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Personal profile

Biography

Research Group Head, Cardiovascular Endocrinology
Centre for Endocrinology and Metabolism

A leading authority on the role of hormones, such as MR signalling mechanisms, in cardiovascular disease, Dr Young completed a CJ Martin Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Baker Institute of Medical Research and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre, USA. Her studies performed in the late Keith Parker laboratory on SF-1 null mice enabled animals unable to produce steroid hormones to survive which opened up studies in adults on the role of the orphan nuclear receptor SF-1. These studies identified an important novel role for SF-1 in the brain and in the control of leptin signalling. Dr Young continued working with transgenic mouse models and steroid hormone signalling upon her return to Dr Tim Cole’s laboratory at the Baker Institute and also returned to her doctoral work on cardiac remodelling with Professor John Funder.

Dr Young joined PHI in 2002 as a Senior Research Officer and established the Cardiovascular Endocrinology Laboratory in 2005. Dr Young’s research has discovered that mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) activation in the heart drives cardiac fibrosis and inflammation, which leads to heart failure. Her work has been validated by several large clinical trials but the use of MR antagonists is limited by significant renal side effects (hyperkalaemia). She received the Best Basic Research Paper published in Hypertension in 2009 from the American Heart Association for her work on the role MR in macrophages and regulation of cardiac remodelling and blood pressure control. Dr Young’s work has been funded by 6 NHMRC project grants (4 as CIA) as well as by industry, the National Heart Foundation and philanthropic organisations.

Dr Young’s research team comprises 3 PhD students, 2 post doctoral fellows and a senior research assistant. This team includes 2 Endocrine Fellows (FRACP). Several high profile awards have been received by students while training with Dr Young including an NHMRC/INSERM training fellowship, a commendation for the ASMR Victorian Premier’s Award, the Novartis New investigator Award (ESA) and an RACP Post Doctoral Fellowship.

Dr Young serves as a Senior Editor for The Journal of Endocrinology and the Journal of Molecular Endocrinology and the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and also held editorial roles for Endocrinology and Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and is an appointed member of the Faculty of 1000, Physiology.

Research area keywords

  • aldosterone
  • mineralocorticoid receptor
  • cortisol
  • cardiac fibrosis
  • macrophages
  • hypertension

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