Cardiovascular Physiology

The Cardiovascular Physiology Group investigates blood vessel structure and function (vasodilation) and how these are impaired in cardiovascular disease using both animal models of disease and arteries from patients with cardiovascular disease. New treatments for cardiovascular disease that target the vascular system are also developed and tested.


  • Parry Lab - Vasoprotective actions of relaxin


    Our “relaxin” group is renowned for its research programs in vascular physiology with national and international collaborators including the biotechnology industry in the USA and most recently with Novartis Pharma AG (Switzerland).

    Relaxin has received considerable attention because of its beneficial outcomes in a Phase III clinical trial in patients with acute heart failure (RELAX-AHF). Treatment with relaxin improved symptoms and signs of AHF, prevented in-hospital worsening heart failure, and significantly reduced cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.

    Our research aims to explain these beneficial effects of relaxin. We combine basic physiological approaches in animal models of cardiovascular disease to study the effects of relaxin treatment on blood vessel structure (arterial stiffness) and function (vasodilation), and the molecular mechanisms that underpin these effects.

    Research areas

    • Placental abnormalities in relaxin gene knock-out mice;
    • Novel mechanisms of relaxin action in acute heart failure;
    • Anti-ageing properties of relaxin‐like peptides in blood vessels.



    Research Fellows


    • Dhanushke Fernando
      Mr. Dhanushke Fernando, MSc candidate
    • Maria Jelinic
      Ms. Maria Jelinic, PhD candidate
    • Nicola Kahlberg
      Ms. Nicola Kahlberg, PhD candidate
    • Sarah Marshall
      Ms. Sarah Marshall, PhD candidate
    • Hooi Ng
      Ms. Hooi Ng, PhD candidate
    • Thy Nguyen
      Ms.Thy Nguyen, PhD candidate

    Professional Staff


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The Cardivascular and Physiology Group collaborates with a number of individuals and organisations from around the world. Our research partners include:


  • Dr. Marianne Tare (Monash University)
  • Prof. Stephen Tong (The University of Melbourne / The Mercy Hospital for Women)
  • Dr. Jane Girling (The University of Melbourne)
  • Prof. Joel Bornstein (The University of Melbourne)
  • Prof Mary E Wlodek (The University of Melbourne)
  • Assoc. Prof. Rebecca Ritchie (Baker IDI)


  • Novartis Pharma SG

United States of America

  • Prof Kirk P Conard (University of Florida)