Faculty of Science and Technology

Marques, Francine (Dr) - Research

Current research projects/students

  • Early molecular origins of cardiac hypertrophy
  • Telomere role in the development of cardiac hypertrophy
  • microRNAs in the regulation of blood pressure
  • Co-supervisor of Warrick Chilton, Joshua Denham, Sean Quarrell and Scott Booth

Consulting and other activities

  • 2012 – 2014: Collaborative Research Network (CRN) scheme, $10,000/year.
  • 2012: Principal Investigator of the seeding grant at the University of Ballarat entitled: "The immediate effect of cardiorespiratory exercise on gene and microRNA expression", valued at $20,000.
  • 2012: Co-investigator of the seeding grant at the University of Ballarat entitled: "The impact of resistance exercise on microRNAs", valued at $20,000.
  • 2013-2016: NHMRC (1052659) and NHF (PF12M6785) Early Career Fellowship, valued at $299,000, in which I ranked second overall.
  • 2013: CRN Competitive pool application, valued at $5,000, called "Novel biomarkers for high blood pressure – a collaboration between the University of Ballarat, University of Melbourne and the University of Leicester, UK".
  • 2014-2016: Chief Investigator (CI) C in the NHMRC Project Grant 1065714 "Mechanisms responsible for neurogenic hypertension: Role of a novel interaction between amygdala-hypothalamic GABA pathways and the microRNA regulation of renin" (CIA Geoff Head), valued at $557,562.

Professional memberships and associations

  • 2009 – Present: Member of the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia
  • 2010: Member of the Society of Reproductive Biology
  • 2010 – Present: Research Fellow of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) and ISH- New Investigators Network (ISH-NIN)
  • 2012 – Present: Member of the International Society for Heart Research (ISHR)
  • Coordination of session I of Human Genetics of the XV Hall of Scientific Initiation of the UFRGS, 2003.
  • Bosch Institute Young Investigator Committee: Bosch Institute, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. From Feb 2009 to Jul 2011 (supervision of Assoc/Prof. Frank Lovicu – frank.lovicu@sydney.edu.au)
  • Chair of session of the Bosch Young Investigators Seminar Series I 2010, at the Anderson Stuart Building, University of Sydney, 26 Mar 2010.
  • Assessor of grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) since 2011.
  • Honorary Associate Fellow at the University of Sydney since Nov 2011.
  • Academic member at the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) of the University of Ballarat from Jan 2012 to Jan 2013.
  • Laboratory manager of the Biomedical Research Group at the University of Ballarat, from Oct 2011 to Mar 2013.
  • Chair of the first session of the 2nd ISH New Investigators' Symposium, Sydney, 28 Sep 2012.
  • Reviewer of abstracts for the 2nd and 3rd ISH New Investigators' Symposiums in Sydney, 2012, and New Orleans, 2013.
  • Chair of the Biomedical Investigations session at the 2012 Annual Research Conference, Ballarat, Nov 2012.
  • Member of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) New Investigator Committee (NIC) Awards and Evaluation Working Group from April to Sep 2013, and member of the Recruitment Working Group from Sep 2013.
  • Member of the editorial advisory board of the journal Clinical Science (IF 2011 = 4.3) since Apr 2013.
  • Member of the review editorial board of the journal Frontiers in Integrative Physiology (established in 2013, so no IF available yet) since Aug 2013.
  • Chair of the Genetics of the renin-angiotensin system session at the 34rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the HBPRCA, Dec 2013.
  • Honorary Associate Fellow at the Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute since Jan 2014.
  • Member of the Research Strategy Plan Committee of the Federation University Australia, from March 2014.
  • New Investigator Liaison of the executive committee of the HBPRCA and New Investigator Subcommittee Chair since April 2014.

Research interests

  • Molecular Cellular Biology
  • Genetics and genomics
  • Physiology of the cardiovascular system
  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiac hypertrophy
  • Non-coding RNAs

Additional information

Awards and nominations

  • Poster Prize (First Honourable Mention) for the study Association study between the DRD4 gene and attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults, presented as first author in the 50th Brazilian Congress of Genetics, Sep 2004, Florianopolis, Brazil.
  • Oral Presentation Prize of Human Genetics, Session A, of XVI Hall of Scientific Initiation of the UFRGS, for the oral presentation Preliminary analysis of association between the attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR), presented as first author, Oct 2004, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
  • Oral Presentation Prize of Human Genetics, Session II, of XVII Hall of Scientific Initiation of the UFRGS, for the oral presentation The polymorphism MAOA-uVNTR is associated with phenotypes related with substance abuse and impulsivity, presented as second author, Oct 2005, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
  • Top 20 Images 2009 for a micrograph using Immunofluorescence presented in the Bosch Institute Advanced Microscopy Facility Micrograph Competition, Dec 2009, University of Sydney.
  • Finalist for the Society of Reproductive Biology (SRB) New Investigator Award, Aug 2010.
  • Finalist for the John Irvine Hunter Research Prize of the Department of Histology & Anatomy of the School of Medical Sciences of the University of Sydney, Aug 2010, for the published journal article "Meta-analysis of genome-wide gene expression differences in onset and maintenance phases of genetic hypertension".
  • Winner of a Genomics Trainee Attendance Award to attend the 6th International Congress on Pathophysiology "Gene-environment Interactions in Health and Disease" and 14th International SHR Symposium "Ecogenomic models of Cardiometabolic Diseases", in Montreal, Canada, 22-25 Sept 2010 and give a talk.
  • Winner of the Bercovici Medal and Prize 2011, awarded for the best scientific paper written by a postgraduate research student within the Bosch Institute, at the University of Sydney, for the paper by Marques FZ et al. entitled "Gene expression profiling reveals renin mRNA overexpression in human hypertensive kidneys and a role for microRNAs" published in Hypertension.
  • Winner of the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia (HBPRCA) Student Oral Award, Dec 2011.
  • New Investigator of the month of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) New Investigators Network, Dec 2011.
  • Finalist for the Poster Award at the 16th Human Genome Meeting, Mar 2012.
  • Finalist for the Austin Doyle Award at the 24th Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Hypertension, Sydney, Oct 2012.
  • Winner of the Most Ground-breaking Study at the 2nd ISH New Investigators' Symposium, Sep 2012.
  • Finalist for the Early Career Poster Award at the 34rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the HBPRCA, Dec 2013.
  • Finalist for the Austin Doyle Award at the 25th Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Hypertension, Athens, Jun 2014.

Travel Awards

  • One of the eight winners of the Foundation of High Blood Pressure Research Young Investigator Travel Award to attend the International Society of Hypertension Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, 26-30 Sep 2010.
  • One in nine winners of a Student Travel Award from the HBPRCA, to attend to the 32st Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) of the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia (HBPRCA), Melbourne, 1-3 Dec 2010.
  • One in twenty nine winners of a Student Travel Award from the HBPRCA, to attend to the 33th Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) of the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia (HBPRCA), Perth, 6-9 Dec 2011.
  • Winner of an Asian Pacific Society of Hypertension (APSH) Young Investigator Grant at the 24th Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Hypertension, Sydney, Sep 2012.
  • Dr Francine Marques and three of her PhD students, Mr Sean Quarrell, Mr Joshua Denham and Mr Warrick Chilton, were winners of a Foundation for High Blood Pressure Research Young Investigator Travel Award at the 24th Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Hypertension, Sydney, Sep 2012.
  • Winner of a European Society of Hypertension Accommodation Grant to attend the 23rd European Meeting of Hypertension and Cardiovascular Protection, Milan, Jun 2013.
  • Winner of an Investigator Grant to attend the 25th Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Hypertension, Athens, Greece, June 2014.

Awards and Nominations by collaborators and students supervised by Dr Marques

  • Oral Presentation Prize of Human Genetics, Session II, of XVII Hall of Scientific Initiation of the UFRGS, for the oral presentation The polymorphism MAOA-uVNTR is associated with phenotypes related with substance abuse and impulsivity, presented as second author, Oct 2005, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
  • Mr Joshua Denham, who is co-supervised by Dr Marques, was nominated for the Finalist for the Young Investigators Award on Physical Activity and Health 3 of the Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport (ICSEMIS) Meeting 2012, July 2012.
  • Mr Sean Quarrell, who is co-supervised by Dr Marques, was nominated for the Student Oral Award of the 36th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society for Heart Research and 60th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand, Aug 2012.
  • Mr Sean Quarrell, who is co-supervised by Dr Marques, won the Japanese SHR Society Young Investigator Award at the Cardiovascular Genetics Satellite 2012, 15th International SHR Symposium & 48th Japanese SHR Meeting, Sep 2012.
  • Mr Warrick Chilton, who is co-supervised by Dr Marques, won a Poster Prize at the 2nd ISH New Investigators' Symposium, Sep 2012.
  • Mr Warrick Chilton, who is co-supervised by Dr Marques, won 1st Prize for Best Oral Presentation at the University of Ballarat 2012 Annual Research Conference, Nov 2012.
  • Mr Joshua Denham, who is co-supervised by Dr Marques, won a prize for Best Oral Presentation and Best Poster Presentation for his presentations at the University of Ballarat 2012 Annual Research Conference, Nov 2012.
  • Mr Scott Booth, who is co-supervised by Dr Marques, won the People's Choice Poster at the University of Ballarat 2013 Annual Research Conference, Nov 2013.
  • Mr Scott Booth, who is co-supervised by Dr Marques, was a finalist for the Student Oral Poster Award at the 34rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the HBPRCA, Dec 2013.
  • Ms Priscilla Prestes, who is a post-doctoral researcher co-mentored by Dr Marques, is a finalist for the New Investigator Award at the 25th Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Hypertension, Athens, Jun 2014.

Community activities

  • Presentation of the talk entitled "Your genes, your heart" at the Peter Doherty Science Award Evening on 7 Nov 2012, at the University of Ballarat, aimed at year 9 high school students.
  • Organiser of the "World Hypertension Day" morning tea to raise funds for the Heart Foundation and increase awareness of high blood pressure and how to prevent it, on 16 May 2014, at the Federation University Australia.