New role to head research
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.