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Dr Sivabaskari (Tharshy) Pasupathy was awarded her PhD from the University of Adelaide in 2016. Her supervisors were Professor John Beltrame, Dr Rosanna Tavella and Dr Stephen Worthley. Her thesis, supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), was titled “Myocardial infarction with non-obstructive coronary arteries.” Tharshy is continuing her research with this group as as postdoctoral research fellow.

Heart attacks (Myocardial infarction or MI) generally occur when there is complete occlusion of a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. This occurs in the context of cholesterol blockage, which is best managed by coronary stenting and cardioprotective medications such as statins. However, in approximately 10% of patients, there are no significant cholesterol blockages and these are referred to as ‘MI with Non Obstructive Coronary Arteries’ (MINOCA). The diagnosis and treatment is compounded by non-ischaemic causes (eg. myocarditis) which mimic an acute MI. Current guidelines offer several diagnostic algorithms but MINOCA remains largely under-recognised and little is known about whether patients might benefit from a more specific treatment modality.

The MINOCA research at the BHI, TQEH, led by Prof John Beltrame and his team, aims to provide insights into clinical characteristics, mechanisms, medical management strategies and overall quality of life care improvement of these patients.

2016: Doctor of Philosophy in Medicine, University of Adelaide, Australia

2012: Honours in Medicine (Clinical), Bachelor of Health Sciences, University of Adelaide, Australia

2011: Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Australia

Professional Associations

2016 – present: European Society of Cardiology (Professional member)

2015 – present: American Heart Association (Student/Trainee)

2015 – present: Quality of Care and Outcomes Research (Council member)

2018: Finalist, Fresh Science SA

2015: Ivan De La Lande Award, TQEH Research Day

2015: School of Medicine Travel Grant, University of Adelaide

2013: Best Clinical Presentation Award, TQEH Research Day

2012: Australian Postgraduate Award, University of Adelaide

Media exposure

2017: American College of Cardiology (ACCEL) interview on NACIAM trial

2016: Late breaking Trial Presentation (Hotline Session) at European Society of Cardiology (ESC), Italy

2016: ESC Press conference – Late breaking trial press release to media

2016: ESC interview on NACIAM trial, generated many media stories

2016: Story about PhD research “Understanding a Heart Attack Mystery“, published on the Australian Heart Research website.

2015: Invited “Circulation” Author Profile on American Heart Association website/social media

THRF community presentations

2017: Brown Hill Creek Probus Club, Basil Hetzel Institute (BHI), Woodville South, SA

2016: Mitcham Hills Combined Probus Club, BHI

2015: THRF General public Talk and Tour, BHI

2014: Coromandel Valley Probus Club, BHI

2014: Community Link (THRF Lottery partner), Hindmarsh,SA

2013: University of the 3rd Age (U3A), Aldinga, SA

2013: Southern Districts Baseball Club, Christie Downs, SA