Director - Chairperson

Livia Hool completed her PhD as a Gaston Bauer Cardiovascular Fellow in the Cellular Electrophysiology Laboratory at the Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney in 1995. She was then awarded an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship to work in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland.  Subsequently, with an NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellowship she returned to Australia and relocated to The University of Western Australia. She is Head of the Cardiovascular Electrophysiology Laboratory in the School of Human Sciences and has received continuous competitive funding from national and international granting bodies including the American Heart Association, Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) since obtaining her PhD. Her research focuses on the role of calcium in the excitability of the heart and in the regulation of mitochondrial energetics, with an emphasis on designing therapy to prevent the development of cardiomyopathy and heart failure.

Professor Hool is an elected member of the World Council of International Society for Heart Research (ISHR) and President of ISHR Australasian Section (2013-16; 2016-19). She is a Fellow of the American Heart Association, a Fellow of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand and a Fellow of the International Society for Heart Research. She develops cardiovascular health policy internationally (ISHR World Council) and nationally with Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand as a member of Scientific Committee. She is a member of the Heart Foundation Research Committee. She has held numerous positions on university committees, society councils including World Congress scientific programming committees, grant review panels for WA Department of Health, ARC, Heart Foundation of Australia, NHMRC and Canadian Institutes for Health Research. She serves on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Physiology (London), Current Opinion in Physiology and Heart, Lung Circulation.

Natalie Ward.jpeg



Director - Secretary

Natalie Ward completed her PhD at the University of Western Australia in 2004. After completing a short postdoctoral position at UWA, supported by an Athelston & Amy Saw Fellowship, she was then awarded a NHMRC CJ Martin Postdoctoral Fellowship to work in the Department of Cardiology at the University of Massachusetts, USA. Following her 2 years in the USA, she returned to the University of Western Australia and held a National Heart Foundation Fellowship and a RPH Medical Research Foundation Fellowship. She now holds a Senior Research Fellow Position in the Medical School at UWA and an Honorary Appointment in the Harry Perkins Institute for Medical Research. Her research focuses on the development and pathogenesis of vascular dysfunction and atherosclerosis, including lifestyle and nutrition interventions, lipid management, and the role of the gut microbiome. In addition to her research, Natalie is Treasurer of the Australian Atherosclerosis Society, Registry Coordinator for the WA Cardiac Outcomes Registry (WACOR), a Mentor for the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia, and Member of the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance and West Australian Health Translation Network. In addition to serving on grant review panels for the NHMRC and NHF, she is an Editorial Board Member for Scientific Reports, Oxidative Medicine & Cellular Longevity and Food & Function.





Carl Schultz is Clinical Lead of the Catheter Laboratory and Director of Clinical Trials at Royal Perth Hospital, Department of Cardiology. He is also a Winthrop Professor at The University of Western Australia, School of Medicine and Pharmacology. His clinical interest is focussed on understanding more about heart attack patients, and how to provide them the best care. Professor Schultz’s research interests include addressing the current gap in health service processes for heart attack patients.

Marcus Schlaich WEB COVER




Markus Schlaich is a renal physician and a European Society of Hypertension (ESH) accredited hypertension specialist with a strong background in clinical research. His main scientific interests focus on pathophysiologic aspects of hypertension including the contribution of the sympathetic nervous system, the L-arginine/nitric oxide pathway, their interaction, and the involvement of the kidneys. Professor Schlaich has a specific interest in treatment modalities targeting the sympathetic nervous system and has contributed to the development of renal denervation as a novel therapeutic approach to hypertension.


Markus has been highly successful in attracting competitive grant funding and currently holds an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship. He has authored more than 230 publications and book chapters in peer reviewed journals. For his work in the areas of hypertension, cardiorenal and metabolic disease he received 18 research prizes and awards including the Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Medical Research Translation.


Markus has served on the Executive Committee of the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia for 6 years and is an elected member of the Council of the International Society of Hypertension, and a founding member of the ESH Working Group on Interventional Treatment of Hypertension. After relocating from Germany in 2006 he became Head of the “Neurovascular Hypertension & Kidney Disease Laboratory” and later on Division Head of the “Hypertension, Stress and Obesity” Program at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Research Institute in Melbourne. In July 2014 he has taken up the newly created and MRF funded “Dobney Chair in Clinical Research” at the Royal Perth Hospital and the University of Western Australia. As Head of the Dobney Hypertension Centre he and his interdisciplinary team strive to develop more effective therapies for hypertension and its adverse consequences.



Director – Consumer Advocate

Based in Busselton Western Australia, Nikki Glover has over 20 years’ experience with the Western Australian cardiovascular disease sector. As a founding board member for Regional HeartKids WA, Nikki has spent the last 18 years establishing a connection between HeartKids and regional Western Australia. This has included gathering information on heart disease and raising finances for the purpose of education and outreach for regional HeartKids.

Nikki and her husband have two children with HOCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - dilated and obstructive), and one child that has no known connection to the condition. With this Nikki has shared her experience at numerous speaking and fundraising events, advocating for increased awareness and understanding of the condition. She has also been involved in the counselling of HeartKids on a volunteer basis, and assisting with the establishment of St John Ambulance Western Australia policies and procedures for defibrillator training and awareness programs for the public sector.

Nikki and her family are well known to the Busselton community, and are involved with many sporting and community based clubs. She now brings her knowledge and experience to the WACRA Board as a Western Australian ‘Consumer Advocate’.



BAppSc(Physiotherapy), GradDipBusiness, MPH(Distinction), PhD


Lee Nedkoff is a Research Fellow in cardiovascular epidemiology at The University of Western Australia. She is an NHMRC Early Career Fellow and Theme Leader for Linked Data Studies in the Cardiovascular Research Group (School of Population and Global Health, UWA). She completed her PhD in 2016 and was awarded the national PhD Excellence in Public Health award for her work on the epidemiology of diabetes in coronary heart disease patients. Dr Nedkoff’s research focuses on investigating population-level epidemiology across cardiovascular diseases, with a focus on population surveillance of coronary heart disease, stroke and rheumatic heart disease. She has specific expertise in the use of large linked health data to investigate these diseases using local, national and international data, and a particular interest in identifying population sub-groups where adverse disease trends are occurring.  She has been awarded a number of grants and scholarships including as a Chief Investigator on the NHMRC STOPstroke Synergy Grant, Heart Foundation Vanguard Grant and Bendat Family Foundation Fellowship, and a Healy Medical Foundation Collaboration Award.  Dr Nedkoff is an Executive member of the Allied Health, Science and Technology Council of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. She is co-convenor of the Australasian Epidemiological Association’s Cardiovascular Special Interest Group, and sits on the Advisory Committee for the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance’s Big Data Flagship.

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BSc(Hons), PhD

Director - Early-Mid Career Investigator Representative & Membership

Helena Viola is a cardiovascular biochemist with a 15 year track record in translatable cardiovascular research at the University of Western Australia. Dr Viola completed her PhD at the University of Western Australia in 2010 (Distinction, top-ranked university-wide). She is currently a Heart Foundation Future Leader Research Fellow. Throughout her career Dr Viola has won competitive funding to support her research, including a Heart Foundation / NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship, Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, and most recently, Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship and New Investigator NHMRC Project Grant. Her main research interest involves the development of preventative therapies for the treatment of ischemic heart disease and familial cardiomyopathies.


In addition to her research, Dr Viola is an advocate for early career investigator (ECI) career development. She was a founding member of the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance Emerging Leaders Committee. She has also held several society positions (ECI representative for the International Society for Heart Research (ISHR) Australasian Section, ISHR World Congress ECI Organizing Committee Member), university committees (UWA Research Integrity Adviser, UWA ECI Advisory Group Member), and review panels (Heart Foundation, NHMRC, Auckland Medical Research Foundation, Heart Lung Circulation, Journal of Physiology, London). 

Aleksandra Filipovska.tif


BSc (Hons), PhD


Aleksandra Filipovska is a Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic biology, NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Professor at the University of Western Australia. She received her PhD in 2002 from the University of Otago, New Zealand. From 2003-2005 she was a NZ Foundation for Research, Science and Technology Fellow at the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit in Cambridge, the United Kingdom. In 2006 she relocated to Australia as a NHMRC Howard Florey Fellow and established her research group at the Perkins Institute of Medical Research at the University of Western Australia.

She was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow until 2014 and since 2014 she has been a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Professor at UWA and the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and established a Mitochondrial Disease Therapy group at Telethon Kids Institute in 2019. Her research interests are in the regulation of gene expression by RNA-binding proteins and the use of multi-omic technologies to elucidate their molecular functions in health and cardiovascular disease. Her research group uses genomic technologies and synthetic biology to design new models of cardiovascular and metabolic disease such as mitochondrial diseases and develop treatments for these disorders.



BSc(Hons), PhD, FASMBR


Josh is the research program lead for the Edith Cowan University Strategic Institute for Nutrition Research, and a National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow. He received his PhD from Murdoch University in 2009 and spent the next five years as a research officer with the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and an adjunct senior research fellow with the University of Western Australia. He then moved to the University of Sydney, School of Public Health before returning to Perth in late 2017 to establish the disorders of mineralisation research group at the Edith Cowan University. 

Josh was the inaugural Raine Medical Research Foundation Alan Robson Fellow and has been a National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Fellow from 2016-2019. His research focusses on the convergence between bone and vascular biology with a particular focus on vascular calcification. This research seeks to identify individuals with clinically unrecognised disease so that early nutritional and lifestyle interventions can be implemented to prevent the progression to clinical disease such as heart attacks and strokes.