MILLION DOLLAR BOOST TO HELP SCIENTISTS SAVE LIVE
Lifesaving medical research has received a major shot in the arm thanks to a $1.3 million dollar funding boost for scientists at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.
The funds, provided by the National Heart Foundation, will go directly towards finding cures for cardiovascular disease – which claims the life of one Australian every 12 minutes and remains our nation’s biggest killer.
Four vital research projects at the Victor Chang Institute have been hand-picked from more than 430 grant applications across Australia, including:
- Dr Nicola Smith
Dr Smith and her team are trying to develop new medication to treat high blood pressure.
- Dr Eleni Giannoulatou
Dr Giannoulatou is trying to identify genetic mutations which cause childhood heart disease, using highly specialised and advanced computational technology.
- Dr Chris Anthony
Dr Anthony is investigating the best non-invasive way to detect organ rejection following a heart transplant.
- Dr William Lee
Dr Lee is a cardiologist who is analysing medication that can lead to sudden cardiac death.
The funding announcement is just what the doctor ordered for Pharmacologist Dr Nicola Smith, who will be receiving her funding spread over four years.
“I find it incredibly alarming that there are currently 4.6 million Australians suffering from high blood pressure. To make matters worse, many victims do not respond to the traditional medication on the market,” Dr Smith explained.
“If you’ve tried all the current drug types on the market but your body doesn’t respond, then you have no other option… I want to create that next option. The ultimate goal would be to discover a medication that gets to the cause of high blood pressure, rather than merely treating the symptoms. It would be wonderful if we could do this,” added Dr Smith.
Leading Cardiologist and Executive Director of the Victor Chang Institute, Professor Robert Graham, applauded the major funding boost from the National Heart Foundation, particularly as other medical research grants are in rapid decline.
“We welcome these vital funds which come at a critical time for heart research. The money will go directly to our scientists who are on the frontline fighting heart disease.
“The fact is, heart disease is still killing people and the mortality rate is rising again! We’re losing more than 43,000 lives every year to this horrendous illness. That’s more than the number of Australian lives lost in the whole of World War II. And it’s happening every single year.
“In my mind, the only way to find preventions and cures for cardiovascular disease and to reduce the increasing pandemic, is through medical research,” Professor Graham revealed.
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