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NSW AT THE FOREFRONT OF CARDIOVASCULAR RESEARCH

One year on from the NSW Government’s $150 million pledge to build capacity in cardiovascular research, the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute has been successfully awarded seven new peer-reviewed grants from this scheme to tackle Australia’s biggest health burden.

From working towards a genetic diagnosis for babies born with congenital heart disease to identifying a person’s risk of having a heart attack, and unveiling the power of super stem cells, the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute continues to accelerate towards fast tracking new treatments and preventative strategies that will benefit people around the globe.

Championed by the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute’s Executive Director, Professor Bob Graham, the Heart Research Institute’s Scientific Director, Professor Shaun Jackson, and their respective Chairs, Matthew Grounds and Stephen Hollings, the Cardiovascular Research Capacity Building Program is set to position NSW as the premier state in heart research.

“I’m delighted to see this campaign come to fruition and applauded the NSW Government for their leadership. Not only are we equipping some of the greatest minds with the financial support they need to help save lives, but in the near future the Program will allow the recruitment of additional researchers to build capacity in cardiovascular research in NSW and, thus, to position the State at the global forefront of heart research,” explained Professor Graham.

Cardiovascular disease affects over 4.2 million Australian adults - with one dying every 12 minutes. It’s also the nation’s most expensive disease group, costing $12 billion in healthcare spending annually.

Through funds provided by this Program, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute scientists will now be able to further advance fundamental discoveries to rapidly convert breakthroughs into better treatments for patients with heart disease.

“We have so much to celebrate this year; the 25th anniversary of the Institute, including the completion of building works to house the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Innovation Centre that will provide cutting edge research technology to researchers throughout NSW and, of course, many life-changing scientific breakthroughs.”

“Our success in this round of funding is testament to the dedication, curiosity and determination of my fellow scientists. We’re not about research that’s here today and gone tomorrow, we want to make meaningful discoveries that change lives. This is another win worth celebrating, not just for us, but for the one in five Australians affected by heart disease,” added Professor Graham.

While death from cardiovascular disease in Australia has declined over the last decade, the rate of heart attacks has increased, and in NSW, has remained above the country’s average.

This initiative shows strong support for biomedical research, the driver of discovery, which in turn will equip the best scientific minds to tackle this growing epidemic and improve patient outcomes. 

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute’s research projects that received funding through the Program include:

Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD)

Congenital heart disease (CHD)

Heart attacks

Hypoplastic left heart (HLH)

Sudden cardiac death

Cardiac mechano-signaling 

Drug development