Dr Francine Marques

Position: Group Leader and National Heart Foundation Future Fellow Leader
Affiliation: Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia

Podcast: Listen to an ISH Podcast interview with Dr Francine Marques.

What is your role at your work?

Executive Leader, Founding Director of the Center for Hypertension and Precision Medicine, Professor and Researcher

How did you get interested in your career path?

Driven by the urge to work in the Medical field, studied Biochemistry and Genetics and followed work of iconic researchers to explore the role of genetics in hypertension.

What are you most proud of in your career or otherwise?

Making pioneering and seminal contributions to hypertension research, especially in the microbiotal field and mentoring faculty and students.

What important career challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?

Leaving family behind to follow a career path. I overcame them by deciding to place career first and building a support system for family. At times, I had to work twice as hard at home and work to get going and have never regretted it.

What advice would you give your younger self?

You will never get everything that you want, but if you try and work without expectation, you should accept that you will always end up getting whatever you need.

Highlight your most significant research contributions and publications (3-5) – if relevant to you.

  • *Padmanabhan SJoe B. Towards Precision Medicine for Hypertension: A Review of Genomic, Epigenomic, and Microbiomic Effects on Blood Pressure in Experimental Rat Models and Humans. 2017; Physiological Reviews 97(4):1469-1528, PMID: 28931564. *Cover article
  • Mell B, Jala VR, Mathew AV, Byun J, Waghulde H, Zhang, Y, Haribabu B, Vijay-kumar M, Pennathur S, Joe B. Evidence for a link between Gut Microbiota and Hypertension in the Dahl rat model. Physiol Genomics  2015, 47(6):187-197. PMID: 25829393
  • Microbiota-Dependent Hepatic Lipogenesis Mediated by Stearoyl CoA Desaturase (SCD1) Determines Metabolic Syndrome in TLR5-Deficient Mice. Singh V, Chassaing B, , Zhang L, Yeoh BS, Xiao X, Kumar M, Baker MT, Wei J, Walker R, Harvatine K, Singh N, Shearer GC, Ntambi JM, Joe B, Patterson AD, Gewirtz AT, Vijay-Kumar M. Cell Metabolism, 2015 22: 983-986. PMID: 26525535
  • Xi Cheng, Harshal Waghulde, Blair Mell, Eric E. Morgan, Shondra M. Pruett-Miller, Bina Joe. Positional cloning of quantitative trait nucleotides for blood pressure and cardiac QT-interval by targeted CRISPR/Cas9 editing of a novel long non-coding RNA. 2017; PLOS Genetics. 13:e1006961, PMID: 28827789
  • Kumarasamy S, Waghulde H, Gopalakrishnan K, Mell B, Morgan E, Joe B. Cross-talk between two transcription factors, Nr2f2 and Fog2, is critical for maintenance of normal blood pressure. Nature Communications 2015 6: 6252, 2015, PMID 25687237

Have you had any significant career mentors? If yes, please provide further details.

Yes. I try to emulate the work ethics of Prof. John Rapp for scientific research; Dame Anna Dominiczak and Prof. Rhian Touyz for successful women professional leadership in the field; Dean Christopher Cooper for Administrative leadership.

How can we support the next generation of women scientists?

We can leverage off of our positions: For example: as the Chair of a Department of Physiology and Pharmacology in the United States, to recruit, promote and retain the research careers of highly talented women researchers.

We can volunteer to serve at all levels of our professional organizations and try to advocate for developing unique opportunities exclusive for women at all levels.