Flagships | Australian Cardiovascular Alliance (ACvA)

Six flagships have been established collaboratively with researchers from the ACvA network and bring together world leading CV researchers from across the Australia. The flagships are key research pillars to underpin a thriving cardiovascular research ecosystem serving health and the economy. The flagships strategically span the bi-directional translational pipeline, covering basic and translational research through to policy and implementation. The flagship structure aims to promote collaboration, research excellence and bring together the best teams to develop solutions for cardiovascular disease that will create positive impact for the community.

The Directors of each Flagship work closely with their Flagship Advisory Group members, and the ACvA to drive impact and deliver capacity building initiatives and priorities. The Flagship Advisory Group Terms of Reference can be found HERE.

Directors can be contacted directly or via acva@ozheart.org. To find out more about the Flagship Directors, click HERE.


Drug Discovery and Translation Flagship

Goal: To create and support a nationwide sustainable ecosystem of drug discovery and translation in Australia that results in a pipeline of therapies to treat cardiac disease, vascular disease and stroke.

People: This Flagship is co-directed by Professors Grant Drummond and Rebecca Ritchie.

Drug Discovery Advisory Group
Name Institution  
Rebecca Ritchie Monash University
Grant Drummond La Trobe University
Andrew Boyle University of Newcastle
Mark Febbraio Monash University
Belinda Di Bartolo University of Sydney
Anne Field Dept of Health
David Howells University of Tasmania
Bronwyn Kingwell CSL
Kerry-Anne Rye University of NSW
Lauren May Monash University
Judy DeHaan Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute
Levon Khachigian University of NSW


  • Foster a collaborative research culture and leadership for cardiovascular research in Australia to support high quality drug discovery research.
  • Increase industry engagement through showcase events with industry representatives.
  • Establish information and training sessions for researchers on commercialisation pathways, approaches and opportunities.
  • Deliver grant mentorships for early and mid-career researchers to increase grant success.
  • Provide formal mentoring program
  • Develop a searchable registry of expertise and techniques


Bioengineering Flagship

Goal:  To improve and advance the understanding of the mechanisms of cardiovascular disease to deliver practical solutions through the development of new technologies and devices leading to health improvement for individuals, communities and populations.

People: This Flagship is co-directed by Professors James Hudson and Peter Barlis.

Bioengineering Advisory Group
Name   Institution  
James Hudson QIMR
Peter Barlis University of Melbourne
Adam Hill Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
Martin Ng University of Sydney
Jelena Rnjak – Kovacina University of NSW
Martin Ugander University of Sydney
Ben Wright Nanosonics
Yu Suk Choi University of Western Australia
Stuart Grieve University of Sydney
Anand Ganesan Flinders Medical Centre
Mohan Karunaithi CSIRO


  • Develop novel cardiac bioengineering strategies and integrate different approaches in a national framework
  • Improving clinical phenotyping to increase diagnosis power and reduce the number of tests
  • Promote commercialisation and industry partnerships through showcasing of CV capability in bioengineering
  • Position Australia as an international leader in cardiac bioengineering
  • Develop new intellectual property and R&D opportunities including new advanced manufacturing platforms for novel technologies


Precision Medicine Flagship

Goal: To identify the best evidence-based prevention and treatment regimes and programs for implementation and access for all Australians.

People: This Flagship is co-directed by Professors Alicia Jenkins and Peter Meikle.

Precision Medicine Advisory Group
Name   Institution  
Alicia Jenkins University of Sydney
Peter Meikle Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute
David Elliot Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Diane Fatkin Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
Fadi Charchar Federation University
Gary Kilov Primary Care / University of Melbourne
Jamie Vandenberg Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
John O’Sullivan University of Sydney
Julie McMullen Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute
Nathan Palpant University of Queensland
Stuart Grieve University of Sydney


  • Incorporating new screening, diagnostic and monitoring strategies to provide evidence-based targeted and tailored prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease
  • Embedding well-phenotyped clinical cohorts with multi-omics platforms and computational bioinformatics to discover new biomarkers for early detection and support risk assessment
  • Expanding biobanking capability to drive precision medicine approaches
  • Preparing guidelines to assist with implementing precision medicine into the clinic
  • Using precision medicine to identify patient groups that are biologically more relevant for clinical trial studies
  • Working with ACvA flagships to identify areas of synergy and translation potential.


Big Data Flagship

Goal: To build a coordinated national cardiovascular ‘big data’ platform to drive improvements in health and identify gaps and health inequities in cardiovascular health.

People: This Flagship is co-directed by Professors Dominique Cadilhac and Louisa Jorm.

Big Data Advisory Group 
First Name   Institution
Dominique Cadilhac Monash University
Louisa Jorm University of NSW
Andrew Matthews Medibank Private/Monash Business School
Andrew Wilson Vic Health
Emily Banks Australian National University
Ellie Paige Australian National University
Girish Dwivedi Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research
Johan Verjans University of Adelaide
Lee Nedkoff UWA
Michael Inouye Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute   Institute
Ray Mahoney CSIRO
Tom Briffa UWA Population Global Health


  • Improve access to relevant, routinely collected health data
  • Bringing together key stakeholders to define a minimum data set for cardiovascular health.
  • Developing appropriate governance for health datasets
  • Support the development of a Big Data platform infrastructure
  • Creating and supporting robust portals to access the big data platform,
  • Providing surveillance and monitoring capability for informing government health service, planning and policymaking, and research projects/priorities.


Clinical Trial Flagship

Goal: To influence the transformational change needed for successful cardiovascular clinical trials to flourish in Australia.

People: This Flagship is co-directed by Professors Chris Reid and Vincent Thijs. 

Clinical Trial Advisory Group  
First Name   Institution  
Chris Reid Monash University
Vincent Thijs Florey Institute
Ana Svensson AMGEN
Anita Van Der Meer NSW Health
Bruce Neal George Institute for Global Health
Carmel Hawley University of Queensland
Jonathon Sen University of Melbourne
Ken Butcher University of NSW
Tony Keech University of Sydney
Seana Gall University of Tasmania
John Beltrame University of Adelaide


  • Streamline barriers to multisite clinical trials in Australia e.g. improve governance and ethics frameworks.
  • Increased industry and government engagement with delivery of cardiovascular clinical trials in Australia
  • Identify effective systems to assist with patient recruitment
  • Measure the impact of cardiovascular clinical trials and research in Australia
  • Develop innovative trial methods including adaptive trials
  • Develop innovative statistical methods in design and analysis


Implementation and Policy Flagship

Goal: To deliver the best cardiovascular care for all Australians, from prevention and primary care through to surgical interventions and to reduce overall healthcare costs to patients and the healthcare system.

People: This Flagship is co-directed by Professors Garry Jennings and Julie Redfern.

 Implementation and Policy Advisory Group
Name  Institution 
Garry Jennings Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute/Heart Foundation
Jennifer Tucker Consumer
Bill Stavereski Heart Foundation
Jason Agostino Australian National University
Julie Redfern University of Sydney
Len Kritharides University of Sydney
Ray Mahoney CSIRO
Sally Inglis University of Technology/HF
David Thomson AMGEN
Stephen Jan George Institute for Global Health/UNSW
Tim Shaw University of Sydney
Tom Marwick Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute


  • Identify implementation pathways for evidence and value-based care
  • Using health economics framework/approaches to identify opportunities to provide affordable treatments and enhanced clinical outcomes.
  • Advocating for the growing need for economic modelling in cardiovascular health and research
  • Engaging with consumers to understand and identify healthcare and research priorities
  • Working with ACvA flagships to identify areas of synergy and translation potential.