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Adj. Associate Professor Ross Sharpe MBBS, FRACP
Founder & Chairman - PFO Research Foundation Ltd
Ross Sharpe is an Adjunct Associate Professor and has been a Consultant Cardiologist and Endovascular Interventionalist for over 20 years. He has an academic affiliation with Bond University, Australia.
Ross has worked primarily on the Gold Coast Australia with additional advanced training in Newcastle, NSW, Leipzig Germany and Dallas USA. Associate Professor Sharpe’s particular area of interest lies with the assessment and closure of atrial septal defects (ASD) and patent foramen ovale (PFO) and how they relate to stroke/TIA and severe migraine.
Associate Professor Sharpe established the PFO Research Foundation to increase public and physician awareness of the medical condition called patent foramen ovale (PFO) or “hole in the heart” and its importance to cardiovascular and neurological health. He has assembled a leadership team of physicians, researchers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs who are committed to supporting research and education on PFO and its links to symptoms and diseases ranging from migraines with aura to deadly mid-life strokes.
Bray Patrick-Lake MFS
United States of America
Duke CTSA, Director of Patient Engagement, and Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI), Director of Stakeholder Engagement
Ms. Patrick-Lake supports efforts to actively engage participant partners in Duke research programs, as well as patient advocacy organizations and other stakeholders in CTTI efforts to improve clinical trials. She implements strategies to enhance awareness of CTTI’s work, particularly with patient advocates, and extend its impact by working in partnership with the patient advocacy community on research design and conduct, and improvement of the clinical trial enterprise. Ms. Patrick-Lake also serves as the co-chair for the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director on the Precision Medicine Initiative (A special committee created by President Obama 'to accelerate the pace, President Obama unveiled the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) — a bold new enterprise to revolutionize medicine and generate the scientific evidence needed to move the concept of precision medicine into every day clinical practice')
In 2010, Ms. Patrick-Lake founded the PFO Research Foundation - USA in response to the lack of definitive scientific information regarding the condition of patent foramen ovale (PFO) after being a patient in an aborted clinical trial. Ms. Patrick-Lake has served as a patient representative at the FDA on a variety of advisory committees and panels, in workgroups for EMA and NIH, as a guest lecturer and an external reviewer for IOM, and as a patient stakeholder or co-investigator for AHRQ and PCORI grants. She is a member of the PCORnet Coordinating Center's Executive Leadership Committee where she develops patient engagement strategies, MDEpiNet’s National Medical Device Registry Task Force, MDIC’s Patient-centered Benefit-Risk Steering Committee, ACC Foundation's Patient-centered Care (PC3) Shared Decision Making Workgroup, DIA's Patient Fellowship Selection Committee, TVT Registry Stakeholder Advisory Committee, and is a board member for the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy.
Mr Mark Heanly B Com CA FPS
Principal – Hillross Consilium
Mark has more than 25 years’ experience in Financial Planning and Chartered Accounting. He is a specialist with enormous industry experience. Mark brings a high level of sophistication to the strategies developed for his clients. Mark has been a past board member of other charities including 9.5 years as Chairman of the Scone Grammar School, and was a director if the unlisted Reynolds Wine Company.
Mark has a Bachelor of Commerce, is a Chartered Accountant, holds a Financial Planning Specialist designation through the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and is a Certified Financial Planner CFP
Mark commenced as a junior accountant with Arthur Young in 1988 and worked through the merger with Ernst and Whinney in 1989 and became an employee of the newly formed Ernst & Young. He left Ernst & Young in 1993 to establish his own Chartered Accountancy and Financial Planning firm, KH Financial Group, and sold his interest in that business in 2003.
Mark consulted to a number of business in the years 2003 to 2008 before establishing a new Financial Planning firm, Hillross Consilium. His in now the principal adviser in that business.
Interest outside work
Mark believes strongly in being a positive contributor to the community in which you live, evidenced by his commitment of 9.5 years as chairman of the Scone Grammar School. He was also the driving force behind the Cooktown to Kokoda fund raising adventure, supporting the McGrath Foundation. An adventure that raised more than $75,000 for breast cancer.
Mark has recently accepted a voluntary appointment to the board of the PFO Research Foundation
PFO Research Foundation
The mission of the PFO Foundation (the “Foundation”) is to increase public and physician awareness of the medical condition called patent foramen ovale (PFO) or “hole in the heart” and its importance to cardiovascular and neurological health.
To accomplish its mission, the Foundation has assembled a leadership team of physicians, researchers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs who are committed to supporting research and education on PFO and its links to symptoms and diseases ranging from migraines with aura to deadly mid-life strokes.
Background on PFO
A PFO, or “hole in the heart”, is a natural consequence of fetal heart development and typically self-closes within a few weeks of birth. PFOs that do not close after birth are linked to a spectrum of symptoms, diseases and disorders such as migraines with aura, sleep apnoea and mid-life strokes.
PFOs may also cause, or be associated with, atherosclerotic disease, atrial fibrillation, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic inflammatory disease, Alzheimer’s, carcinoma, epilepsy and misdiagnosed multiple sclerosis although many individuals with PFOs can be asymptomatic.
PFOs are heritable and show a strong bias in females although the genetics of transmission are not clear. Treatment involves the minimally invasive surgical closure of the PFO with a small mechanical device although other techniques are available.
Closure of a PFO is strongly correlated with the relief of migraines with aura, reduced risk for stroke and improved quality of life. To provide individuals with accurate diagnostics, reliable treatments and robust predictions of risk, more research and education is needed.
Find out more about PFO