About Dr Heather Medbury

Rather than just building on traditional thinking, I want to redefine disease/healing processes to provide new targets for therapeutic intervention.

Heather Medbury is a relatively new independent researcher who is making novel, significant inroads into the well-established field of vascular disease.

Heather Medbury is a relatively new independent researcher who is making novel, significant inroads into the well-established field of vascular disease. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, and is based at Westmead Hospital. She completed her PhD in transplant immunology before transferring to Vascular Biology to work for Professor John Fletcher, the head of Surgery for the University. Heather established laboratory based research for the Department of Surgery at Westmead Hospital which, combined with the large animal work operating in the Department, become known as the Vascular Biology Research Centre. She took leave with the birth of her two children and returned to research part time in 2002 to take on the role of Research Director. She job shares with Dr Ann Guiffre who took the role of Research Manager. Heather has taken the group into the new direction of fibrocytes in vascular wound healing. Her group is the first to demonstrate that monocytes may play a beneficial role in atherosclerotic plaques by transforming into a fibrocyte (smooth muscle-like cell) that contributes to formation of the fibrous cap. They are also the first to show that fibrocytes contribute to intimal hyperplasia. Both these findings challenge established dogma and have important implications for the treatment of these conditions. Heather is also part of a team that was the first to show a correlation between the presence of fibrocytes and hypertrophic scarring in the healing of paediatric burns. Despite only beginning work in the area of fibrocytes in 2003, she already has a book chapter on the role of this cell in atherosclerosis. Her work has received oral presentations at national and international meetings including at the American Heart Association (2004) and International Atherosclerosis Society meetings (Rome 2006).

Selected publications

For a comprehensive list of Dr Medbury's publicatons, please visit her Sydney Medical School profile page.