Cardiovascular physiology

Our research activities include developing novel therapies (drugs and other strategies) for cardiovascular disease (especially myocardial infarction, heart failure and diabetes). Functional components of diet to prevent/reverse chronic disease (esp. CVD and diabetes) are also a significant focus of our group (anti-inflammatory and antioxidant mechanisms of action; role of the gut microbiome).

Our routine techniques include

  • small and large animal models of CV disease
  • clinical trials and studies
  • echocardiography (cardiac function) & haemodynamics
  • planimetry (computer imaging quantitation of heart infarct size)
  • biochemical / hormone / molecular assays
  • body composition (DEXA/anthropometry)
  • actigraphy (physical activity)
  • food diaries; nutrient analysis
  • continuous glucose monitoring
  • large databases

Current projects

  • Novel drugs and strategies to reduce myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury
  • Gene therapy for heart failure
  • AUSMED Heart Trial – Mediterranean Diet intervention in secondary prevention of cardiac events; mechanisms of protection
  • Adherence to Med Diet pattern, cognitive function in older people, and potential interactions with cardiovascular health
  • The effect of high-polyphenol olive oil on markers of cardiovascular disease risk and cognition
  • The microbiome as a cardiometabolic and hypertension target
  • Tribal populations (India): emergent lifestyle diseases (esp. CVD/diabetes)
  • Effect of diabetes on mental health in women
  • Alternatives for standard hospital mid-meals to improve glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes

Team members

Research leader: Dr Colleen Thomas

Masters student: Sophie Skalkos

PhD students: Sebastian Bass-Stringer, Shan Huang, Katerina Sarapis, Sarah Knowler, Flavia Wassel, Mihiri Munasanghe, Suzanne Douglas, Andrea Bramley, Narayan Nair

Honours students: Holly Brettle, Erica Liapis, Johanna Hoskin, Aanchal Dayan