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Experimental Cardiology

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Laboratory head

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Latest Achievements

Best Poster Award, European Society of Cardiology Congress, Italy (2016)

Distinguished Mentorship Award for Early Career Cardiovascular Researchers, The 12th China Congress of International Society for Heart Research (2014)

The Ross Hohnen Award for Research Excellence, National Heart Foundation of Australia (2005)

National Heart Foundation of Australia Ross Hohnen Award Recognising Research Excellence (2004)

American Heart Association New Investigator Award, Scientific Conference on Molecular, Cellular and Integrated Physiological Approaches to the Failing Heart (1999)

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Associate Professor Xiao-Jun Du NHMRC Senior Research Fellow
We are investigating the role of fibrosis and inflammation in cardiac remodelling and functional consequences.


Research staff

Dr Daniel Donner Dr Helen Kiriazis


Ms Xian-Ning Deng Ms My-Nhan Nguyen Mr Wei-Bo Zhao

Visiting Doctor

Dr Lina Wang


About the Experimental Cardiology laboratory

Along the course of heart disease, myocardial fibrosis and inflammation present irrespective of aetiology forming a major part of cardiac remodeling with adverse functional consequences. While contributing to diastolic and systolic dysfunction, cardiac fibrosis is regarded as a pivotal arrhythmic substrate. There is also strong evidence for a role of inflammatory signalling in promoting fibrogenesis and arrhythmias.

Research conducted in this laboratory is to address some fundamental questions on the pathophysiology of cardiac fibrosis and inflammation with the aim of providing insights into clinical characterisation of cardiac fibrosis and inflammation for risk stratification and corresponding therapies. We have been particularly interested in identifying factors that contribute to cardiac inflammation and fibrogenesis with consequent adverse remodelling in settings of cardiomyopathy and ischemic heart disease.

Methodologies used include:

  • Microsurgery for induction of heart diseases in mice.
  • Echocardiography (non-invasive functional assessment).
  • Micromanometry (hemodynamics).
  • Radiotelemetry for assessment of conscious in vivo cardiovascular parameters.
  • Immunohistochemistry and quantitative histology.
  • Flow cytometry.
  • Routine cellular and biochemical assays.

Research focus

Significant recent findings and current research focus include:

  • Demonstration that post-infarct cardiac inflammation is responsible for development of acute ventricular remodelling and wall rupture.
  • Identification of pivotal role of platelets and macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in initiating post-infarct inflammatory responses.
  • Demonstration of a robust upregulation of galectin-3 in cardiomyopathic models and galectin-3 upregulation by β-adrenergic activation.
  • First documentation of microvascular leakage (or hyper-permeability) is one of the major types of myocardial injury following ischemia-reperfusion.
  • Identification of MIF as a new cardiac biomarker.

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With the rising number of Australians affected by diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the need for research is more critical than ever.

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