Public health

SA cardiologist to lead Australia’s first heart hospital

Prof Stephen Nicholls

South Australian cardiologist Professor Stephen Nicholls has been appointed director of MonashHeart, Victoria, where he will be tasked with overseeing the establishment of Australia’s first dedicated heart hospital.

Professor Nicholls will step down from his senior role at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) to take up the position in October, which involves the development and eventually leadership of the Victorian Heart Hospital.

The new hospital, which will have a full range of ambulatory and inpatient cardiac care and house a centre for research, is anticipated to open in mid-2022 at Monash University’s Clayton campus in Melbourne.

“We are delighted that Professor Nicholls is joining the Monash (Heart, Health, University) team. A bright future for cardiac services & the Victorian Heart Hospital under his leadership,” MonashHeart stated.

Professor Nicholls says the Victorian Heart Hospital is a ‘once in a generation opportunity’ to develop an integrated Institution, dedicated to clinical service delivery, teaching and research, in the cardiovascular space.”

“The chance to lead a world class clinical team at MonashHeart, expand its research efforts and develop the connectors across the University will position Monash as a world-leading centre in cardiovascular disease,” he said.

Professor Nicholls added he was excited at the prospect of working with a range of new preclinical collaborators across the Monash network.

“I’m particularly looking forward to working with the established CT and molecular imaging groups, as well as the world-class clinical trials groups at Monash, to expand my research in this space.”

Professor Nicholls has research interests in lipidology and atherosclerosis, and has most recently been involved in trials of Infusions of a HDL Lipoprotein Mimetic, on Coronary Atherosclerosis

The announcement triggered chatter on social media, as colleagues posted messages of congratulations to the University of Adelaide professor of cardiology who uses the ironic twitter handle ‘@noworksteve’.

Announcing his departure from SAHMRI, executive director Professor Steve Wesselingh said the contribution Professor Nicholls had made to the institute as deputy director and heart health theme leader over the years went “well beyond the laboratory”.

“He has been a much-admired colleague, teacher and friend to so many people here. He’ll be sorely missed but we wish him every success at Monash,” Professor Wesselingh said.

“We’re proud to see one of our own selected for such an eminent position”.

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