Delbridge laboratory: Cardiac phenomics
Professor Lea Delbridge
+61 3 8344 5853
View Professor Delbridge's latest publications listing see Pubmed
The Cardiac Phenomics Laboratory research is about understanding how the heart response to stress can be managed to minimize the damaging impacts of a variety of disease conditions. We investigate responses of the working 'pumping' heart, of specialized muscle tissues and cells from different regions of the heart and of molecular signaling processes. As our name suggests, we look at how the cardiac 'genome' (the genetically defined heart) is translated in different stressor situations to create the 'phenome' (the structurally and functionally defined heart).
Our pre-clinical work focuses on cardiac pathology arising from Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and on the factors which determine how female and male hearts respond differently to stress and disease challenges. These areas of heart health are of critical significance in shaping the demographics of cardiovascular disease. We use experimental models to mimic human disease conditions, and we look for links between the performance of single muscle cells and the functioning heart. Our goals are to inform the development of new treatments for diabetic cardiomyopathy and to understand how for women and men, cardiac 'difference' may be managed with optimized therapeutic tools.
Professor Lea M Delbridge, Head of Laboratory
Professor Lea M Delbridge
Professor Lea Delbridge was awarded her PhD in Physiology from the University of Melbourne. She had training positions at Dalhousie University (Halifax, Canada) and Loyola University (Chicago, USA). At Loyola, she was appointed an International Fellow of the American Heart Association working with Prof Don Bers. She returned to Melbourne as a Fellow of the National Heart Foundation of Australia, prior to taking up an academic position within the Department of Physiology. She was appointed Professor in 2011. From 2007 to 2013, she was the President of the Australasian Section Council of the International Society of Heart Research (ISHR), and is an elected World Council ISHR Member (2010-2016). She has also served as Council Member for the Australian Physiological Society.
Dr Claire L Curl, Research Fellow
Dr Claire L Curl
Claire completed her PhD at Monash University – her work in demonstrating direct sex steroid effects on cardiomyocytes is seminal. She leads our longitudinal studies on failure transition, investigating how early perinatal influences culminate in structural and functional cardiac demise using integrated echo imaging and single cell functional imaging approaches.
Dr Upasna Varma, Research Fellow
Dr Upasna Varma
The focus of Upasna’s research is the regulation of cardiac glycophagy by prodiabetic states including hyperinsulinemia and hyperglycemia. Her work includes a major cell culture component, molecular analyses and the use of CrisprCAS9 genetic manipulation – all tools to map out energy regulatory signaling networks in the heart cell.
Dr Gabriel B Bernasochi, Research Associate
Dr Gabriel Bernasochi
Gabriel is primarily interested in how adipose deposition on the surface of the heart leads to the development of cardiac arrhythmias. His research uses functional and proteomic analyses to evaluate the influence of estrogens synthesised within cardiac adipose on the mechanisms underlying atrial fibrillation.
Dr AJA (Hanneke) Raaijmakers, Research Associate
Dr AJA (Hanneke) Raaijmakers
Hanneke is pursuing the important question of how Ca-dependent and Ca-independent factors influence diastolic dysfunction in the cardiomyocyte. Her work intact heart and intact myocytes – functional, mechanical and molecular studies at cell and tissue levels. The implementation of single cell mechano-measurements is an exciting aspect of her work..
Johannes Janssens, PhD Student
Johannes is examining how advanced-glycation end products (AGE) can effect cardiomyocyte contractile function in diabetes. His PhD investigates how glucose and fructose induced modifications on myofilaments can be a predictor for cardiac function in disease using mass spectrometry and single cell mechanics.
Simon P Wells, PhD Student
Simon P Wells
Simon's PhD involves electrophysiological mapping of conduction across cultured cells and rodent tissue. He is interested in how the fat around the heart can infiltrate tissue and negatively effect cardiac rhythm. His work involves live mapping of electrical signals across cells and tissues combined with microscopy to examine cardiomyocyte structure and integrity.
Helen M Waddell, PhD Student
Helen M Waddell
As part of her PhD Helen is examining the effects of a high fat diet on cardiac rhythm. She is using mass spectrometry and live electrical mapping methods to characterise the composition of factors secreted from fat, and develop an understanding of how these factors can effect cell excitation and electrical conductance.
- Diabetic cardiomyopathy – an epidemic disease
- Sex, adiposity and cardiac vulnerability
- Mechanisms of diastolic heart failure
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For further information about this research, please contact Head of Laboratory Professor Lea Delbridge
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