Professor Michael Stowasser

Professorial Research Fellow

Princess Alexandra Hospital Southside Clinical Unit
Faculty of Medicine

Professorial Research Fellow

Princess Alexandra Hospital Southside Clinical Unit
Faculty of Medicine

Affiliate Professor

Frazer Institute
Faculty of Medicine
+61 7 3176 2694


MS has >30 years of clinical research experience in pathogenesis and management of hypertension (HT) and especially of endocrine varieties including primary aldosteronism (PA). Working within the Greenslopes Hospital Hypertension Unit (GHHU), he played a significant role in the demonstration that PA is much more common than previously thought, and in the description of a new familial form (FH-II). MS has made key contributions to understanding of steroid and BP regulation in another familial form (FH-I). The combined GHHU/Princess Alexandra Hospital HT Unit (PAHHU, which MS set up in 2000) has the largest series (>2000) worldwide of patients with PA who have been thoroughly documented and meticulously studied, helping MS to become internationally recognized as an authority on pathogenesis (including genetics), diagnostic workup and management of PA, including its familial forms. In 2006, he was invited to be a member of an international Task Force sponsored by the US Endocrine Society to develop clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and management of PA.

As at October 2018, MS had published or in press 205 full papers in peer-reviewed journals, 15 chapters for textbooks of medicine (including DeGroot's Endocrinology) and four on-line chapters (including one for Harrison's Online). According to ISI Web of Knowledge, MS’s journal publications have been cited >7000 times. Fifteen have been cited >100 times, one of these >900 (“h” index 44). He has been invited to speak at major meetings 120 times (84 international, 36 national) since 1998 including a debate with Norman Kaplan on the prevalence of PA (ISH, Prague 2002). He was invited by the University of WA to give the Robert Vandongen Memorial Lecture for 2002 and by the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand to deliver the Gaston-Bauer Lecture in 2012. MS has collaborated with researchers in 14 international Units and all Australian states. In 2002, he was named as a Chief Investigator within a newly established Clinical Centre of Research Excellence (CCRE) in Cardiovascular Disease and Metabolic Disorders at Princess Alexandra Hospital, funding for which was renewed by the NHMRC in 2006 for 2007-11. In 2018 he became one of six international investigators to head a Transatlantic Network of Excellence investigating Potassium and Hypertension funded by the Leducq Foundation. Has served on Editorial Boards for J Hypertens, Clin Exper Physiol Pharmacol, Nephrology (Subject Editor), J Clin Endocrinol Metab and J Hum Hypertens (Co-Editor) and assessed manuscripts for >20 major international journals. Has served as written grant application assessor for six major international and five major national funding bodies, on NHF Grant Interviewing Committees in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002, and on NHMRC GRPs in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011. MS is a member of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH), American Society of Hypertension and US Endocrine Society. He was elected into the Executive Committee of the High BP Research Council of Australia in 1998, as Secretary in 2001 and as President in 2017. He also served as President of the Asia-Pacific Society of Hypertension in 2019. He was a Member of the NHF BP and Vascular Disease Advisory Committee from 1998 until 2012.

Other Awards and Honours:

NHMRC Postgraduate Medical Research Scholarship, 1992-94 John W.H. Tyrer Prize for Research in Internal Medicine, 1992 NHF Clinical Research Fellowship, 1995-97 NHF Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1998-99 Honorary Professor to the Xinjiang Institute of Hypertension, 2005 Member, Primary Aldosteronism Guidelines Task Force, US Endocrine Society, 2006 Visiting Professor, Tung Wah Eastern Hospital, Hong Kong, 2008 Honorary Professor of the Hypertension Department at Henan Provincial People’s Hospital, the Hypertension Control and Research Center of Henan Province, and the Hypertension Diagnosis and Treatment Center of Henan Province, 2009 Gaston Bauer Lecturer, Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand, 2012

Research Interests

  • Determining the genetic basis for FH-II and other forms of primary aldosteronism
  • Improving methods of detection, diagnostic workup and management of primary aldosteronism
  • Validating a highly accurate method of measuring aldosterone using tandem mass spectrometry developed within the EHRC
  • Determining genetic factors which may modify phenotypic expression in FH-I, and thereby explain the wide spectrum of hypertens
  • Determining the extent to which aldosterone excess in humans is capable of causing cardiovascular and other organ dysfunction in

Research Impacts

Hypertension (high blood pressure) affects around 30% of Australian adults, and is a leading risk factor for stroke. Treatment usually means lifelong medications, potentially costly and poorly tolerated. However, when the cause can be identified, and reversed or specifically treated, the outcomes are often dramatic with patients being able to come off many or all antihypertensives and enjoying markedly improved quality of life, while at the same time reducing their stroke risk.

The Endocrine Hypertension Research Centre (EHRC), a University of Queensland School of Medicine Centre based at Greenslopes and Princess Alexandra Hospitals, conducts internationally acclaimed research into the causes and management of various forms of hypertension, with a major focus on curable and specifically treatable varieties. It is the only Centre of its kind in Queensland and one of only a few internationally recognized Australian groups dedicated to hypertension-related clinical management and research. An important area of our work, for which the Centre has attracted much attention, has been our detailed studies into epidemiological, biochemical, morphological, pathophysiological and genetic aspects of a potentially curable form of hypertension known as primary aldosteronism (PA), in which the adrenal glands produce excessive amounts of salt retaining hormone (aldosterone). The EHRC demonstrated 20 years ago that PA is approximately ten times more common than previously thought, and accounts for as many as 10% of patients with hypertension. This finding has led to the identification of thousands of patients around the world who would otherwise have gone undetected, and in whom hypertension has been cured or markedly improved following surgical or specific medical treatment. More than 2000 thoroughly studied and documented patients with PA (probably the largest series worldwide) in our Centre provide a unique resource for further research into causes, diagnosis and treatment, and have led to important collaborations with first-class overseas investigators.

Research at the EHRC and elsewhere has shown that aldosterone excess in unrecognised PA is associated with significant cardiovascular morbidity which exceeds that due to hypertension alone. For example, the risk of stroke in PA is over four times higher than that for other forms of hypertension. In one rare familial form of PA, detectable by a genetic test developed in our Centre, hypertension can be particular severe and of early onset, leading to death at ages as young as 30 from hypertensive, haemorrhagic stroke. Because this increase risk is completely reversed by specifically treating the PA condition, it is vitally important that as many patients as possible with PA be identified among the hypertensive population. Major challenges exist in accurate diagnosis of PA, prompting our Centre to research better ways to achieve this, including through genetic testing and enhanced clinical and biochemical approaches, so that more people will be detected and given the opportunity to receive superior, highly effective treatment.

Among its many other projects, the Centre is actively involved in unlocking the genetic and molecular code of another form of hypertension known as Gordon syndrome (named after the Centre’s founder, Richard Gordon) which results in excessive retention of salt and potassium by the kidney. This work has the potentially to greatly enhance our understanding of how the kidney regulates salt balance and blood pressure, and to lead to the development of new drugs to treat hypertension and thereby prevent stroke.


  • Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor (Honours) of Medicine Surgery, The University of Queensland


View all Publications


View all Supervision



  • MacGregor, Graham A. and Stowasser, Michael (2016). Fast Facts: Hypertension. Oxford, United Kingdom: S. Karger AG. doi: 10.1159/isbn.978-1-910797-04-4

Book Chapter

  • Zennaro, M. C., Vaidya, A. and Stowasser, M. (2022). Primary aldosteronism. DeGroot's Endocrinology. (pp. 1599-1613) edited by R. P. Robertson, L. C. Giudice, A. Grossman, G. Hammer, M. D. Jensen, G. J. Kahaly, R. S. Swerdloff and R. Thakker. Philadelphia, PA, United States: Elsevier.

  • Stowasser, Michael, Jansen, Pieter and Wolley, Martin (2022). Systematic approach for the diagnosis and management of endocrine hypertension. Endocrine hypertension: from basic science to clinical practice. (pp. 331-368) edited by Joseph M. Pappachan and Cornelius J. Fernandez. Cambridge, MA USA: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-323-96120-2.00009-1

  • Wolley, Martin and Stowasser, Michael (2022). Diagnosis and investigation of hypertension. Hypertension (Oxford Cardiology Library) 3E. (pp. 31-C4.P33) edited by Nadar, Sunil K. and Lip, Gregory Y. H.. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/med/9780198870678.003.0004

  • Stowasser, Michael (2019). Primary aldosteronism; epidemiology and screening. Encyclopedia of endocrine diseases. (pp. 598-606) edited by Ilpo Huhtaniemi and Luciano Martini. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-801238-3.64331-3

  • Stowasser, Michael (2017). Potassium channel mutations and human disease: Focus on adrenal hypertension. Molecular, Genetic, and Nutritional Aspects of Major and Trace Minerals. (pp. 503-516) edited by James F. Collins. London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-802168-2.00041-5

  • Stowasser, Michael and Gordon, Richard Douglas (2014). Familial hyperaldosteronism type II. Primary aldosteronism: molecular genetics, endocrinology, and translational medicine. (pp. 87-97) edited by Per Hellman. New York, NY, United States: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-0509-6_7

  • Stowasser, Michael and Ahmed, Ashraf (2014). Quality-of-life aspects of primary aldosteronism. Primary Aldosteronism: Molecular Genetics, Endocrinology and Translational Medicine.. (pp. 197-207) edited by Per Hellman. New York, NY, USA: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-0509-6_13

  • Stowasser, Michael and Gordon, Richard Douglas (2014). The aldosterone–renin ratio: role and problems. Primary aldosteronism: molecular genetics, endocrinology, and translational medicine. (pp. 109-126) edited by Per Hellman. New York NY, United States: Springer New York. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-0509-6_9

  • Edwards, Christopher R. W. and Stowasser, Michael (2006). Primary mineralocorticoid excess syndromes. Endocrinology. (pp. 2461-2490) edited by L. J. DeGroot and J. L. Jameson. USA: Elsevier Saunders.

  • Stowasser, Michael and Gordon, Richard D. (2006). The hypertensive accountant. Tietz's applied laboratory medicine. (pp. 175-182) edited by G. M. Scott, A. M. Gronowski, C. S. Eby and N. W. Tietz. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley-Interscience. doi: 10.1002/9780470086087.ch23

  • Gordon, Richard D. and Stowasser, Michael (2005). Overview of mineralocorticoid excess syndromes. Adrenal glands: Diagnostic aspects and surgical therapy. (pp. 115-126) edited by Dimitrios Linos and Jon A. van Heerden. Berlin: Springer.

  • Marwick, T. H., Mottram, P. M. and Stowasser, M. (2004). Commentary: Effect of aldosterone antagonism in hypertensive patients with diastolic heart failure. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. (pp. x-x) New York, USA: Saunders.

  • Stowasser, M. (2004). Primary Aldosteronism. Encyclopedia of Endocrine Diseases. (pp. 76-83) edited by Luciano Martini. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier Academic Press.

  • Stowasser, Michael (2004). Primary aldosteronism. Conn's current therapy 2004. (pp. 678-681) edited by Robert E. Rake and Edward T. Bope. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company.

  • Stowasser, M. and Gordon, R. D. (2003). Diagnosis of primary aldosteronism. Harrison's principles of internal medicine. (pp. 1-6) edited by E. Braunzrald, A.S. Fauci and et al.. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision