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Medical Consultation


Facilitated by the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance (ACvA) and supported by MTPConnect, Australia's Growth Centre for the medical technologies, the Charles Perkins Centre at Sydney University and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, a new network is being set-up to connect and empower businesses, entities, clinicians and professionals who can conduct, contribute to or support the successful testing and study of Cardiovascular-orientated medical device innovations.

This network is called Ventri Clinical.

Meet The Team

Dr Jeremy Simpson

Project Director, Ventri Clinical
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Jeremy holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Cardiff University and a PhD from Brunel University, UK.  Jeremy has over 25 years of global corporate leadership experience in drug and device development roles in healthcare, pharma, biotechnology and contract research organisation (CRO).

More recently, Jeremy has been in clinical development leadership roles in the biotechnology sector with Bionomics, Oncosil Medical and Kazia Therapeutics.

Kerry Doyle

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Kerry stepped across from the Heart Foundation where she has been the Chief Executive Officer at the NSW Division, and played a huge role in strategy development. She also has immense experience in working with state and federal government- from both internally and in advocacy, having previously been the Executive Director of NSW Government’s Industry, Innovation & Investment Division. Kerry has interests that span from fundamental discovery and innovation through to public health.

Dr Catherine Shang

Project Manager, ACvA
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Catherine has broad experience in research management, both nationally and internationally. Catherine came to the ACvA from the Victorian Cancer Registry. Prior to this, Catherine was the Program Manager for a strategic research alliance between the University of Oxford and Bayer AG.


Catherine received her PhD from the University of Queensland and undertook post-doctoral research into heart development in London, UK at the National Institute for Medical Research (now the Francis Crick Institute).


Professor Gemma Figtree

President, ACvA

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Gemma Figtree is an interventional cardiologist and Professor in Medicine.  She co-leads the Cardiovascular Theme for Sydney Health Partners, a NHMRC Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre and is the Chair of the University of Sydney’s multi-disciplinary Cardiovascular Initiative.  Gemma completed her DPhil at Oxford University in 2002 supported by a Rhodes Scholarship making fundamental discoveries regarding estrogen’s actions in the cardiovascular system. She is committed to improving the care for heart attack patients- using her knowledge of molecular and cellular biology to develop methods of identifying those at highest risk of adverse outcome, and discovering novel therapies to prevent and treat events, inspired by her clinical work as an interventional cardiologist.  She has dedicated herself throughout her career to unravelling key mechanisms underlying susceptibility and response to heart attack, with studies extending from the bench to clinical trials.

Gemma is committed to the promotion and advocacy of cardiovascular research, working as President of the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance with a national team to secure $220 Million Federal funding for the Mission for Cardiovascular Health. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and serves/has served as a non-executive Director on multiple community Boards.


Professor Jason Kovacic

Board Member, ACvA

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Professor Jason Kovacic is the Executive Director of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. He graduated from The University of Melbourne Medical School in 1994, and then undertook residency and cardiology specialty training in interventional cardiology at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, becoming a Fellow of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2003. Jason then completed a PhD in cardiovascular medicine at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. In 2007, he was elected as a Fellow of The American College of Cardiology and relocated to the USA, to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. At the NIH, Jason discovered critical new pathways that lead to blockage of the body’s blood vessels. Jason then moved to The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. In parallel with his vital ongoing research to define new ways to prevent and treat vascular disease, Jason is a practicing clinical cardiologist, specializing in vascular disease and blockages of the heart arteries. He has authored numerous scientific and clinical papers on heart and vascular disease and serves on a number of NIH committees. He has a particular interest in unraveling the pathobiology of the vascular diseases, fibromuscular dysplasia and spontaneous coronary artery dissection.


In addition to his many achievements in medicine and in biomedical research, Professor Kovacic was an elite athlete, having been a world-class rower, plays classical guitar and speaks several languages.

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