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Dr Dragana Dragoljevic

BMS(Hons) | Phd

Dragana Dragoljevic completed a BBiomedSc at Monash University, and continued her studies at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute completing a PhD (Immunology). Dragana focussed on exploring the relationship between rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and exacerbated atherosclerotic heart disease, which resulted in a publication in the world leading cardiovascular (CV) journal The European Heart Journal. This work demonstrated that CV disease (CVD) in patients with RA is independent to circulating cholesterol levels, yet causes a build-up of intracellular cholesterol, promoting myeloid cell production in stem cells. Subsequently, this work has highlighted an important role of excessive white blood cell production (haematopoiesis) in driving heart disease in the setting of RA.

Dragana is currently a postdoc in the Haematopoiesis and Leukocyte Biology laboratory, continuing her work in how alterations in haematopoiesis drive heightened CVD in inflammatory diseases settings, with a specific focus on the effect of mutated stem cells. Dragana currently holds a National Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.


  • Australian Diabetes Society (ADS) Basic Science Poster Oral Presentation Award (2021)
  • Harold Mitchell Travel Fellowship (2021)
  • Best of Baker Award for Basic Science, runner up (2019)
  • Paul Korner Medal for Outstanding Achievement (2018)
  • Best Early Career Researcher Mini Oral Presentation, John Funder Prize (2018)
  • AAS Travel Grant (2018)
  • Bright Sparks Travel Grant, Baker Institute (2018)
  • Quarterly Research Prize for Publication Excellence (2018)
  • Postgraduate Publications Award (2018)
  • First place student oral presentation prize, Australian Atherosclerosis Society (AAS) Annual Scientific Meeting (2016)
  • Travel grant recipient for the Australian Atherosclerosis Society meeting (2016)
  • Second place oral presentation award, Central Clinical School (CCS) postgraduate symposium (2016)
  • Bright Sparks Top Up Scholarship, Baker Institute (2015–2018)
  • Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), Scholarship (2014–2018)

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