Our Sydney laboratory

Cardiovascular Collaborative Grant success

Funding success to help prevent atrial fibrillation, recurrent stroke and repair damaged heart muscle

17 August 2023

The Institute’s scientists have been awarded funding from the NSW Government to help prevent heart disease and stroke.

The Cardiovascular Collaborative Grants involve expert multidisciplinary teams from several research institutions that also include two or more early career researchers.

Professors Jamie Vandenberg, Diane Fatkin and Bob Graham

Three grants have been awarded that involve scientists from the Institute.

Preventing Atrial Fibrillation

Researchers involved: Professor Jamie Vandenberg, Professor Diane Fatkin, Dr Adam Hill and Associate Professor Eleni Giannoulatou

Researchers hope to identify patients at risk of developing atrial fibrillation far earlier. The aim is to identify early changes to predict atrial dysfunction and find new therapeutics to treat the underlying cardiomyopathy rather than waiting for them to develop atrial fibrillation.

The Institute’s team will analyse genetics of patients with underlying cardiomyopathy to develop polygenic risk scores and also develop a high throughput drug screening platform to identify new (or repurposed) drugs to treat atrial cardiomyopathy and prevent atrial fibrillation from occurring in the first place.

With the incidence of AF expected to double in the next 20 years, this project will play a vital role tackling a growing health burden.

Developing a new treatment to repair damaged heart muscle

Researchers involved: Professor Bob Graham and Dr Siiri lismaa

This project aims to develop a promising new drug to repair damaged heart muscle to improve outcomes, wellbeing and survival after heart attack and other cardiomyopathies.

There are currently no therapeutics that can directly improve heart function, and diseases causing damage to heart muscle cells can lead to heart failure

The Institute’s team will provide the functional characterisation of the compounds generated in a mouse model of heart attack.

Preventing recurrent stroke

Researcher involved: Professor Diane Fatkin

Currently one in four people who have ischaemic stroke will have another within three years. Researchers want to understand the role the condition atrial myopathy (AM) plays in stroke reoccurrence.

The overall aim is help reduce the number of people having another stroke by better diagnosing, treating, and monitoring AM.

Professor Diane Fatkin will be undertaking genetic analysis of stroke patients.

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute - The Home of Heart Research for 30 Years