The Cardiovascular Health Mission Expert Advisory Panel has been appointed to provide the Minister for Health with advice on the strategic priorities for research investment through this Mission. Its role is to define evidence and knowledge gaps that should be addressed through Mission research funding to assist in transforming health care and health outcomes for individuals and communities. This role includes the definition of key research questions that, if answered, will deliver meaningful change to patients through the translation of research.
Expert Advisory Panel members will consult and engage with other researchers, industry and consumer/patient groups and participate in media and public activities to build awareness of and facilitate interaction with the Mission and with other MRFF-funded research.
Further information on the roles and responsibilities of MRFF Expert Advisory Panels can be found in the MRFF Mission Governance resource.
The Cardiovascular Health Mission aims to make transformative improvements in heart and vascular health and stroke for all Australians. This can be achieved through:
- prevention strategies
- earlier detection
- improved outcomes
- reducing hospitalisations
- developing clinical trials and new drug therapies
- using the unique DNA of a patient to develop new therapies
- investigating why people who don’t lead a unhealthy lifestyle or have a genetic cause suffer heart attacks.
The Australian Government appoints the panel. It is chaired by an independent Chair and includes members appointed for their expertise in health and cardiovascular disease.
Background and experience
Declarations of interest
Professor Gemma Figtree (Chair)
Professor Figtree is an interventional cardiologist at Royal North Shore Hospital and a Professor in Medicine at the University of Sydney.
President of the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance.
Chair of the University of Sydney Cardiovascular Initiative.
Co-lead of the Cardiovascular Theme, Sydney Health Partners.
Board member of the Heart Foundation.
Clinical Committee, Heart Foundation.
Cardiovascular Researcher - with a research program that spans a broad range of elements addressed in the Roadmap.
Member, Australian Vascular Biology Society, Australian Atherosclerosis Society, International Society for Heart Research.
Chair of the Heart Health Committee, Heart Foundation.
Consulting for Amgen on lipid management; consulted for Janssen, CSL.
Professor Emily Banks
Professor Banks is a public health physician and epidemiologist, leading the Epidemiology for Policy and Practice Group at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University.
Member of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Research Committee.
Deputy Chair NHMRC Alcohol Guidelines Working Group.
Deputy Chair of Heart Foundation Research Advisory Committee.
Member of National Preventive Health Strategy Expert Steering Committee.
Member Australian Cardiovascular Alliance (ACvA), Director ACvA Big Data Flagship.
Member International Scientific Advisory Board UK Biobank.
Member Scientific Advisory Committee Million Women Study.
Senior Advisor, Sax Institute.
Visiting Professor, University of Oxford.
Public health researcher conducting work on chronic disease including cardiovascular disease, recipient of grants from NHMRC, Heart Foundation, Federal Department of Health.
Member of the Expert Steering Committee for the National Absolute Cardiovascular Disease Guideline Revision.
Chair of the Algorithm Working Group for the National Absolute Cardiovascular Disease Guideline Review.
Member of the Independent Oversight Panel for the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists' Adverse Event Collaboration.
Professor Julie Bernhardt
Professor Bernhardt is the co-leader of The Florey’s Stroke theme and leads the AVERT Early Intervention Research Program at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.
Stroke researcher - broad research program funded primarily through competitive grants.
Steering Committee Australian Stroke Clinical Registry.
Member of Australasian Stroke Trials Network Committee.
General member Cardiovascular Alliance.
Florey Stroke Think Tanks and clinical trials workshops sponsored by educational grants from Boehringer Ingelheim, Shire/Takeda, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Neurolutions, Imperative Care, See-Mode Technologies.
Kaiser Permanente Inter-Regional Stroke Conference (Paid Lecture) – discuss early rehabilitation post stroke and AVERT clinical trials.
Professor Dominique Cadilhac
Professor Cadilhac is the Head of Translational Public Health Research Division at the Stroke and Ageing Research Group, Monash University.
Executive committee Stroke Society of Australasia, Data Custodian Australian Stroke Clinical Registry.
Committee Member, Australian Stroke Coalition.
Professor, Monash University.
Other affiliations, Florey Institute, University of Melbourne, Deakin University.
Educational grants paid to institution: Boehringer Ingelheim, Medtronic, Shire, Pfizer, Ipsen, Amgen unrelated to this committee role.
Visiting Professor at Zunyi Medical University, China.
NHMRC Senior Research Fellow.
MRFF Frontier Program Board Australian Stroke Alliance.
Scientific Advisory Committee, MS Research Flagship, University of Tasmania, Menzies Institute of Medical Research.
Professor Livia Hool
Professor Hool is the Head of the Cardiovascular Electrophysiology Laboratory at the University of Western Australia.
Chair and Director of the Western Australian Cardiovascular Research Alliance.
Elected member of the World Council of the International Society for Heart Research.
Member of Heart Foundation Research Committee.
Executive member (past President) of ISHR Australasian Section council.
Faculty, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Sydney.
Collaborator with Centenary Institute Sydney.
NHMRC grant recipient.
Dr James Hudson
Dr Hudson is the Group Leader of Organoid Research at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.
Founder, equity holder and scientific advisor of Dynomics Pty Ltd.
Co-director of Bioengineering Flagship for ACvA.
Collaboration with AstraZeneca and Resverlogix on developing heart failure drugs.
Named on cardiac-related patents that are licensed to different commercial entities.
Professor Garry Jennings AO
Professor Jennings is the Chief Medical Advisor and Interim CEO of the Heart Foundation.
Senior Advisor of the Sydney Health Partners.
Life Governor, Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute.
Honorary affiliations with University of Sydney, Monash University, Alfred Health.
Trustee at the Baker Foundation.
Board Member of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.
Implementation Flagship Lead, ACvA.
Board Member St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research.
Advisory Board member of TTRA (MTP Connect).
Occasional member of Sanofi Pasteur Influenza Global Advisory Board.
Dr Ray Mahoney
Dr Mahoney is Senior Research Scientist, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, at the CSIRO.
Member of ACvA.
Member of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare - Ethics Committee.
Member of the Heart Foundation - Research Committee.
Mr Chris Nave
Mr Nave is a founding partner of Brandon Capital Partners and Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund.
Managing Director of Brandon Capital Partners.
CEO of the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund Pty Ltd.
Chair of PolyActiva Pty Ltd; Certa Therapeutics.
Director of EBR Systems Inc; Osprey Medical; Global Kinetics Corporation; Que Oncology Inc; Pathios PLC; Azura Ophthalmics; Foray Therapeutics Pty Ltd.
Director of the Australian Investment Council.
Ms Jennifer Tucker
Ms Tucker is an Executive at DuluxGroup Ltd and also a consumer advocate and Board Member of the National Heart Foundation.
Director, Bunnings (Corporate).
Director at National Heart Foundation (Charity).
Declarations are accurate as of 9 March 2022.
No conflicts of interest required action beyond ‘register’ as defined in the MRFF Declaration of Interest Policy Statement.
Terms of reference
Purpose of the Panel
The Mission Expert Advisory Panel will provide the Minister for Health advice on the strategic priorities for research investment through this Mission.
The role of the Expert Advisory Panel is to define evidence and knowledge gaps that should be addressed through Mission research funding to assist in transforming health care and health outcomes for individuals and communities.
Expert Advisory Panel Members will consult and engage with other researchers, industry and consumer/patient groups and participate in media and public activities to build awareness of and facilitate interaction with the Mission and with other MRFF funded research.
The Expert Advisory Panel will be chaired by Professor Gemma Figtree.
The Expert Advisory Panel will provide advice on priorities for research investment through the Mission by developing a Roadmap and Implementation Plan, including 2–3 questions/goals that investment through the Mission will support and be evaluated against.
A two-page high level strategic document for the Mission which will include:
- the aim, vision and goals for the Mission
- possible themes and priorities for investment.
To support implementation of the Roadmap, the Expert Advisory Panel will develop an Implementation Plan to outline:
- 2–3 questions/goals that will outline specifically how the Mission will benefit Australian patients, guide the investment priorities that will achieve this objective, and be used to evaluate the ongoing progress of the Mission
- priorities for investment, particularly defining research questions and outcomes for short, medium and long term investment
- opportunities for leveraging additional investment through philanthropy and other sectors, to support achievement of the Mission’s outcomes
- activities required to support the Mission’s outcomes, and facilitate their longer term implementation, including community and industry engagement.
A public consultation on the Roadmap and Implementation Plan was undertaken between 14 December 2020 and 23 April 2021 to enable broad engagement on the priority setting process. The themes of feedback provided on the Roadmap and Implementation Plan, and how the feedback has been incorporated, will be published on the Mission website.
The Cardiovascular Health Mission Expert Advisory Panel meets up to two times a year, with additional meetings held as required.
Related committees and groups
The Cardiovascular Health Mission Expert Advisory Panel reports to the Minister for Health.
The Health and Medical Research Office provides secretariat support to the panel.