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Novel Screen Biomarker for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in Scleroderma.

Dr. Wendy Stevens - Rheumatology Unit, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne

The key objective of the proposed research project is to identify novel risk factors for Systemic sclerosis (SSc) - related pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), such as blood levels of the hormone NT-pro-BNP, which is released from the heart in response to strain.  Combined with known risk factors for PAH, a non-invasive blood test such as NTpro-BNP could improve the ability of current screening clinical guidelines to identify high-risk patients for more invasive diagnostic tests.

 

Dr. Wendy Stevens completed her FRACP training in Australia and spent 18 months as registrar to Dame Professor Carol Black in London.  In this position she had extensive experience in managing patients with Systemic Sclerosis.  On her return to Melbourne she was appointed to St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne where she has held a clinical Rheumatology position since 1990.

She has developed a weekly Systemic Scleroderma Clinic at the hospital and is very experienced in the assessment and management of this disease.  She has also developed a multidisciplinary team for assessment of lung complications of Systemic Scleroderma.

Dr. Stevens was responsible for the development of the Victorian Scleroderma database and has been a founding member of the ASIG (Australian Scleroderma Interest Group).  She has always been very interested in patient education and has written and edited several booklets for patients with SSc which have been distributed by Scleroderma Australia.