Associate Professor André La Gerche
MBBS, University of Melbourne | PhD, University of Melbourne
Andre is a cardiologist specialising in cardiac imaging, a Future Leadership Fellow of the National Heart Foundation and a NHMRC Career Development Fellow. He completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne and 4 years of postdoctoral research studying the effect of endurance exercise on the heart at the University Hospital of Leuven, Belgium, where he is a Visiting Professor.
He works as a cardiologist at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne and provides cardiology services through the Baker Institute’s Specialist Clinics.
Andre is interested in the interaction between exercise and heart function and wants to develop more effective methods for studying the heart when it is being exerted during exercise. He has developed novel echocardiographic and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) methodologies for assessment of the right ventricle and pulmonary circulation during exercise. These have been applied to the assessment of heart failure, congenital heart disease, pulmonary hypertension and athletes. He has over 160 peer -review publications and text-book chapters including publications in Circulation and the European Heart Journal.
Among the studies being conducted by Andre and his team is a pivotal international prospective longitudinal Pro@Heart study. This study will detail the evolution of exercise-induced cardiac remodelling (athlete's heart) amongst elite junior endurance athletes. It will quantify individual variance in the extent and rate of development of athlete's heart, identify its genetic determinants and assess clinical outcomes. The study will be conducted over 25 years, enabling the long-term health benefits of endurance sports training to be assessed.
Andre is well known for his research within Australia’s elite sporting communities and he is regularly asked to provide expert comment or to present to health professionals, community, sporting groups and the media. Andre is the Director of the recently formed National Centre for Sports Cardiology, a strategic partnership between clinical researchers who specialise in sports cardiology.