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Peter Psaltis awarded for his research into atherosclerosis

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Three Adelaide researchers have been honoured in this year’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Research Excellence Awards. 

The trio from the University of Adelaide are Professor Peter Psaltis, Professor Ian Olver AM, and Professor Sarah Robertson, who were recognised for their work in cardiology, medical ethics, and reproductive health.

Mr. Psaltis was awarded the Marshall and Warren Innovation Award for his research into the cardiovascular disease atherosclerosis; specifically, the role of adventitial haemangioblasts as an ‘outside-in’ driver of plaque growth and stability. 

“I am extremely honoured and proud to receive the 2020 NHMRC Marshall and Warren Innovation Award,” he said. 

“It’s humbling recognition of the work that my team has done, and continues to do, in pursuing new treatment approaches to tackle atherosclerosis, which is the disease that causes hardening of the arteries and in turn heart attack and stroke, two of the leading causes of death and suffering around the world.” 

Photo via The University of Adelaide

Psaltis’s project investigates how unique stem cells on the arteries can contribute to plaque growth and instability to find more effective treatments for atherosclerosis. 

“This particular award relates to our discovery of a unique type of stem cell in the wall of arteries. Our NHMRC grant will study how these stem cells cause atherosclerotic plaques to form in arteries, so that we can target them with new treatments for heart and vascular disease. 

Peter Psaltis is a cardiologist, vascular biologist, and senior research follow at the University of Adelaide.

He holds fellowships through the Adelaide Medical School, co-leads the Heart and Vascular program and at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

He was awarded just under $400,000 in a Federal Government grant in 2018 to aid his research into how the drug colchicine could determine whether it could help people living with heart disease reduce their chance of a heart attack. 

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