The Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) to Reduce Inequality in Heart Disease focuses on improving the heart health and outcomes of groups and communities i.e. Regional Australians, Indigenous Australians and International Health
Dr Camilla Tuttle is an early career post doctoral researcher at Baker IDI Central Australia. In 2013 she finished her PhD at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Her
PhD focused on the role of epigenetics (Histone Acetylation) in contributing to the onset of the asthma phenotype. Epigenetics refers to changes to a cell or organisms phenotype that is not encoded in the DNA itself. Over the last
two decades, epigenetic modifications have been targeted as possible causes for inheritance of non-mendelian diseases. Asthma, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity are chronic diseases that are thought to be
caused and inherited through a change to a person’s epigenome. Epigenetic research focuses on the interplay between environment and genetics that can contribute to disease.
Understanding the environmental and socioeconomic influences that contribute to disease states is an important step to winning the battle against chronic diseases. The indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) population of Australia are one of the groups within Australian society which have a lower life expectancy than the general Australian population. This is attributed to a number of factors including but not limited to a substantially higher incidence of chronic disease in these communities. The higher incidence of these diseases is thought to be caused by the lower socio economic and differing environmental conditions experienced by these communities. To further study this aspect of science research Camilla left the shine and allure of the cell and molecular sciences for her first post doctoral position in health research. She intends to gain a better understanding of the social and economic disparities that face the indigenous population of Australia and how this contributes to disease onset and how it changes treatment plans and management.
Camilla’s received her first degree (B. Biomed Sci) in 2007. In 2008 she studied a Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons) for which she received first class qualifications. At the beginning of 2009 she received the inaugural Asthma Foundation of Queensland PhD scholarship, which provided living allowance, research and travel allowances during her PhD.
Dr Tuttle is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (early career) with the CRE to Reduce Inequality of Heart Disease. The CRE is designed to develop and apply practical and sustainable health care services driven particularly at heart health to reduce the inequalities in health across Australia. In central Australia the focus of the CRE is to identify measure and address disparities in heart health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Camilla assists and provides research expertise on a number of current research projects (Alice Springs Hospital Re-Admissions Prevention Project, Central Australia’s Heart Protection Study) as well as designing and implementing her own research projects that will address these issues.
Camilla will be mentored by the senior researchers of the CRE to develop and support her research career in the health sciences. Her research will focus on improving the diagnosis, management and treatment of cardiovascular diseases within the indigenous population of Central Australia.