Director, Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University
Professor Simon Stewart is the Inaugural Director of the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research in Melbourne, Australia, having recently stepped down as Head of Preventative Cardiology at the world-renowned Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. A National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) Principal Research Fellow, he is also the Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence to Reduce Inequality in Heart Disease and is Principal Investigator of a prestigious NHMRC Program Grant. For the past 20 years, his twin focus of research has been to undertake large-scale population and community-based studies to understand an evolving burden of heart disease and, in response, to develop innovative models of care to improve related health outcomes.
Beginning with his post-doctoral research with Professor John McMurray at the University of Glasgow (funded by a prestigious National Heart Foundation Ralph Reader Fellowship), using data from a Scottish-linked data-set and the Renfrew Paisley Study, he has published a number of seminal reports on the evolving morbidity and mortality associated with acute and chronic forms of heart disease. In collaboration with Professor Karen Sliwa (Director, Hatter Institute, RSA), he initiated the now world-renowned Heart of Soweto Study (published in The Lancet and Circulation) and also co-led the Heart of the Heart Study of Indigenous Heart Health in Central Australia. In developing new health care services, he has also published world-first reports (two seminal papers in The Lancet) describing the positive impact of nurse-led, multidisciplinary management of chronic heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Indicative of his productivity and impact in the last 5 years, as Principal Investigator he has reported on the WHICH? Trial (late-breaking @ ESC-HF/J Am Coll Cardiol/Int J Cardiol) VIPER-BP Study (Brit Med J), Young@Heart Study (Circ:CVQO), SAFETY (late-breaking @ AHA/Lancet) and the NIL-CHF Study (late-breaking @ ESC-HF/Eur J Heart Failure), involving ~ 4,000 patients.
In the process, he has received continuous funding from the National Heart Foundation and NHMRC of Australia for >18 years including >$20 million as the Principal Investigator (including concurrent programme grants). He has also received >$10 million in commercial funding for his programme of research.
Professor Stewart is currently an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Cardiology, and holds senior editorial positions in other prestigious journals including the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and Nature Reviews Cardiology. He has previously held a world-first appointment as the National Heart Foundation of Australia Chair of Cardiovascular Nursing, has won numerous international research prizes, and has been awarded prestigious fellowships from the European Society of Cardiology, American Heart Association and Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. He was also the Inaugural President (and now a Life Member) of the Australasian College of Cardiovascular Nursing.
Since completing his PhD in 1999, Professor Stewart has published 10 books and >300 peer-reviewed articles. Along the way, he has accumulated >10,000 Scopus citations, with his Scopus and Google Scholar H-indices being 46 and 58 respectively.
Professor Stewart is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia Principal Research Fellowship. In the past 2 years, he has received financial support and remuneration from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia Pty Ltd to attend scientific meetings and to deliver educational lectures at professional meetings. As Principal Investigator, he has also received institutional funding for educational and research activities from Novartis, Australia, Boehringer Ingelheim, Australia, and Astra Zeneca, Australia.