CvRC Board Members

Director: Professor Linda Worrall-Carter
Acting Director: Adjunct Professor David Prior
Deputy Director: Associate Professor Andrew Wilson
Executive Members:

Professor Wayne McKenna

Professor Michelle Campbell

Professor Mary Courtney

Professor Arthur Shulkes

Professor Richard MacIsaac

Adjunct Professor Andrew MacIsaac

CvRC Heads of Programs

Interventional Cardiology Head: Adjunct Professor Rob Whitbourn  
Health Outcomes Research

Head: Professor Linda Worrall-Carter
Deputy Head: Dr Muhammad Aziz Rahman

Prevention of CVD Head: Associate Professor Andrew Wilson
Psychosocial Research

Head: Professor David Thompson
Co-Head: Associate Professor Chantal Ski

Cardiac Services Head: Adjunct Professor Andrew MacIsaac
Mental Health and Wellbeing

Head: Adjunct Professor David Castle
Deputy Head: Associate Professor Karen-leigh Edward

Basic CVD Science Head: Adjunct Professor Darren Kelly
Heart Failure and Imaging

Head: Adjunct Professor David Prior

Vascular and Cardiac Surgery

Head: Associate Professor Andrew Newcomb



Adjunct Professor Robert Whitbourn

Adj Prof Whitbourn was the Director and co-founder of the CvRC. He is the Director of Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories and Clinical Director of Ambulatory & Business Support Services at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and an Associate Professor at the Department of Medicine, the University of Melbourne. He is also an Adjunct Professor to ACU and the Stanford University Medical Center.

Adj Prof Whitbourn completed his advanced training in Cardiology in Australia before spending 2 years as Interventional Cardiology and Research Fellow at Stanford University Medical Center in the USA. Since 1997 he has been a fulltime staff cardiologist and Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine.

Adj Prof Whitbourn's primary interest is interventional cardiology & new device therapies for coronary artery disease. He has led numerous trials of stents and novel cardiac devices, including systemic hypothermia for metabolic protection of ischaemia and performed the first cases in man of renal sympathetic denervation for resistant hypertension.

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Professor Linda Worrall-Carter, Director CvRC

Prof Worrall-Carter is the Director and co-founder of the CvRC. She is also the Director of St Vincent’s Centre for Nursing Research (SVCNR), a collaboration between St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and ACU. Prof Worrall-Carter is a nurse and clinical health researcher with over 20 years' experience in cardiovascular health and has a distinguished academic and research background. Her major areas of expertise in cardiovascular disease (CVD) include risk assessment and prevention, women and CVD, as well as exploring models of care around CVD.

Prof Worrall-Carter has successful grants of over eight million dollars from various sources including National Heart Foundation (NHF), beyondblue, competitive scholarships (NHF/NHMRC), as well as overseas funding such as the National Institute of Ageing (US). She also reviews for national grants such as the Heart Foundation and ARC. Over the past decade, Prof Worrall-Carter has established and been Director of three research Centres. She has developed and led strong programs of research around CVD through creating teams of honours, PhD and post-doctoral nurse researchers. Currently, Prof Worrall-Carter supervises two PhD students and has examined over 25 theses including 13 PhDs.

Professionally, Prof Worrall-Carter is a member of two editorial boards and a reviewer for five national and international cardiac journals (medical and nursing). She is also a foundation member of the Australasian Cardiovascular Nurses College (ACNC) and the Cardiovascular Nursing Council, the affiliate group of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.

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Dr Muhammad Aziz Rahman

Dr Rahman is a public health physician and has a strong background in cardiovascular disease research, epidemiology & prevention
of communicable and non-communicable diseases, with a special interest in tobacco research. Following completion of Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) and Master of Public Health (MPH), Dr Rahman has completed PhD in Public Health from The University of Adelaide. He is also trained on advanced epidemiology from Europe and global tobacco control from Johns Hopkins University, USA. Dr Rahman has
also worked in Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Dr Rahman is a member of a number of international professional bodies.

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Associate Professor Andrew Wilson, Deputy Director CvRC

A/Prof Wilson is the Deputy Director of the CvRC. He is a cardiologist at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and a Principal Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne where he is a Reader in Medicine. He is also the Clinical Associate Professor at ACU. He has expertise in cardiovascular medicine and maintains international links with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Stanford University, USA.

A/Prof Wilson is a recipient of the NHMRC Neil Hamilton Fairley Fellowship; he has also been the recipient of the RACP Bayer Overseas Fellowship and the American Heart Association Young Investigator Prize, as well as a Society of Vascular Medicine and Biology Jay Coffman Young Investigator Award Finalist.

He is interested in the prevention of atherosclerosis including risk factor modification, in particular lipid management. A/Prof Wilson has published research into the detection of biomarkers for cardiovascular disease, the role of insulin resistance atherogenesis, coronary physiology, as well as clinical projects on CVD.

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David Thompson

Professor David Thompson

Prof Thompson is Professor of Nursing in the Cardiovascular Research Centre at the Australian Catholic University where he co-heads the Psychosocial Research program. Prior to this he was Professor of Cardiovascular Nursing at the University of Leicester; Professor of Nursing at the Chinese University; Professor of Nursing at the University of York; Professor of Nursing at the University of Hull; and Professor of Nursing Research at the UK Department of Health. He was Visiting Professor at King’s College London, University of Queensland, University of Stirling and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Prof Thompson has extensive clinical and research experience in cardiac care and rehabilitation, has published over 500 papers, 40 book chapters and 15 books and secured significant research grants from the British Heart Foundation, Department of Health, Medical Research Council, National Health & Medical Research Council, Hong Kong Jockey Club and industry. His major interests are in developing disease-specific patient-reported outcome measures and designing and evaluating novel psychosocial interventions. Prof Thompson serves on a number of expert committees and boards, including the European Society of Cardiology. He is an editor of the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing and an editorial board member of a number of journals, including Heart and Heart & Lung. He has received numerous honours, including being elected a Fellow of Royal College of Nursing (1992), a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (1998) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (2008). He is also an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

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Chantal Ski

Associate Professor Chantal Ski

A/Prof Ski is Associate Professor of Research in the Cardiovascular Research Centre at the Australian Catholic University where she co-heads the Psychosocial Research program. Prior to this she held collaborative academic, clinical and government posts. With over a decade of experience in health services research, she has contributed to policy documents for government bodies (e.g. Palliative Care Consultancy Teams and funding allocation recommendations) and worked with departments such as the Victorian Department of Human Services on research-related initiatives. Associate Professor Ski’s work has extended across 19 of Victoria’s hospitals. 

A/Prof Ski has extensive clinical and research experience in the psychosocial aspects of cardiovascular disease, has published over 30 papers and three book chapters and secured significant research grants from government, philanthropic and private funding agencies, including the National Health & Medical Research Council, beyondblue and Department of Health and Ageing. Her major interests are in the development of psychosocial interventions and outcome measures. The focus of her research lies in the translation of research into practice from acute through to community care. A/Prof Ski collaborates with researchers and clinicians from various disciplines, such as mental health, nursing, allied health and cardiology. She is a Member of the Australian Psychological Society. 

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Adjunct Professor Andrew MacIsaac

Adj Prof MacIsaac is Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Director of Cardiology at St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne. He is an Adjunct Professor at ACU as well as the Associate Profesor of the University of Melbourne's Department of Medicine. He received a National Heart Foundation of Australia Post-Graduate Medical Research Scholarship, has undertaken a Fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic, USA, and was also Senior Clinical & Research Fellow in Interventional Cardiology at Stanford University Medical Center, California USA. He was awarded Doctor of Medicine from the University of Melbourne in 1995 for studies of echocardiographic assessment of mitral regurgitation.

Adj Prof MacIsaac is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, past President of Victorian Division of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand, Vice President (Medical) of the Victorian Division of the Heart Foundation and the current Chairman of the Interventional Council of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.  Adj Prof MacIsaac has a very keen interest in junior doctor education, training and welfare.

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Adjunct Professor David Castle

Adj Prof Castle is Chair of Psychiatry at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and the University of Melbourne. He is also an Adjunct Professor at ACU. He is a former MRC Research Scholar at the South African Institute for Medical Research, MRC Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (where he gained an MSc in epidemiology), and has trained both in clinical research and psychiatric epidemiology at London’s prestigious Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry. Adj Prof Castle’s extensive clinical, epidemiological and qualitative mental health research experience has spanned a number of domains.

Adj Prof Castle’s clinical and academic work spans over a number of key areas in relation to psychosocial treatment interventions. The novel programme of Collaborative Therapy for the holistic treatment of people with mental illness developed by Adj Prof Castle and his colleagues, has been widely acknowledged as a leading example of comprehensive consumer-oriented care, and has been adopted by mental health services both within Victoria and nationally. Specific components address schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, substance use and mental illness comorbidity. A current area of particular interest is the physical health care of the mentally ill. Adj Prof Castle is also a recognized international expert in the area of body image disorders, and his work on body dysmorphic disorder is widely known.

Adj Prof Castle’s track record demonstrates a capacity and understanding to disseminate research findings to the scientific, academic and clinical communities through regular publications. He has published over 300 articles and book chapters; and has produced 15 books, aimed at clinical, academic and lay audiences. His peer reviewed publications have been cited nearly 2,500 times, an average of 19 cites per paper. He also shows a strong commitment to feeding back information to the populations he studies, and is regularly invited to present in scientific, local, and lay meetings.

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Associate Professor Karen-leigh Edwards

Associate Professor Karen-leigh Edward

A/Prof  Edward is a registered nurse (both in mental health and general health) with a graduate degree in psychology. She is the Director/Chair of the Nursing Research Unit at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Melbourne since 2011 and is Associate Professor of Nursing Research at ACU. With internationally renowned expertise in the mental health care and nursing practice, she has particular interest in physical and mental co-morbidity, resilience and nursing practice. 

A/Prof Edward has more than 100 published works and is deeply committed to contributing evidence for nursing and midwifery practice in a patient-centred framework. In 2011, she won an award from the Australian Publishers Association for the best wholly Australian tertiary textbook for nursing education and in 2012 she was awarded a national award as Emerging Leader for Catholic Health Australia. Catholic Health Australia includes 75 hospitals nationwide. A/Prof Edward was also voted one of the 5 Most Inspirational Nurses by Nursing Review for 2013.

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Adjunct Professor Darren Kelly

Adj Prof Kelly is a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Director of Biomedical Research in the Department of Medicine at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and is an Adjunct Professor at ACU. He is also the Director and CEO of Fibrotech Therapeutics, a company developing orally active anti-fibrotic inhibitors to treat underlying pathological fibrosis in kidney and heart failure. His expertise lies in progressing pre-clinical novel interventions and developing experimental models of renal and cardiac disease.

He has published over 100 manuscripts, predominantly in high quality journals such as PNAS, Diabetes and the American Journal of Pathology. Many of these manuscripts have led to translational research that has had a direct impact on human disease. Adj Prof Kelly has previously received major grants and fellowships from the NH&MRC and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) International. Adj Prof Kelly is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Adjucnt Professor David Prior

Adj Prof Prior is the Director of Non-invasive Cardiac Imaging and Head of Cardiology & Heart Failure Outpatient Clinics at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. He is also an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, a Clinical Research Fellow at St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research and an Adjunct Professor at ACU. Furthermore, he is Committee Member of the Cardiac Society of Australia & New Zealand Victorian Division. His advanced cardiology training was undertaken at the Alfred Hospital and included training in Heart Failure and Transplantation. He then completed a PhD at the Baker Heart Research Institute and Alfred Hospital examining abnormal vascular function in heart failure. After undertaking an Advanced Fellowship in Echocardiography at the Cleveland Clinic, Adj Prof Prior returned to Melbourne to take up a position at St Vincent’s Hospital. 

Adj Prof Prior is a cardiologist with extensive experience in echocardiography and heart failure. His research interests include non-invasive assessment of myocardial function in athletes and patients with heart failure, the role of echocardiography in diagnosis and prognosis in heart failure, as well as pulmonary hypertension.

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Dr Andrew Newcomb

Associate Professor Andrew Newcomb

A/Prof Newcomb is the Director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Department at St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Department of Surgery at the University of Melbourne and also a Clinical Associate Professor at ACU. He has facilitated links between the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the O’Brien Institute, and strengthened the ties between cardiac surgery and anaesthesia, ICU, cardiology and the Department of Medicine. A/Prof Newcomb has published widely on various aspects of cardiac surgical practice including one review article and five book chapters.

A/Prof Newcomb research interests focus on heart failure therapies, including development of cardiac stem cell therapy, vascular biology of coronary bypass grafts, the relationship with metabolic syndrome and the function of these graft, as well as developing minimally invasive aspects of cardiac surgery. A/Prof Newcomb’s key surgical interests are in endoscopic vessel harvesting, minimally invasive valve surgery and percutaneous treatments such as aortic stenting and valve replacement.

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