Head, Vascular Biology Division
Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow
Conjoint Professor at UNSW
Roland Stocker is an international leader in the field of redox biology who through his career has made seminal contributions and shifted paradigms in the field of oxidative processes and antioxidants in cardiovascular disease. His research includes the discovery of beneficial antioxidant activities of the bile pigment bilirubin; identification of the reduced form of coenzyme Q10 as an important antioxidant in circulating lipoproteins; key discoveries understanding the molecular action of vitamin E during lipoprotein oxidation and delineating contributions of the latter to atherogenesis; pioneering work in heme oxygenase-1 and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase.
Our research focuses on the hardening of blood vessels (a process also called atherosclerosis) that is the single major cause of heart attacks and stroke, and hence death, in Australia. We study the contribution of oxidative processes to atherosclerosis, and how the disease can be inhibited. We have identified a protein, the up-regulation of which affects many biological processes, resulting in the inhibition of disease in several animal models. We are now studying how a change in a single protein can have such multiple biological effects, with a focus on vascular health and disease. We also have discovered a novel protein that regulates the tone of blood vessels and blood pressure in conditions of inflammation, and are now seeking to better understand the underlying principles of this action. Finally, we have established a new Core Facility to assess oxidative stress in vitro and in vivo, and we are developing new methods and tools to apply this to cardiovascular and other research.
Roland has been recognised as a “Redox Pioneer” by the journal Antiox Redox Signal for his contributions to the field of redox biology. His areas of expertise include low-molecular weight non-proteinaceous antioxidants (bile pigments, coenzyme Q10, vitamins C and E, tryptophan metabolites, flavonoids); probucol; oxidative modifications of lipoproteins (LDL, HDL) and their roles in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis; the involvement of myeloperoxidase to endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis; the role of heme oxygenase-1 in vascular health and disease; the contributions of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase to antioxidant defence and the control of vascular tone/blood pressure; and animal models of atherosclerosis and related vascular diseases.
Summer Scholarships Available
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