Professor David Celermajer

Our mission is to detect the earliest signs of heart and blood vessel damage with a view to preventing serious complications later.

Professor David Celermajer has been Group Leader of the Clinical Research Group since 1994 and in 2003 was appointed as Clinical Director of the HRI. In 2014, he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia for services as a researcher and clinician in the field of cardiovascular disease. Dr Celermajer’s research areas of expertise include adult congenital heart disease, pulmonary hypertension, clinical cardiology and early origins of atherosclerosis.

Current Appointments

Clinical Research Group Leader and Clinical Director

Heart Research Institute

Scandrett Professor of Cardiology

University of Sydney

Director of Echocardiography, Cardiology Department

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Clinical Academic Cardiologist

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital


Australian Academy of Science

Editorial Member

Circulation, Publication of the American Heart Association

Journal of the American College of Cardiology

European Heart Journal


Sir Zelman Cowen Universities Fund

Board Member

Menzies School of Health Research (Darwin)


Australian Friends of Tel Aviv University

Professor David Celermajer leads group:
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More about Professor David Celermajer

Research project opportunities
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Low birth weight linked to heart disease

While we know that the earliest changes of atherosclerosis can begin in children and teenagers. Our recent studies, in collaboration with Dr Michael Skilton at The University of Sydney, have shown that the origins of heart disease and vessel disease can begin even earlier – in the foetus. Those babies born ‘small for dates’, that is in the lowest five per cent of birth weights at term delivery, appear to be at high risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease later in life. With this in mind, we’ve planned a series of novel intervention studies, mainly with fish oils, to see if we can reverse this risk factor with early intervention.

The effects of exercise

Although it is well known that exercise is good for the heart, the optimum type, duration, intensity and age at which the maximum benefits accrue are relatively poorly studied. This study will look at the effects of exercise on atherosclerosis in healthy young adults at risk of heart disease and in mouse models of atherosclerosis, with the aim of answering some of these questions.

The role of right ventricle in health and disease

Pulmonary vascular disease (high blood pressure in the lungs) is a severe condition that affects many young adult Australians. The right ventricle is the smaller of the two pumps of the heart and the one that is affected by diseases of the lungs. In a novel series of studies, we will be looking at the important function of the right ventricle in health and disease and also, in detail, during pregnancy.

Sleep disordered breathing during pregnancy 

We hope to undertake an important study about sleep disordered breathing during pregnancy and the potential effects on heart health of the mother and of the unborn baby.

Featured Publication
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Lau EM, Humbert M, Celermajer DS. Early detection of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Nature Reviews Cardiology. 2014

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) remains an incurable disease associated with an unacceptably high early mortality, despite advances in therapeutic option. This paper summarises the work of our group and others, in the vital tasks of early detection of blood vessel disease, particularly in the lungs.

Current Research Grants
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National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Postgraduate Scholarship Supporting Dr. Kelly Stanton, 2015-2017.
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Program Grant, Atherosclerosis - the key roles of HDL, cell cholesterol metabolism and vascular function, 2014-2017.
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grant 1022141, Novel non-invasive methods for the early detection of pulmonary vascular disease, 2015.
Awards for Research
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2014     Named an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List for exceptional lifetime contributions to cardiology
2012     NSW Health Minister’s Award for “lifetime contribution to the people of NSW”
2011     “Elite Reviewer” Award, Journal of the American College of Cardiology
2009     Simon Dack Award for Outstanding Scholarship – from the American College of Cardiology.
2002     Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research, for outstanding lifetime achievement in health research.
1998     Eric Susman Prize (awarded by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians) for “the most outstanding contribution to the knowledge of any branch of internal medicine”.
1998     R.T. Hall Prize (awarded by the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand) for “an outstanding contribution to cardiovascular research by a senior investigator”.
1995     Sylvia and Charles Viertel Clinical Investigator Award, $50,000.
1995     Career Development Award, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, $35,000.
1994     Betty Mayne Memorial Award for Best Research Proposal (National Heart Foundation of Australia).
1994     Post Doctoral Fellowship, The Medical Foundation, University of Sydney (declined).
1993     Donald Paterson Prize for Best Original Paediatric Research (British Paediatric Association). "Non invasive detection of endothelial dysfunction in children and adults at risk of atherosclerosis".
1992     Best Poster Prize, Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.  "In vivo detection of endothelial dysfunction in the pulmonary circulation of children with congenital heart disease". 
2006     Doctor of Science, University of Sydney
1993     Doctor of Philosophy, University of London
1984     Master of Science, University of Oxford
Adult Congenital Heart Disease
Pulmonary Hypertension
Clinical Cardiology
Early Origins of Atherosclerosis