Donate to heart transplant research to help save lives like Melissa's

With your support, promising spider venom research could save lives

Melissa lost her Mum, her Dad, four aunts and two uncles to heart disease. Then Melissa discovered her family suffered from inherited cardiomyopathy and she had it too.

16 years later, Melissa was in end stage heart failure, losing her battle with cardiomyopathy. A heart transplant saved her life.

Melissa is eternally grateful to the people who contributed to making her heart transplant happen; the doctors who cared for her, the donor who made it possible, and the researchers who are tirelessly working to improve heart transplantation.

How can spider venom research help save more lives like Melissa’s?

An incredible discovery has uncovered the potentially life-saving qualities of the venom of one of the world’s deadliest spiders – the funnel web.

In collaboration with researchers at the University of Queensland, Professor Peter Macdonald at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute is now investigating how this molecule, known as Hi1A, can be harnessed to boost life-saving heart transplants and heart attack survival rates.

Professor Macdonald’s research shows that administering a drug developed from the spider venom could increase the number of hearts available for transplant by 30%! The drug could also short circuit the damage to the heart following a heart attack. 

How your tax time donation can help patients like Melissa survive

We need to raise at least $303,000 by 30th June to help accelerate this research to human clinical trials. Scientists believe this could be achieved as early as 2023.

By making a tax-deductible donation today, you can help researchers unlock the potential of spider venom and start saving more precious lives like Melissa’s.


Donations $2 and over are tax deductible. The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute has an interest in the trust company which holds the licence to develop the patents in relation to the discovery, having worked in collaboration with scientists at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land, the Gadigal of the Eora nation, on which we meet, work, and discover.
Our Western Australian laboratories pay their respect to the Whadjuk Noongar who remain as the spiritual and cultural custodians of their land.