Gillian A Whalley, PhD, Unitec Institute of Technology, Private Bag 92025, Auckland, New Zealand.
Prizes & Scholarships
1983 Associate of the Society of Cardiopulmonary Technology Examination, Highest Score
1997 Sigma CSANZ Annual Scientific Meeting Scholarship
1997 SmithKline Beecham Prize in Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Auckland
1998 Cardiac Society of Australia & New Zealand Education Fellowship
2001 National Heart Foundation Post-Graduate (PhD) Scholarship
2002 CSANZ Annual Scientific Meeting Scholarship
2003 CSANZ Annual Scientific Meeting Scholarship
2003 CSANZ (New Zealand Regional Branch) Annual Scientific Meeting Scholarship
2003 National Heart Foundation Post-graduate Scholarship
2003 CSANZ Scientific Sessions Poster Prize
2004 CSANZ (New Zealand Regional Branch) Annual Scientific Meeting Scholarship
2004 CSANZ Annual Scientific Meeting Scholarship
2004 CSANZ Scientific Sessions Affiliate Poster Prize
2004 National Heart Foundation Senior Fellowship
2005 CSANZ Travelling Fellowship to the European Society of Cardiology
2005 Best Doctoral Thesis Award, The University of Auckland
2006 Early Career Research Excellence Award, The University of Auckland
2007 American Society of Echocardiography Career Development Award
My research has taken four broad themes
Developing and proving the reproducibility of ultrasound measurements, such as measures of atherosclerosis (carotid wall thickness), endothelial function (brachial imaging), assessment of left ventricular function (using contrast and harmonics imaging) and the use of preload manipulation for assessment of diastolic function.
Assessment of body composition and its role in determining heart size in normal subjects, in different ethnic groups, in obese subjects, diabetics and athletes.
Optimization of the clinical utility of echocardiography measurements, in particular their role in determining prognosis in wide range of clinical syndromes, but particularly in high-risk patients, such as those with diabetes and heart failure.
Meta-analyses of observational data, including imaging variables, to determine outcome
Some of my research highlights include:
Being the first group to establish the relationship between LV mass and body composition in adults and the physiological effects of endurance training upon LV mass. This was further extended through a Master’s thesis that evaluated the relationship between heart size and body size in different ethnic groups, including Māori and Pacific people.
Being the first to report that different levels of diastolic dysfunction were associated with incrementally worse survival in heart failure patients. Work which led to the formation of the Meta-Analysis Research Group in Echocardiography (MeRGE), an international collaboration of 32 investigators including ultrasound data from approximately 7000 patients. This individual patient meta-analysis has so far produced 4 publications and I am co-principal investigator of the project.
Establishing (also as co-principal investigator) a second and larger international study, the Meta-Analysis Global Group in Chronic heart failure (MAGGIC), which has collated nearly 50,000 patients’ individual clinical and ultrasound data. The results of MAGGIC will be presented in a “clinical trials update” session of the European Society of Cardiology Congress in September 2009. This is one of the most prestigious forums at the Congress, which is attended by nearly 40,000 international cardiologists and researchers. These results have been submitted to the Lancet for publication.
Serving as a principal echocardiography investigator of several large clinical trials, including the carvedilol post AMI and in chronic HF (CAPRICORN) studies; The ADVANCE Echo Substudy (Aus, NZ, UK & Ireland) (in submission), The New Zealand Heart Valve Study (NZ) (near completion), The ZEST Trial (NZ) and the Echocardiographic Sub-study of the IDEAL trial (NZ, Aus) (near completion).
Conducting several single centre clinical studies in heart failure management and heart failure diagnosis; in detection of pre-clinical cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes; evaluated the cardiovascular effects of enhanced metabolic control in diabetes and evaluated diastolic dysfunction in diabetes.
Establishing the first hand-carried echocardiography screening research programme in New Zealand. We have examined over 500 Maori in rural NZ for cardiovascular disease and I have been involved with screening of high risk children for rheumatic heart disease.