A/Prof Francine Marques

Research Field: Heart Disease

High blood pressure is the main risk factor for death globally, as it is the underlying cause of most
cases of heart attacks and strokes. It is well established that people with high fibre diets also have
lower blood pressure, but until recently we did not understand why and how.

Associate Professor Marques discovered that blood pressure can be reduced by substances that gut
microbes produce when they are fed fibre. Her research focuses on how gut microbes affect high
blood pressure, and how they could be used to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Francine is a passionate communicator and advocate for medical research and evidence-based
journalist. Her public outreach includes radio, TV, blogs and newspapers. She regularly volunteers for
fundraising campaigns for the Heart Foundation, and inspired by her own experience with cancer,
for the Cancer Council, Ovarian Cancer Australia and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.
A/Prof Marques completed her PhD at the University of Sydney in 2012, and is currently a Heart
Foundation Future Leader Fellow at Monash University, where she leads the Hypertension Research