New Heart, Exercise and Research Trials lab, powered by partnership with SVI

13 September 2023

Associate Professor André La Gerche

Clinician-researcher Associate Professor André La Gerche has been appointed head of a new Heart, Exercise and Research Trials (HEART) Lab based at St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research (SVI) in Melbourne.

Thanks to a partnership between the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and SVI, the new cardiovascular hub will accelerate the discovery of new ways to treat heart disease.

Associate Professor La Gerche will lead a team of researchers at SVI and join the Faculty at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.

The new HEART Lab will build upon his work in exercise cardiac imaging, sports cardiology, and pulmonary vascular physiology. His work aims to embed state-of-the-art personalised diagnostics and therapeutics within clinical care.

Professor Jason Kovacic, Director of VCCRI, said: "As part of the St Vincent's Health Australia family, we are delighted to be part of this collaboration to allow better understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of heart disease.

"André is a world leader in sports cardiology and also in sudden cardiac arrest, a condition that kills nine out of 10 people who suffer an episode outside of hospital. His research will not only transform and save lives in Melbourne and the state of Victoria, but it will also deliver impact the world over."

Professor Tom Kay, Director of SVI, said the new lab will expand cardiac research capabilities at SVI and, with additional support provided by the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, accelerate the discovery of new ways to treat heart disease.

"André's role, powered by a partnership between SVI and VCCRI, and sitting alongside his clinical appointment in the Cardiology Department at St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, will foster innovative research approaches to transform lives through medical research," said Professor Kay.

The intersection between research and the clinic makes the St Vincent's Melbourne campus a key location for the new Centre.

“We are delighted that André will now be at our campus full time as he undertakes work across SVHM’s Cardiology department and SVI,” said Nicole Tweddle, Chief Executive of St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.

"I completed my PhD here in 2010, so, in a way, this is like coming home," said Associate Professor La Gerche. "I am excited to have the support and access to the talent pool provided by the new hub and its partners."

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute is Australia's only national heart disease research institute, with headquarters in Darlinghurst, Sydney, and additional hubs at the University of Western Australia and the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research in South Western Sydney.

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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.

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