Directors & Executive

Jaye Chin-Dusting – founding Chairman

chindusting jayeProfessor Jaye Chin-Dusting is Professor (Research) in the Pharmacology Department at Monash University in Melbourne, and the previous Executive Director at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia. She is Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Baker IDI (Melbourne) and at UNSW (Sydney). Elsewhere she is  a Visiting Professor of UCSI University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  She is also the President of the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia (2011 – current).

Professor Chin-Dusting’s career has been founded on making, and bringing, fundamental, basic discoveries and know-how in cardiovascular research into improved clinical management of patients.  Her basic work on how high intraluminal pressure and lipids cause vascular inflammation, including their impact on monocyte and macrophage subsets, differentiation and polarisation as well as on endothelial activation is based on the central tenet that these mechanistic alterations occur via the cell membrane structural site, the caveola and its associated proteins caveolin-1 and cavin-1.  These concepts not only have discovery impact, but also clinical relevance in the context of patients with high blood pressure, hypercholaesterolaemia, and coronary artery disease.

The successful research paradigm upon which she works includes academic-industrial links underpinned by a strong basic-clinical interface.  Her total career publication output numbers 140+ and her H-index is 34. She has delivered numerous invited and plenary talks both locally and internationally and sits on several journal Editorial Boards. She has supervised over 18 PhDs, 24 BSc Hons scholars and 10 post-docs and is passionately committed to creating and promoting a strong environment for excellence for Australia’s future research leaders.


Livia Hool – founding Secretary

 HoolLiviaLivia Hool completed her PhD in Sydney and moved to The University of Western Australia as a NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellow in 1998 to establish the laboratory after completing postdoctoral research in the School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA.  She is Head of the Cardiovascular Electrophysiology Laboratory in the School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology and has received continuous competitive funding from national and international granting bodies including the American Heart Association, Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) since obtaining her PhD in 1995. Her research focuses on the role of calcium in the excitability of the heart and in the regulation of mitochondrial energetics, with an emphasis on designing therapy to prevent the development of cardiomyopathy and heart failure.

Professor Hool is Executive member of the World Council of International Society for Heart Research (ISHR) and President of ISHR Australasian Section (2013-16). She is a Fellow of the American Heart Association and a Fellow of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. She develops cardiovascular health policy internationally (ISHR World Council) and nationally with Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand as a member of Scientific Committee. She has held numerous positions on university committees, society councils including World Congresses, grant review panels for WA Department of Health, ARC, Heart Foundation of Australia, NHMRC and Canadian Institutes for Health Research. She serves on the Editorial Boards of International Journal of Cardiology, Journal of Physiology (London) and Heart Lung Circulation.


Stephen Nicholls – founding TreasurerMBBS PhD

NichollsStephenProfessor Stephen Nicholls is Deputy Director and Heart Health Theme Leader at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). He is Professor of Cardiology at the University of Adelaide and a Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He completed his medical training in Adelaide, cardiology training at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle and his PhD at the Heart Research Institute, focusing on the anti-inflammatory properties of high-density lipoproteins (HDL, the good form of cholesterol).

Professor Nicholls has published more than 520 original manuscripts, conference proceedings and book chapters, including in the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Journal of the American Medical Association and Nature Medicine.

Professor Nicholls is frequently invited to talk on a range of topics in cardiovascular disease at national and international conferences. He is currently President of the Australian Atherosclerosis Society and serves on the board of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand

His major research interests include studying the impact of factors that influence the ability of ‘Good Cholesterol’ to protect against heart disease, development of novel plaque imaging modalities in clinical practice and performing large scale clinical trials of novel therapies.


graham robertProfessor Robert M. Graham received his medical training at University of New South Wales where he is now the Des Renford Professor of Medicine, (UNSW). He has been the inaugural Executive Director, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (VCCRI), Sydney, Australia, since returning to Australia in 1994 after 17 years in the US working at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas; the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He maintains an active clinical practice as a consultant physician in cardiorenal diseases.

A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, and Foreign Member, Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, his research focuses on molecular cardiology, with emphasis on circulatory control mechanisms, hypertension, receptor signalling and cardiac hypertrophy, as well as cardiac regeneration and the application of stem cells for the treatment of heart diseases.

Professor Graham is a Fellow of the American Heart Association; Life Member, Heart Foundation of Australia (NSW Division), and Member, American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Appointments and Promotions Committees of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Australia, the Centre for Vascular Research, UNSW, Mesoblast Ltd., Melbourne, and Zensun Ltd., Shanghai; and Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board of The Bosch Institute, University of Sydney and the Oxford Nuffield Medical Fellowships Committee (Australia), and Board Member, VCCRI; EngeneIC Ltd, Sydney; the Lowy Medical Research Institute (LMRI) and Board of Scientific Governors, LMRI MacTel Project.

Professor Graham served two terms on the Research Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and on numerous NHMRC Fellowship and Grant Review Panels. He serves or has served on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Circulation Research, Circulation, Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology and Molecular Pharmacology. 


Jonathan Golledge
BA, MB BChir, Mchir, FRCS, FRACS

Jonathan GolledgeProfessor Jonathan Golledge is Head of the Queensland Research Centre for Peripheral Vascular Disease and its pre-clinical arm The Vascular Biology Unit (VBU) at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University. Professor Golledge joined JCU in 2002 and established the Vascular Biology Unit with the aim of carrying out research intended to be translated into improved management of aortic aneurysm and other peripheral vascular conditions. We continue to seek high quality students and researchers to join our group. Trained as a vascular specialist, Professor Golledge took 2 years out of specialist training to obtain experience in research techniques as part of a Cambridge MChir (Doctoral equivalent), UK. His research commitment is illustrated by a large number of presentations at International and National meetings and publications in peer-reviewed journals, including a large number in top specialised journals.

Professor Golledge holds a conjoint position between the School of Medicine and Dentistry and Queensland Health, where he works as a vascular surgeon. In addition to providing a high quality clinical service his principal aspiration is to improve management of peripheral vascular diseases. The research impact of this is evidenced by external grant support from the NIH, NHMRC, Queensland Government, NHF and other bodies. Of note in 2010 Professor Golledge led a successful bid to establish a NHMRC funded centre of research excellence for Peripheral Vascular Disease.


Professor Tom Marwick

MarwickTomProfessor Tom Marwick is the Executive Director at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia. Previous to this position, he was appointed Director of the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania in July 2012 and commenced in this position on 15 October 2012. He has a strong interest in research directed at practical health outcomes. He has an outstanding record in both research and research leadership in Australia and internationally.

Professor Marwick’s specialty is cardiac imaging in heart failure and coronary disease, and the detection of early stages of cardiac dysfunction. His other clinical interests include the cardiac complications of cancer and cancer treatment, valvular heart disease and advanced coronary disease. He is particularly interested in appropriate and cost-effective application of cardiac imaging techniques for treatment selection and monitoring.

Before coming to Menzies, Professor Marwick was Section Head, Cardiovascular Imaging, at the Center for Cardiovascular Imaging at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA. Professor Marwick has a long and distinguished career in cardiovascular health and research since his graduation with honours from the University of Melbourne in 1981 with a degree in Medicine. He completed his PhD in Cardiovascular Imaging at the University of Louvain in Belgium in 1994 and a Masters of Public Health in 2011 at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, USA.

In 2011 Professor Marwick was invited to give the Kempson Maddox Lecture, the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand’s premier annual oration. Other career highlights to date include winning his first program grant from the National Health and Medical Research Foundation in 2009, the culmination of a decade’s work in his field, and winning the Foundation’s Eccles Award (named after the Australian Nobel Prize-winner Sir John Eccles) in 1999. 


Kerry-Anne RyePhD

Kerry-Anne RyeProfessor Kerry-Anne Rye obtained her PhD from The Flinders University of South Australia and gained her postdoctoral training at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is Head of the Lipid Research Group in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales and holds conjoint professorial positions at the University of Sydney and University of Western Sydney. She also holds Honorary Professorial Fellow appointments at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.

Professor Rye’s research is concerned with high density lipoprotein (HDL) structure and function, with a particular emphasis on the anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic functions of HDL. She has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and invited reviews on these topics.

Professor Rye is a member of the Editorial Boards of Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, The Journal of the American Heart Association and Circulation Research. She is also an Associate Editor of the Journal of Lipid Research. Professor Rye is a member of the American Heart Association ATVB Council Leadership Committee, and runs a mentoring program for early career ATVB Council members. She also represents the ATVB Council as Chair of the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions Program Committee. Professor Rye is the recipient of the American Heart Association ATVB Council Distinguished Achievement Award for 2015.


Alison Venn

Professor Alison Venn is an epidemiologist, Director of the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania and Director of the Tasmanian Data Linkage Unit. Her research interests are in the causes, prevention and management of chronic disease, with a strong focus on lifestyle, obesity and cardiometabolic disease. She leads the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health (CDAH) Study which has followed 8,500 Australian children for more than 30 years to investigate the role of childhood factors in predicting adult cardiovascular disease and diabetes. She also leads a multi-disciplinary program of work investigating health service use, costs, patient outcomes and policy options for bariatric surgery in the public health system.

Professor Venn has contributed extensively to peer review and committees for NHMRC and the Heart Foundation and is currently a member of the Board of the Heart Foundation Tasmania.