Vascular Complications.

Our mission is to understand fundamental mechanisms in molecular and cellular biology leading to cardiovascular diseases.

The end goal of our studies is to develop more effective treatments for the debilitating conditions associated with vascular complications.

What impact will this research have?

Understanding how cells are dysregulated in cardiovascular disease and related pathologies will help in the development of new therapeutics to combat disease and improve quality of life.

Current projects and goals

The Vascular Complications Group focuses on the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD), with particular emphasis on gene regulation and aberrant cell proliferation and cell death. We have identified a new player in the development of vascular disease; the role of TRAIL (TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) in atherosclerosis and arterial thickening, both in vitro and in vivo using Trail-/- and Trail-/-Apoe-/- mice has already provided critical insights into cell survival and death, in the normal and diseased vessel wall, and opened up new opportunities for therapeutic intervention. Using unique models the Vascular Complications Group’s current research is focused on answering critical questions and exploring underlying mechanisms into vascular diseases, obesity, diabetes and kidney disease.

Comprehension of cellular mechanisms promoting atherosclerosis

This work focuses on the role of blood cells or leukocytes in the development of atherosclerosis. We ask the question “Can we modulating or manipulate the phenotype and function of leukocytes to improve atherosclerosis”. We are also trying to understand the protective abilities of TRAIL during disease.

Finding new ways to promote blood vessel development

This project focuses on the role of TRAIL in ischaemia-induced blood vessel development in vivo. Here we trying to understand the role of endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells in new blood vessel development depend on TRAIL signaling. We are currently comparing outcomes of TRAIL therapy with other therapies currently tested in clinical trials in people for peripheral artery disease.

How is insulin regulated under normal conditions and becomes dysregulated in diabetes?

Indirect evidence suggests that TRAIL regulates insulin expression and secretion. This work focuses on directly assessing whether TRAIL controls insulin expression and secretion at a molecular level, and how/why this is altered during diabetes.

Dr Mary Kavurma
Research group led by:
Research covers areas of:
What’s new in the lab?

Fat: The good, the bad and the tasty

Due to the popular low-fat diets of the 80s and 90s, combined with the even more popular high-fat diets of the 2000s, many people are confused by this hotly debated nutrient: fat. We clear up the confusion.

Current team update

Dr Siân Cartland has been awarded a Sydney Medical School Early Career Research Grant.

Sep 08, 2015

Awards and Achievements 

Dr Belinda Di Bartolo:

Sydney Medical School Early Career Research Grant 2015

Finalist for the Junior Investigator Award for Women for ATVB May 2015

Presented in the ATVB Young Investigator session at the American Heart Association Meeting Chicago, Nov 2014

Dr Siân Cartland

Sydney Medical School Early Career Research Grant 2015

Awarded a HRI Award 2014

Ian Potter Foundation Travel Award 2013

Australian Vascular Biology Society Travel Award 2013

Presented with an Exceptional Abstract Award at the International Vascular Biology Society Meeting Japan 2013