Associate Professor Aaron Sverdlov is a cardiologist and clinician-scientist with proven track record in basic through to clinical research. His research interests encompass a broad spectrum of topics related to heart failure.
I am committed to improving management and outcomes for patients with heart failure through better understanding of mechanisms involved and discovering novel biomarkers and therapies.
Dr Sverdlov received his medical degree (MBBS) from the University of Adelaide, Australia in 2000. Then he completed his post-graduate training in general medicine and cardiology, including serving as a Chief Medical Resident for 2 years. He was admitted to the Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP) in December 2007, and then appointed staff specialist in cardiology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Lyell McEwin Hospital from February 2008.
Aaron Sverdlov was awarded his PhD in 2012 from University of Adelaide. His doctoral work was on pathogenesis of aortic valve disease: Aaron led the aortic valve stenosis group at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and provided the first evidence in humans that progression of aortic stenosis is amenable to treatment with renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors. He was then awarded an NHMRC CJ Martin and RACP Fellowships to undertake postdoctoral work with Prof WS Colucci at Boston University (2012-15). There he studied mechanisms regulating cardiac function and energetics in models of metabolic heart disease/diastolic dysfunction utilizing state-of-the-art techniques and methodologies. He proved that mitochondrial ROS play a key pathogenic role in metabolic heart disease and identified reactive cysteines (never previously described) in mitochondrial complex II that modulate its function and lead to cardiac energetic impairment. He was also involved in describing a new method for quantitation of FDG PET/CT in cardiac sarcoidosis: this work has been heavily cited and this method has been adopted by a number of institutions. Aaron's postdoctoral work gained him a reputation as an expert and leader in mitochondrial redox field: he was awarded AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Upon return to Australia in 2015, in partnership with his wife, A/Prof Doan Ngo, he established and co-led Cardiometabolic research group at the Basil Hetzel Institute in Adelaide. In 2 years they have attracted over $720,000 in research funding across a variety of cardiovascular areas, including obesity and angiogenesis, weight loss and exercise physiology, novel biomarkers and cardio-oncology.
Aaron relocated to Newcastle in 2017 where he was appointed as an Associate Professor and Director of Heart Failure at the University of Newcastle. He has a Clinical Academic appointment as a cardiologist at the John Hunter Hospital and is a Clinical Lead of Heart Failure Services for Hunter New England Local Health District.
Aaron has just been awarded 4-year Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship for his research program "Bench-to-bedside approach to improving management and outcomes for patients with heart failure".
Aaron Sverdlov's research encompasses a full spectrum of translation from bench to bedside and service delivery. He has a basic and translational lab at the Hunter Medical Research Institute and shares a research lab with A/Prof Doan Ngo on the Callaghan Campus. His clinical research is at the John Hunter Hospital and other sites across the Health District.
Broad goals of Aaron's research program are to improve care and health outcomes for patients with heart disease through better understanding of mechanisms responsible for development of heart failure, prevention and early detection of heart disease through development of novel biomarkers and improved delivery of healthcare by dedicated and integrated multidisciplinary approach.
Aaron's specific research interests directions are:
- mechanisms underlying development of heart failure, especially heart failure due to obesity and diabetes
- role of mitochondria and redox stress in heart failure
- mechanisms of development of chemotherapy-mediated cardiotoxicity
- role of novel biomarkers in early detection of various forms of heart disease
- basic and clinical factors reponsible for development and progression of aortic valve disease
- development and evaluation of integrated multidisciplinary heart failure service incorporating research and innovation
- development and evaluation of cardio-oncology clinical and translational program
- evaluation of new treatment options for patients with obesity, heart failure and chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity
Across these projects Aaron has a number of local, national and international collaborators.
Track record, peer review and service to the field
Aaron has 44 career (since 2008) peer-reviewed publications and 4 book chapters (including chapters on Oxidative Stress in Heart Failure in the textbook “Heart Failure: A Companion to Braunwald’s Heart Disease”) with over 750 citations in last 5 years and has had 74 presentations at international and national meetings. He received over 20 competitive grants, with 17 in the last 5 years (total >$2M AUD).
Aaron Sverdlov serves on the NHMRC ECF Biomedical Panel (2015-6), NHMRC Cardiovascular Diseases GRP (2016-7), Heart Foundation of Australia Postdoctoral Fellowships Committee (2017), Hunter New England Local Health District TRGS EOI review panel (2017), American Heart Association Cardiac Biology Program Peer Review Committee (2017-8) and Rebecca Cooper Medical Research Foundation grant advisory panel (2016).
He is also a reviewer for the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), Australian Research Council (ARC), Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ), Diabetes Australia and Society for Redox Biology and Medicine (SFRBM).
Aaron is an Associate Editor for 2 international journals (Heart Lung and Circulation and Egyptian Heart Journal) ans is on editorial board of Reactive Oxygen Species. He is a regular reviewer for multiple leading cardiovascular, pharmacology and basic science journals including Circulation Research, JACC, Hypertension, JMCC, International Journal of Cardiology, Antioxidant Redox Signaling, Cardiovascular Therapeutics and British Journal of Pharmacology.
Teaching and Education
Aaron has been involved in undergraduate teaching in medicine at the University of Newcastle and University of Adelaide as well as Boston University, USA. He supervised numerous clinical students and physician trainees especially in his capacity as the Chief Medical Resident. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Boston University he supervised and mentored honours, PhD and MD/PhD students. Currently he co-supervises 4 PhD, 1 honours students and 2 postdoctoral fellows across University of Newcastle, University of Adelaide and Flinders University of SA. He is involved in porefessional education of general practitioners and physicians in community and hospital settings.
In addition to multiple collaborations within University of Newcastle, HMRI and Hunter New England Local Health District, Aaron has active research collaborations with University of Adelaide, Flinders University of SA, University of Sydney, Boston University (USA) and University of East Anglia (UK).