Monash researchers receive Heart Foundation funding

Fifteen Monash University academics and PhD students have received funding from the Heart Foundation to conduct research that investigates the cause, prevention, and treatment of heart disease, stroke and related conditions.

A wide range of projects has been funded, including targeting gut microbiota to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease, a strategy to improve survival of cardiac arrest in the community, and predictive monitoring for early detection of cardiac dysfunction in preterm babies.

Heart Foundation interim CEO, Professor Garry Jennings, congratulated this year’s successful researchers.

Professor Jennings said: “We fund research that has the greatest potential to make a significant impact on heart health in Australia.

“Coronary heart disease is still Australia’s single biggest killer, despite many improvements in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in the past 60 years.”

The following  Monash University academics were Research Award Recipients 2021:

Future Leader Fellowships:

Associate Professor Francine Marques
Targeting the gut microbiota to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease.

Dr Ziad Nehme
Every minute counts. A strategy to strengthen the links in the Chain of Survival for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Associate Professor Monique Kilkenny
National Stroke Data Linkage Program: Using big data to improve diagnostic coding, clinical management and long-term outcomes after stroke.

Associate Professor Dion Stub
Integration of Pre-hospital and Hospital-based clinical registries to investigate novel therapeutics and systems of care in cardiac emergencies.

2021 PhD Scholarships:

Dr Elisabeth Ng

Primary aldosteronism: new strategies for diagnosis and management

Dr Sean Tan
Cardiovascular Screening in Cancer Patients Treated with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

2021 Postdoctoral Fellowship:

Dr Adam Nelson
The Do statins favourably modify atherosclerotic plaque in patients with different levels of polygenic Cardiovascular risk? (DA VINCI) trial

Dr Hashrul Rashid
Longitudinal impact of CT-defined leaflet thrombosis on valvular haemodynamics and clinical outcomes following transcatheter aortic valve replacement

Dr Kathryn Eastwood
Developing strategies to reduce unplanned emergency services presentation in the 90-days following discharge for acute coronary syndrome by understanding the reasons and associated factors.

2021 Vanguard Grant:

Associate Professor Flora Wong
Predictive monitoring for early detection of cardiac dysfunction in preterm babies, using heart rate variability and deep learning

Associate Professor Dion Stub
Pre-hospital point-of-care troponin and paramedic risk assessment in patients with chest pain without ST-elevation: A cluster randomized controlled trial

Professor Karen Smith
Randomised controlled trial of the Artificial Intelligence in carDiac arrEst (AIDE) decision support tool for improved identification of cardiac arrest in the Triple Zero (000) call

Dr Tomasz Block
NOX5 in circulating peripheral blood mononuclear cells as a new biomarker for unstable diabetic cardiovascular disease.

2021 Collaboration and Exchange Award:

Dr Hashrul Rashid
Advanced Structural Heart Clinical and Research Fellowship at Guy's & St Thomas Hospital

2021 Innovation Awards:


Awarded for submitting the top innovative projects:

Shirley E Freeman Innovation Award

Dr Adam Nelson, Monash University


Shirley E Freeman AM (1924 - 2014) was the first female to receive funding from the Heat Foundation in 1960. Her funding was £1250 for a grant-in-aid that commenced 1961.

This award recognises the most innovative successful Postdoctoral Fellowship application.

The recipient receives an additional $20,000 on top of the Fellowship.

The full press release from the Heart Foundation can be found here.
A full list of 2021 awards can be found here.