New role to head re­search

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health -

A UNIVER­SITY of WA re­searcher will de­velop strate­gies to re­duce death and dis­abil­ity from car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

Re­nal physi­cian and hyper­ten­sion spe­cial­ist Pro­fes­sor Markus Sch­laich has been ap­pointed the in­au­gu­ral Dob­ney chair­man in Clin­i­cal Re­search.

The po­si­tion was co-funded by UWA, Royal Perth Hos­pi­tal and the Royal Perth Hos­pi­tal Med­i­cal Re­search Foun­da­tion.

The pro­fes­sor who is at the fore­front of re­search into high blood pres­sure (hyper­ten­sion), will de­ter­mine if it con­trib­utes to many car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases in­clud­ing heart at­tack, kid­ney fail­ure and stroke.

Prof Sch­laich said car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease was an enor­mous bur­den on health and so­ci­ety with more than 30 per cent of Aus­tralians af­fected by high blood pres­sure.

“Bet­ter re­search pro­grams to iden­tify the un­der­ly­ing causes and de­vel­op­ing more suc­cess­ful ther­a­peu­tic strate­gies are key to re­duc­ing the bur­den of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease,” Prof Sch­laich said.

“The role of the sym­pa­thetic ner­vous sys­tem in the de­vel­op­ment of hyper­ten­sion and novel ther­a­peu­tic ap­proaches to specif­i­cally tar­get th­ese over­ac­tive nerves must be a ma­jor re­search fo­cus.

“The fact that a large num­ber of pa­tients with hyper­ten­sion don’t stick to their pre­scribed blood pres­sure-low­er­ing med­i­ca­tion is another im­por­tant clin­i­cal chal­lenge that needs to be ad­dressed.”

Fund­ing of almost $6.5 mil­lion over seven years will pro­vide for the chair­man as well as a post­doc­toral re­search fel­low, a nurse man­ager, a re­search of­fi­cer, a part-time ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant and a set-up grant.

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