Westmead cardiologists receive prestigious award

Westmead Hospital staff and Ralph Reader winner in 1986 Dr Mark Cooper, Ralph Reader winner in 1982 and cardiology department head Professor Robert Denniss, 2018 Basic science prize winner Dr Sujitha Thavapalachandran, 2018 Clinical prize winner and cardiologist Dr Pierre Qian, Ralph Reader winner in 2012 Associate Professor Saurabh Kumar, cardiologist Associate Professor Stuart Thomas and cardiology nurse unit manager Robert Zecchin.

In an unprecedented achievement, two Westmead Hospital cardiologist scientists have won young investigator prizes at the 2018 Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) Annual Scientific meeting.

Both prizes were awarded to candidates from the same hospital has never occurred in the history of these awards.

The winners are also PhD students at the University of Sydney.

The Ralph Reader is the most prestigious prize in Cardiovascular research among investigators in Australia and New Zealand.

Westmead Hospital’s clinical fellows Dr Sujitha Thavapalachandran won the Basic science prize and Dr Pierre Qian won the Clinical research prize.  

Westmead Hospital’s cardiologists Dr Sujitha Thavapalachandran said the research is about new ways of repairing damaged hearts.

“This growth factor promotes healing and rhythm abnormalities after a heart attack,” Dr Thavapalachandran said.

“It’s a great honour to win this prize, I am excited that this prize will pave the next steps to offering this therapy to applying this to help patients with heart failure to live longer better quality lives.”

Former Westmead Hospital cardiologist  Dr Pierre Qian said the medical device developed targets renal nerve connections to reduce blood pressure,” Dr Qian said.

“This prize is a great honour and it shows the team effort in Westmead that has involved both engineering and medical collaboration.”  

Westmead Hospital cardiology head of department Professor Robert Denniss said he is proud of our young trainees who have successfully competed against the best in Australasia.

“This follows Westmead cardiology winning the Basic Research Prize last year, making it two consecutive years of winning the national prestigious prize,’ Professor Denniss said.

“This has been a great team effort from multiple team members within the department and is an inspiration to young trainees wanting to come to a first rate department.”  

Dr Sujitha Thavapalachandran was supervised by Associate Professor James Chong who is also a researcher at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research (WIMR) and Dr Pierre Qian was supervised by Associate Professor Stuart Thomas and Dr Aravinda Thiagalingam.