Resident Researchers

Resident Researchers

On the pulse of hypertension

The Dobney Hypertension Centre (DHC) is a collaborative venture between the RPH Research Foundation, Royal Perth Hospital and The University of Western Australia.
It is led by Professor Markus Schlaich, an internationally renowned researcher who specialises in high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension.

DHC is accredited as a Hypertension Excellence Centre by the European Society of Hypertension and engages in high-quality clinical research with the ultimate aim to better understand the mechanisms that lead to elevated blood pressure. Throughout the year, numerous clinical trials and research studies are run by the dedicated research team. Each trial aims to optimise treatments and improve health outcomes for the community at large.

Hypertension is the biggest killer worldwide. Approximately 10 million deaths per year are directly attributable to uncontrolled blood pressure. Hypertension can occur for many reasons. It is sometimes revealed during pregnancy, frequently associated with obesity and chronic kidney disease and presents itself in the emergency departments during various crises such as strokes. While much progress has been made to better understand its underlying causes and manage
elevated blood pressure and its consequences, less than 50% of patients diagnosed with hypertension have adequately controlled blood pressure.

Other cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors are important contributors to this major health issue and are another major focus of the DHC’s research. Thanks to the DHC’s world-leading, unique methodologies, it is at the forefront of research its field. There are opportunities for volunteers to actively engage and participate in a wide range of clinical studies. If you would like more information about participating in a DHC hypertension studies, please contact the research team.

DHC Website Tour the DHC


Medical research helps doctors and nurses make life and death decisions 

Most people never imagine they’ll be involved in an emergency situation, yet there were more than 8 million presentations to emergency departments in Australian public hospitals in 2017/18. That’s an average of 22,000 each day.**

Medical research is vital to helping doctors and nurses make quick decisions in these emergency situations. It helps ensure that each patient receives the right treatment in a bid to obtain the best possible outcome.

That’s why the RPH Research Foundation is passionate about helping to fund researchers at the Centre for Clinical Research in Emergency Medicine (CCREM). This unique unit, which is part of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, is housed in our purpose-built facility next to Royal Perth Hospital. The work conducted on our premises is a joint venture between clinical emergency department staff and laboratory scientists.

** Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

CCREM investigates a number of serious conditions, including:

  • Sepsis
  • Trauma
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Geriatric syndromes
  • Chest pain
  • Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
  • Snake and spider bites
  • Drug overdose

When food is medicine

Thanks to feats of modern science, some popular folk wisdom has been clinically proven to be true. That’s right! Eating an apple a day could be the secret to improved cardiovascular health and while loading up on lots of dark, leafy green vegetables won’t turn you into Popeye, it can help reduce
your blood pressure.

These are just some of the findings of a collaborative research team that’s comprised of academics from The University of Western Australia (UWA) and Edith Cowan University – and based at the RPH Research Foundation. UWA Professor Kevin Croft, Head of Division, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences (pictured), is one of the lead investigators behind these world-leading medical breakthroughs in preventative medicine.

To date, findings have shown that consuming as few as two or three apples a week has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease, provided you leave the skin on. WA’s Pink Lady and Bravo varieties offer some of the biggest heart health bangs for your bite. This is thought to be due to the flavonoids (previously known as antioxidants) found in the skin of the apples.

Spinach, kale and even beetroot are some of the other foods being explored for their medicinal properties, particularly with regard to cardiovascular health. When you consider that heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia, it’s amazing to think that the food you eat can benefit your health in many ways.

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