Investigating new approaches to target plaque inflammation in atherosclerosis

Associate Professor Peter Psaltis
Deputy Director and Co Theme Leader Lifelong Health
South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI)
Australian Atherosclerosis Society, University of Adelaide, South Australian Postgraduate Medical Education Association (SAPMEA), Acute Coronary Syndrome Task Force, Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN)

Associate Professor Peter Psaltis is an Academic Interventional Cardiologist who holds Level 2 NHMRC Career Development and National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowships. He has Faculty positions within the University of Adelaide, Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) and South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). Within SAHMRI, he is the Co-Theme Leader of the Lifelong Health, Program Leader of Heart and Vascular Health and Co-director of the Vascular Research Centre in the Lifelong Health Theme.

Associate Professor Psaltis graduated with Honours from the University of Adelaide Medical School in 1999. He ranked outright first in each of his six years of medicine and was the recipient of 25 undergraduate academic prizes and awards, including the highly prestigious University and Alumni University Medals. He undertook training in internal medicine and cardiology at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, and then his PhD at the University of Adelaide from 2006 to 2009. His doctoral studies investigated the cardiovascular reparative properties of immunoselected bone marrow mesenchymal precursor cells. This was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship as an NHMRC CJ Martin Fellow in the laboratory of Professor Robert Simari at the Mayo Clinic, MN, USA (2009-2012). There he discovered the existence of adventitial macrophage progenitor cells (AMPCs) in postnatal mammalian arteries. He received eleven awards for his PhD and post-doctoral research, including the inaugural Early Career Investigator Award of the ATVB Council at the American Heart Association meeting in 2011.

A/Prof Psaltis returned to Australia via Monash Hospital, Melbourne in 2013, where he completed a fellowship in Interventional Cardiology. He relocated to Adelaide in 2015 to establish his research group at SAHMRI. His bench-to-bedside program is dedicated to the study of vascular inflammation, innate immunity and atherosclerosis, with specific focus on the developmental origins, molecular and pharmacological regulation of macrophages in healthy and diseased vasculature and other tissues, and the applications of stem/progenitor cells in cardiovascular therapeutics. As of July 2020, Dr Psaltis has published 130 full-text manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals (71 since the start of 2016). He has received  more than $11.9 million in peer-reviewed grant and fellowship funding as named chief investigator, including three NHMRC project grants and 2 National Heart Foundation Vanguard grants as CIA. He has served as Associate Editor for Heart, Lung and Circulation since 2015 and is on the editorial boards of Cardiovascular Research, Journal of Geriatric Cardiology and Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy Among national leadership positions, A/Prof Psaltis is President of the Australian Atherosclerosis Society, Scientific Program Chair for the 2020 Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting, National Lead of the CLEAR Outcomes (Esperion Therapeutics) and COCOMO-ACS (NHMRC) clinical trials, and Imaging Core Laboratory Head for the multinational HUYGENS study (AMGEN).

A/Prof Psaltis is also the Head of Interventional Cardiology at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

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