Monash Symposium on Cardiovascular Health 2019 success

The inaugural Monash Symposium on Cardiovascular Health was a great success last week. The two-day Symposium was the first step in bringing together the cardiovascular research community across Monash University. Its aim was to initiate a virtual, interdisciplinary network of cardiovascular health, which will span the university and allow the fostering of strong connections between clinical and discovery research with the aim to support and accelerate translational research.

Led by Professor Stephen Nicholls, Director of MonashHeart and the Victorian Heart Hospital, attendees were given a sneak peek into what the Victorian Heart Hospital will look like once completed in late 2022 as well as the various research, teaching and education activities that will be delivered.

“In order to develop novel advances in cardiovascular care, we need the ability to bring together teaching, research and patient care. The Symposium is a great way to generate discussions about the importance of translational research and teaching that will be offered through the Victorian Heart Hospital,” Professor Stephen said.

Keynote speaker, Professor Alex Brown from South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) provided valuable insights in to the alarming rates of cardiovascular disease in Indigenous communities and possible ways of closing this gap.

Other presentations included a panel session on ‘strategic approaches to research funding’ with presentations by Professor Helena Teede (Monash Partners), Kellie-Ann Jolly (Victorian CEO, National Heart Foundation of Australia), Professor Gemma Figtree (President, Australian Cardiovascular Alliance ACvA) and Dr Karen McConalogue (Director, MRFF and Major Research Initiatives, Monash University). All panellists unanimously stressed the importance of translational research and the different approaches and strategies needed to obtain funding for translational initiatives.

Two sessions on ‘cardiovascular research across Monash University’ acted as a showcase of the wide breadth and excellence of current research approaches across the university, with presentations by Dr Ingrid Hopper (School of Public and Preventive Medicine), Professor Kate Denton (Biomedicine Discovery Institute), Professor David Kaye (Alfred Health), Professor Laurence Meagher (Materials Science & Engineering), Dr Gonzalo del Monte Nieto (Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute), Professor Karin Jandeleit-Dahm (Department of Diabetes, Central Clinical School), Professor Chris Bain (Faculty of IT), Dr Connie Wong (School of Clinical Sciences) and Professor Rebecca Ritchie (Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences).

Day two of the Symposium invited guests to join interactive and integrative workshops to analyse five grand challenges in cardiovascular health. These included:

1. Women’s heart health
2. Living well
3. Personalised medicine
4. Under-served populations
5. New technologies

The workshops saw a broad range of engagement across disciplines and explored how barriers to establish collaborations could be overcome and what research questions should be a priority.

Following the success of this Symposium, a virtual network will be developed focusing on advancement in cardiovascular health. Other initiatives to follow. For more information on this, email

The event will once again be hosted in 2020, with the aim of showcasing and bringing together the cardiovascular research community across the University and its partners.