Ha Nguyen

Ha Nguyen

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

With a background of training in Medicine (MD, Hanoi Medical University) and Medical Science (PhD, University of Adelaide), I am a basic and translation cardiovascular/imaging researcher, mastering a wide range of clinical and basic science techniques, and undertaking an overseas research fellowship in Oxford and Norwich, UK, in 2016.
My current research relates to three areas:- (i) pathogenesis and treatment of aortic valve disease, (ii) diagnosis, natural history and pathogenesis of Takotsubo (“stress”) cardiomyopathy, and (iii) mechanistic interactions with inflammatory activation and glycocalyx shedding in cardiovascular disease.

Contributions to the field of Research:

As regards aortic valve disease, my research has focus on

(a) The roles of inflammatory activation and impaired nitric oxide signalling in valve degeneration in  patients with Bicuspid Aortic Valve (BAV), a condition which is the most common congenital heart defect and affects approximately 1–2% adults (Figure 1). 

(b) The potential for therapeutic retardation of valve disease progression, both in the context to BAV and in anatomically normal valve.

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy: The LV ventriculography (left) resembles an octopus trap (right).
Figure 2: The left ventricle ventriculography of a patient presenting with Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (left), which resembles an octopus trap (right).
Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease: The aortic valve has two leaflets instead of three leaflets.
Figure 1: In patients with Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease, the aortic valve has two leaflets instead of three leaflets.









Within the area of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TTC) (Takotsubo means octopus trap in Japanese, see Figure 2), I have identified the utility of measuring inflammatory release of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and N-terminal proBNP as accessories to expedite diagnosis. I have also contributed to the concept that nitrosative stress may underlie the condition (patent arising: University of Adelaide, 2013) and have established that prolonged inflammation results in slow recovery in such patients.

I have recently investigated the potential involvement of glycocalyx shedding in a number of acute and chronic cardiovascular disorders, utilizing serial measurement of plasma concentrations of SD-1.  In acute myocardial infarction, out lab has demonstrated that  syndecan-1 (SD-1) levels, which is which is the most prevalent proteoglycan component of glycocalyx, are elevated relatively soon after the onset of symptoms, but rise sharply post reperfusion. SD-1 release also occurs in severe chronic congestive heart failure (CHF), in new onset atrial fibrillation (AF), and acute episode of TTC.  

Quality of research output:

Main contributions from publications including 2 reviews and 1 editorial on TTC are related to

(i) BNP/NT-proBNP release

(ii) Its relationship to myocardial oedema

And (iii) Its relationship to slow echographic recovery (and impaired quality of life).

The studies on NO signaling in TTC led to my being awarded a plenary presentation on this subject at recent international ADMA meeting, one of 11 international presentations to date and one oral presentation at the European Society of Cardiology meeting. 

The studies on glycocalyx shedding in TTC have recently presented at the American Heart Association Scientific meeting and published in International Journal of Cardiology in 2017.

As regards AS, a recently published case-control analysis of BAV revealed a potential role for myeloperoxidase in disease progression, as well as demonstrating the presence of endothelial dysfunction in BAV.

Research Projects:

Project 1:  Improving outcomes after takotsubo (broken heart) syndrome

Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) affects many ageing patients, especially women, and is often mistaken for heart attacks. We are trying to improve diagnosis, emergency and long-term treatment of TTS, using both clinical and basic investigation strategies.

Available for Honours, Masters and PhD students

Location: QEH/BHI.

Start: Semester 1 2020

Special requirements: Vaccination required

Project 2. Coronary artery spasm

The research group has recently found that coronary artery spasm, a common cause of cardiac crises, is due to interactions between activated platelets and the vascular surface of the coronary blood vessels, with poor vascular and platelet responsiveness to nitric oxide. We have preliminary data on the underlying mechanisms whereby coronary spasm presents with episodic crises, and wish to validate these pilot data, simultaneously turning the information into the bases for new therapeutic options for these patients, and also possibly for other patients with angina.

 Available for Honours, Masters and PhD students

Location: QEH/BHI.

Start: Semester 1 2020

Special requirements: Vaccination required

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2012 - ongoing Post doctoral Research Fellow University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2007 - 2008 Physician Friendship Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam
    1997 - 2004 Physician Friendship Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam
    1996 - 1997 Physician Friendship Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2013 Award Heart Foundation “Tom Simpson Trust Fund” - Australia -
    2012 Scholarship Heart Foundation SA “E.O Myers Trust Fund”, Travelling Grant - Australia -
    2012 Award Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand: European Society of Cardiology, Travelling Grant - - -
    2010 Research Award The SA Heart Education and Research Foundation, PhD research prize - Australia -
    2008 Scholarship The University of Adelaide Endeavour International Postgraduate Research Scholarship - Australia -
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    Vietnamese Can peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2008 - 2012 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia PhD
    2004 - 2007 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia Master of Medical Science
    1992 - 1996 Hanoi University, Hanoi Vietnam Bachelor of Foreign Language (English)
    1990 - 1996 Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi Vietnam Doctor of Medicine
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    2012 Postdoctoral Research University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia
  • Research Interests

 AUSiMED Foundation, Grant (2016): Limitation of myocardial injury by recently synthesised inhibitors of necrosis (total value A$240,000)

  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2016 - 2022 Co-Supervisor Takotsubo Syndrome: Precipitants, Clinical Course and Emerging Treatments Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Gao Jing Ong
    2014 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Nitrosative Stress and the Pathogenesis of Takotsubo Syndrome: Insights from a Novel Female Rat Model Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Sven Yuri Surikow
    2014 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Endothelial Dysfunction and Inflammatory Activation in Patients with Bicuspid Aortic Valves Master of Clinical Science Master Part Time Mr Matthew John Chapman
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2015 - ongoing Member Scientific Review Subcommittee of the Human Research Ethics Committee (TQEH/LMH/MH) - Australia
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2012 - ongoing Member Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Australia
    2011 - ongoing Member European Society of Cardiology -
    2010 - ongoing Member American Heart Association United States

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