PROF Stephen Harrap

PROF Stephen Harrap


  • Genetics of common conditions (high blood pressure, heart disease and common baldness)



  • Since 1995 Stephen Harrap has been Professor of Physiology in the Department of Physiology at the University of Melbourne. He was Head of Physiology from 1996-2009 and Chairman of the Biomedical Sciences Academic Centre (now School of Biomedical Sciences) from 2013-4. He is also a visiting specialist physician at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He  has long-standing research interests in the genetics of hypertension and related cardiovascular conditions. His early experimental work demonstrated the genetic linkage of abnormal renin-dependent kidney phenotypes in prehypertensive spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and he discovered that short-term ACE inhibition resulted in life-long blood pressure reduction in SHR. His early breeding studies identified genetic loci influencing cardiac size independent of blood pressure and he created a novel polygenic model of human cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure; the Hypertrophic Heart Rat, which is providing new cellular and genetic paradigms for this common human problem. His human studies in the Ladywell Study and the Victorian Family Heart Study have provided unique insights into the genetics and systems biology of genetic predisposition to high blood pressure. Among his discoveries was the first association of the human Y chromosome and blood pressure. He has also plays a major role in to multinational clinical trials of stroke prevention (PROGRESS) and cardiovascular protection in diabetes (ADVANCE) respectively. He is on a range of professional committees, editorial boards and advisory groups. He was President of the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia between 2005 and 2010 and the President of the International Society of Hypertension from 2010 to 2012. In this role he places special emphasis on encouraging younger clinical scientists and researchers.   


Member of

  • Austin Hospital Medical Research Foundation. Chairman of Board 2006 -
  • Australian Physiological Society. Member 2006 -
  • High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia. President 2005 -
  • High Blood Pressure Research Foundation. Trustee 2005 -
  • American Heart Association. Fellow 1995 -
  • International Society of Hypertension. Secretary 1983 -


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Melbourne 1986
  • MBBS, University of Melbourne 1978

Awards and honors

  • Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 1984



Available for supervision

  • Y