University of Western Australia campus

Boosting heart disease research in WA and across the country

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and The University of Western Australia join forces to tackle the country’s biggest killer

29 March 2022

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and The University of Western Australia (UWA) have signed a new strategic partnership that will significantly boost heart disease research in WA and across the country.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute’s affiliation with UWA marks a new chapter for both organisations.

Professor Jason Kovacic, Executive Director of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, said the affiliation is the culmination of a long and proud history of working together.

"This is a proud day for the Institute and brings together the combined strengths of two world-leading organisations who are committed to tackling Australia’s biggest killer – heart disease.

"This also marks a major expansion for the Institute that will not only help the 100,000 Western Australians hospitalised by cardiovascular disease each year but will also improve the lives of people around the world.”

Cardiovascular disease is also responsible for 29% of deaths in WA.

Livia UWA Chancellor Amit Lee

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Amit Chakma said the University was pleased to partner with the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute to grow much-needed research capacity in Western Australia.

“This affiliation strengthens our commitment to addressing cardiovascular disease and creating a brighter future for Western Australians and the rest of the nation,” Professor Chakma said.

As well as the affiliation, the Institute is also celebrating the opening of its second laboratory at UWA headed by Dr. Lee Nedkoff.

Dr Nedkoff is a cardiovascular epidemiologist who is driving important research into coronary heart disease and stroke and is part of a team investigating rheumatic heart disease, which disproportionately affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Lee Livia with Lab Equiptment

Dr Nedkoff joins the Institute’s Professor Livia Hool, who holds the Wesfarmers, UWA-VCCRI Chair in Cardiovascular Research, and has been running a collaborative research program at UWA since 2013. Professor Hool is working on a breakthrough preventative treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or enlarged heart syndrome.

Dr Nedkoff said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to help shape the future of heart disease research in Australia. The Institute’s reputation is second to none in driving new treatments and discoveries in the fight against heart disease.

"I am incredibly excited and honoured to join the team and bring a new set of skills to the Institute that I hope will shine a light on the true scale of cardiovascular disease in Western Australia, a state which has unique health challenges.”

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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