About Associate Professor Gemma Figtree

I am a clinician/scientist who has interest at the molecular level in oxidative signaling in the cardiovascular system, as well as, at the translational/clinical level, in cardiac magnetic resonance. I have a longstanding interest and commitment to cardiovascular research which began at the National Heart and Lung Institute, London in 1997, examining the effects of estrogen-related compounds on endothelial function. I completed my PhD in Cardiovascular Genetics and Molecular Biology at Oxford University supported by a Rhodes Scholarship in 2002, with my doctoral thesis detailing the characterization of novel polymorphisms in ERα and their impact on vascular function. During this period at Oxford, I was appointed as Research Fellow, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics/Department of Cardiovascular Medicine; Junior Research Fellow, Trinity College; and Tutor in Physiology and Medicine, New College.

During my clinical cardiology training I held an academic appointment as Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney where I teamed-up with the Rasmussen Laboratory. Cellular electrophysiology studies by Professor Rasmussen and his group had provided evidence for the role of oxidative signaling in regulation of the Na+-K+ pump in the cardiac myocyte. I used my knowledge and experience in molecular biology to examine the mechanism by which oxidative stress may directly regulate the Na+-K+ pump. I am a chief investigator on grants from NHMRC, North Shore Heart Research Foundation, The University of Sydney Medical Foundation and the Royal Australian College of Physicians. I enjoy co- supervising post-doctoral fellows, PhD students, as well as honours students and research assistants. I now hold the Chapman Fellowship, and an Associate Professorship at the University of Sydney Medical School, and Department of Cardiology, Royal North Shore Hospital, and have recently been awarded the Viertel Clinical Investigatorship.
My combined interests in clinical and molecular Cardiology has also led me to an interest in the rapidly developing field of cardiac MRI and to lead the establishment of a Sydney-based CMR research group. With the support of the Medical Foundation, University of Sydney and North Shore Heart Research Foundation this group aims not only to contribute to advances in cardiac MRI acquisition, analysis and clinical application, but also to provide a world-class cardiovascular phenotyping facility for collaborating clinicians and scientists from around Sydney and Australia.

Selected publications

For a comprehensive list of Associate Professor Figtree's publications, please visit her Sydney Medical School profile page.