Researcher

Dr Siiri Iismaa

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Field of Research (FoR)

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Biography

Dr Iismaa is an internationally respected and highly regarded scientist at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.  Her research interest is in cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading cause of premature death and disability in our society, and the nation’s most costly diseases.


My Qualifications

Qualifications:

BSc (Hons I) University Medal, Australian National University 

PhD in Molecular Biology and...view more

Dr Iismaa is an internationally respected and highly regarded scientist at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.  Her research interest is in cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading cause of premature death and disability in our society, and the nation’s most costly diseases.


My Qualifications

Qualifications:

BSc (Hons I) University Medal, Australian National University 

PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics, Australian National University

Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Irvine, CA, USA

Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, Heart Research Institute, Sydney

Senior Scientist, Victor Chang CardiacResearch Institute and Conjoint Senior Lecturer, UNSW


My Awards

1980-1983 Tertiary Education Scholarship  

1984-1988 Commonwealth Postgraduate Scholarship 

1988-1990 US Biotechnology Training Program Award

1991-1994 NHMRC Postdoctoral Award 

1999 VCCRI Award for Research Excellence 

2000 VCCRI Award for Research Excellence 

2013 St Vincent’s Campus Symposium Award for Research Excellence

2015 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellowship


My Research Activities

Key Research Areas:

  • Cardiac regeneration
  • Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection 

Research Overview:

1. Cardiac regeneration

As the body grows and matures, heart muscle cells lose their ability to divide. This limits the ability of the heart muscle to regenerate after a heart attack. We are determining the transcriptomic and epigenomic signatures that underpin postnatal CM development to identify the molecular roadblocks that prevent heart muscle repair. Insights into these processes should be directly applicable to the development of powerful new treatments for heart disease.

2. Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection 

Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an epicardial coronary artery dissection (tear) unrelated to atherosclerosis or trauma. It presents predominantly (95%) in women who are not overweight, have few conventional cardiovascular risk factors and it is often associated with pregnancy, and physical or emotional stress. It is the cause of 2-4% of all cases presenting with acute coronary syndrome and accounts for up to 35% of cases of myocardial infarction in women aged <50 yr. The epidemiology, pathogenesis and optimal approaches to diagnosis and management are poorly understood. We are elucidating the genetics and biology of SCAD by 

  • whole genome sequencing (WGS) to identify variants associated with SCAD
  • phenotypic characterisation of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC-derived) cells from SCAD patients and controls

 

 


My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

Actively looking for ILP/Honours students/PhD students interested in:

SCAD; Cardiac biology; Cardiac regeneration; Bioinformatics

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Location

Molecular Cardiology and Biophysics Division
Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
Level 5, 405 Liverpool St,
Darlinghurst, NSW, 2010

Contact

+61 419 330 117
+ 61 2 9295 8769