Dr Sean Hardy

Dr Sean Hardy

Junior Research Fellow




I completed my undergraduate training in Biotechnology, at the University of Newcastle, Australia. I then began my research career focusing on the cellular, molecular, and biochemical mechanisms of cardiovascular disease, with a particular focus on heart attack. In 2023 I completed my PhD candidature as an international collaboration between the University of Newcastle Australia, and the Medical University of Graz Austria, conducting research on campus at both institutions throughout. Following completion of my PhD, I was awarded the post of Junior Research Fellow of St John’s College, to continue my research in cardiovascular diseases.

Research Interests

The work I am conducting under this Fellowship is investigating the intricate crosstalk between immune and fibrotic (scarring) responses in the development, and wound healing, of cardiovascular diseases. One branch of my work is utilizing translational models to trial the therapeutic potential of stimulating angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis after heart attack. We hypothesise this will promote immune cell trafficking, fine tune the fibrotic response, minimize tissue damage and reduce mortality. The other branch of my research is investigating the role of the often overlooked ‘micro-vessels’ in the heart, and the mechanisms which underpin adverse remodelling of these vessels. Adverse remodelling and dysfunction of these micro-vessels often precedes the more commonly diagnosed large coronary artery disease and heart attack. As such, we aim to understand these early mechanisms of microvascular disease to inform novel therapeutic strategies for patients.

Recent Publications

Hardy S, Liesinger L, Patrick R, et al. Extracellular Matrix Protein-1 as a Mediator of Inflammation-Induced Fibrosis After Myocardial Infarction. J Am Coll Cardiol Basic Trans Science. null2023, 0 (0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacbts.2023.05.010

Hardy SA, Mabotuwana NS, Murtha LA, Coulter B, Sanchez-Bezanilla S, et al. (2019) Novel role of extracellular matrix protein 1 (ECM1) in cardiac aging and myocardial infarction. PLOS ONE 14(2): e0212230. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0212230

Murtha, L.A., Hardy, S.A., Mabotuwana, N.S. et al. Fibulin-3 is necessary to prevent cardiac rupture following myocardial infarction. Sci Rep 13, 14995 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-41894-9

Rech L, Abdellatif M, Pöttler M, Stangl V, Mabotuwana N, Hardy S, et al. Small molecule STING inhibition improves myocardial infarction remodeling. Life Sciences. 2022;291:120263. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2021.120263

Mabotuwana, N.S., Rech, L., Lim, J., Hardy, S. et al. Paracrine Factors Released by Stem Cells of Mesenchymal Origin and their Effects in Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review of Pre-clinical Studies. Stem Cell Rev and Rep 18, 2606–2628 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12015-022-10429-6

Awards and distinctions

Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Early Career Investigator award (CSANZ, QCVRN, ACvA)

Proudly supported by the Emlyn and Jennie Thomas Medical Research family