Steve undertook his PhD at the University of London, then spent 22 years at Oxford before returning to Australia in 2005 as an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow, then ARC Laureate Fellow. Stephen and colleague David Raubenheimer have developed an integrative modelling framework for nutrition (the Geometric Framework), which was devised and tested using insects and has since been applied to a wide range of organisms, from slime moulds to humans, and problems, from aquaculture and conservation biology to the dietary causes of human obesity and ageing.