Vascular Research Centre

Our group is committed to develop new strategies to prevent, diagnose and treat atherosclerosis, the major cause of heart attacks and stroke. 

People within this group
Current Research Focus

Our research interests are focused on a number of themes including:

  • Mechanisms underlying atherosclerosis: Our translational studies investigate the molecular events that drive the formation, progression and rupture of atherosclerotic plaques and test novel agents that target these disease promoting pathways.
  • Lipid and metabolic risk factors: Our group is interested in the role that lipid and metabolic factors play in the promotion of heart disease. In particular, our laboratory and clinical studies focus on the intersection between obesity, inflammation and the effects of plasma lipoproteins on vascular risk.
  • Plaque imaging: We employ a range of invasive (coronary angiography, intravascular ultrasound, virtual histology, optical coherence tomography, near infrared spectroscopy) and non-invasive (computed tomography, magnetic resonance, ultrasound) approaches to imaging the artery wall in order to investigate factors and therapies that influence the size and composition of atherosclerotic plaque. Our imaging team acts as the core laboratory for major international clinical trials and imaging registries including:
    • CHI-SQUARE: a serial intravascular ultrasound trial of 480 patients evaluating the impact of HDL infusions
    • COLOR: a registry of more than 1,900 patients undergoing combination intravascular ultrasound/near infrared spectroscopy imaging of coronary atherosclerosis
    • CARAT:a serial intravascular ultrasound study of 292 patients evaluating the impact of HDL infusions
    • SAVOIR II: Single time point study of a novel near infrared spectroscopy catheter
  • Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics: This is an Australian Research Council funded Centre of Excellence that focuses on the use of novel physics and chemistry approaches to the development of nanoscale techniques for sensing of biological systems. Our group leads the biological challenge “Inside Blood Vessels” to develop novel approaches to sensing factors involved in the regulation of vascular health and disease. Our group is currently collaborating with the chemists and physicists across different nodes of the centre to develop a biocompatible platform for in vivo nitric oxide sensing inside the blood vessels. We are also focussing on Raman spectroscopy based imaging of plaque regression, developing fluorescent sensors for angiogenesis, HDL metabolism, apoptosis in atherosclerotic plaques and endothelial cell senescence.
  • Clinical trials: Our group’s ultimate aim is to translate bioscience and population discoveries from the testing of novel approaches to the prevention and treatment of heart disease. We perform site based trial activity in the Cardiovascular Investigation Unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and at the Clinical Research Area at SAHMRI. In addition, we collaborate with SAHMRI’s Clinical Research Platform to coordinate multicentre trials of novel therapies including:
    • ACCELERATE: a clinical outcome trial of the CETP inhibitor, evacetrapib, in more than 12,000 patients at high vascular risk
    • ESPRIT: a trial of high doses of omega-3 fatty acids in patients with high vascular risk and elevated triglyceride levels
    • GLAGOV: a serial intravascular ultrasound trial evaluating the impact of the PCSK9 inhibitor, evolucumab, on progression of coronary atherosclerosis in 950 patients
    • AO3T: a study of the effect of fish oils in 200 Aboriginal patients with heart disease
    • STRENGTH: a long term outcomes study to assess statin residual risk reduction using fish oil in 13,000 high cardiovascular risk patients with hypertriglyceridemia
    • CARAT: a serial intravascular ultrasound study of 292 patients evaluating the impact of HDL infusions
    • CAUGHT-CAD: a randomised controlled trial looking at Coronary Artery calcium scores as a marker to guide management of hereditary Coronary Artery Disease
Get in touch
+61 8 8128 4000
You can't miss us!
North Terrace Adelaide 5000 South Australia
Postal Address
PO BOX 11060 Adelaide 5001 South Australia
Key Partners
SAHMRI is located on the traditional lands of the Kaurna Nation.

The SAHMRI community acknowledges and respects the traditional owners, the family clans who are the Kaurna Nation from the Adelaide Plains region of South Australia. We acknowledge the clans of the Kaurna Nation and the sacred knowledge they hold for their country. We pay our respects to the Kaurna Nation, their ancestors and the descendants of these living family clans today.