This prize, the most prestigious research award presented to young investigators by the CSANZ, was awarded to Dr Isbister at the CSANZ Annual Scientific Meeting held on the Gold Coast.
Dr Isbister won the prize for her research into ‘concealed cardiomyopathies’ – genetic abnormalities found in normal looking hearts which can lead to sudden cardiac death.
In her CSANZ meeting presentation, Dr Isbister noted that concealed cardiomyopathies (CCM) are an important cause of autopsy-inconclusive sudden cardiac death and that improved diagnosis of CCM can significantly improve care for surviving relatives.
“Family members who have lost a loved one to sudden cardiac death may share the same inherited abnormality. If so, genetic testing can identify the specific genetic change in some cases,” Dr Isbister said.
“Individuals who do have the genetic change can be closely followed and we can personalise care with the aim of preventing further tragedy in the family. Importantly, those who do not have the genetic change can be reassured and released from lifelong worry and follow-up.”
A cardiologist and PhD candidate based at the Centenary Institute’s Agnes Ginges Centre for Molecular Cardiology, Dr Isbister is interested in arrhythmia and inherited heart disease and her PhD work investigates genetic causes of sudden death and Brugada syndrome.