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Professor Karlheinz Peter


Professor Karlheinz Peter

Deputy Director, Basic and Translational Science

Head: Atherothrombosis and Vascular Biology

Head: Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health

Lead: Atherothrombosis Program


University of Melbourne supervisor

La Trobe University supervisor

Monash University supervisor

RMIT University supervisor

Torrens University supervisor

NHMRC L3 Investigator

+61 3 8532 1490

Professor Karlheinz Peter is Deputy Director (Basic and Translational Research), Co-Lead of the Atherothrombosis Program and head of the Atherothrombosis and Vascular Biology laboratory at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. He is also an interventional cardiologist at the Alfred Hospital. He is also an interventional cardiologist at the Alfred Hospital. He is Professor of Medicine and Immunology at Monash University, and holds an adjunct professorial position at La Trobe University. Professor Peter holds a NHMRC L3 Investigator research fellowship, and is Head of the Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health at Melbourne University.

Professor Peter underwent his basic science and clinical training at the University of Freiburg and Heidelberg in Germany. He did his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and at Scripps Research Foundation, La Jolla, USA. Before Joining the Baker Institute, Professor Peter was the Director of the Cardiac Catheter Laboratory at the University of Freiburg. Professor Peter has received over 20 prestigious awards/prizes, including the central awards of the German Societies of Cardiology and Angiology as well as the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand and the Australian Heart Foundation. He is editor (including chief and deputy editor) of several international basic science and clinical journals.

Professor Peter’s research is focused on the cellular mechanisms of coronary artery disease and its consequences, myocardial infarction, encompassing the role of platelets, coagulation and inflammation in atherosclerosis, as well as the mechanisms leading to the rupture of atherosclerotic plaques. He developed a unique mouse model of plaque instability/rupture that closely reflects the major complication of human atherosclerosis causing myocardial infarction. The prevention and treatment of myocardial infarction, both in preclinical and clinical research, is a major interest of Prof Peter. He has developed novel biomarker approaches and molecular imaging strategies using ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT, positron emission tomography (PET), and fluorescence imaging aimed at the localisation of thrombi, vulnerable, rupture-prone plaques and the identification of patients at risk for myocardial infarction. One of Professor Peter’s primary research achievements is the development of drug-targeting approaches, such as human single-chain antibodies and various drug-loaded nanoparticles that display highly promising anti-platelet, anticoagulant, fibrinolytic, and anti-inflammatory properties but reduced side effects, such as bleeding and infections. Most recently, together with A/Prof Xiaowei Wang, Prof Peter founded a new Centre for mRNA Therapy of Cardiometabolic Diseases as one of the Baker Institute’s major research initiatives.


  • Kempson Maddox Plenary Lecture, Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (2020)
  • RT Hall Prize for outstanding achievements in cardiovascular research (2014)
  • Ross Hohnen Award for the best research application, National Heart Foundation (2012)
  • World Congress of Cardiology Fellowship Award, National Heart Foundation of Australia (2005)
  • Schwarz-Monheim-Prize of the German Society of Angiology (2000)


  • Founder and Chief Medical Officer, NIRTEK (2021)
  • L3 Investigator Fellowship, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (2019)
  • Principal Research Fellow, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (2014)
  • Senior Research Fellow, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (2009)
  • Future Fellowship of the Australian Research Council (2009)

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