Dr Jun Yang is a Research Scientist within the Cardiovascular Endocrinology Group at Hudson Institute, a Consultant Endocrinologist at Monash Health and a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash University.
Since graduating with a MBBS (Hons, rank number 1) from Monash University, she has been actively involved in basic and clinical research as well as clinical practice.
She undertook PhD studies with Dr Morag Young, Dr Colin Clyne and Professor Peter Fuller at Prince Henry’s Institute of Medical Research, now Hudson Institute, from 2008-2013. Her PhD thesis, entitled ‘Mineralocorticoid receptors (MR): mechanisms of ligand- and tissue-specific activation’, identified and characterised novel coregulators of the MR using a novel phage display technique in addition to cell culture work and gene expression assays. This work identified four novel coregulators that interacted with the MR in a context-specific manner, and was published in the journal, Molecular Endocrinology.
Since completing her PhD, Dr Yang has continued to work on coregulator discovery. In particular, as the Cardiovascular Endocrinology group has shown that MR in macrophages is a key determinant of the macrophage proinflammatory state, she is working to identify macrophage-specific MR coregulators with the ultimate aim of developing a tissue-selective MR modulator that can alter the macrophage proinflammatory state without affecting epithelial MR activity. This would offer protection from cardiac fibrosis and failure without causing hyperkalemia.
In addition to laboratory-based research, Dr Yang established the Endocrine Hypertension Service at Monash Health and Hudson Institute with Prof Fuller. She developed the guidelines for the management of primary aldosteronism (PA), coordinated inter-disciplinary research between the Departments of Interventional Radiology, Pathology, Cardiology, Respiratory Medicine, and Endocrinology, and collaborated with research groups in Perth, China, Italy, the Netherlands and the USA.
Dr Yang’s PhD was supported by a NHMRC postgraduate scholarship and RACP Shields Research Entry scholarship. She has subsequently secured continuous Post-Doctoral Fellowships and Project Grants in excess of half a million from the Endocrine Society of Australia, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Heart Foundation, Council for High Blood Pressure Research Australia, CASS Foundation, Rebecca Cooper Foundation, Collier Charitable Foundation and Monash University.
Dr Yang has presented nationally (2 invited presentations, 12 orals, 6 posters) and internationally (5 invited presentations, 1 oral, 8 posters including 1 Presidential Poster Prize in 2011). She was invited to chair sessions on aldosterone-related diseases at the ESA conference in 2016 and US ENDO conference in 2019. She was awarded the Novartis Junior Scientist Award at the Endocrine Society of Australia's meeting in 2011, the society’s highest basic science award for an early career researcher; and won the Best Oral Presentation Award at the International Society of Hypertension meeting in 2019.
By developing a research program where the research is embedded in clinical service and supported by a capable team of committed academics, clinicians and scientists, Dr Yang strives to enhance the culture of ‘bedside to bench, and vice versa’ translational medicine, and allow the integration of cutting edge science into day-to-day healthcare.