VCCRI and Coronavirus

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute 
Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

At the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees and supporters is of the highest importance. In line with government guidelines, and in the interest of the safety and health of our staff, the Institute has adapted the way we operate. 

Taking care of our team 

As restrictions ease, we will maintain social distancing practices, and have in place precautions for those returning to work. These include;

  • Discouraging staff from using public transport in peak times
  • Encouraging all staff who are still able to work-from-home with normal productivity to do so
  • Encouraging morning and afternoon shifts to limit density of staff in the Institute at any one time
  • The Institute’s Health Check Team is performing daily temperature testing on all those who enter the building.
  • Social distancing is maintained at all times including: 
    • no more than 2 people in an elevator;
    • a limit of 3 people to a research bay;
    • 2 metres apart when using shared equipment;
    • 2 metre social distancing and hygiene measures apply during lunch and breaks
    • occupy every second desk in office areas;
    • surgical masks worn in specific high use rooms;
    • signage clearly stating how many people can occupy a room
    • Labs cleaned with 70% ethanol at the end of each shift along with frequent cleaning across the Institute throughout each day
    • There will be no large in-person group meetings. Meetings will continue to operate online.
  • All staff should monitor themselves, and members of their household, for symptoms of COVID-19 infection (e.g., fevers, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath). Anyone with symptoms should immediately remove themselves from the Institute
  • Staff who develop symptoms at home should arrange to be tested for COVID-19, and otherwise stay at home.

Cutting edge research

At Australia’s home of heart research, we remain dedicated to solving the unsolved, now more than ever in these unprecedented times.

Scientists at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute are currently engaged in the following projects:

  1. Discovering how COVID-19 affects the health of people with pre-existing heart conditions.
  2. Investigating the potential side effects of medication being used to try and treat COVID-19. Some drugs being trialled can cause serious heart rhythm disturbances.
  3. Collaborating with colleagues at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and two Hospitals in Victoria, the Institute is planning to conduct a clinical trial of a certain type of stem cell to dampen down the hyper-activity of the immune system which causes severe heart and lung problems in patients with COVID-19.
“This has been a disastrous global pandemic. If there has been a silver lining in these very dark clouds it has been to throw the spotlight on the critical importance of medical research in Australia and around the world. If we didn’t have robust medical research we would be in dire straits right now. It has been a remarkable mobilisation of the medical research forces. But that’s just what we do. That’s our calling. And we need the support of the community right now.”

- Professor Jason Kovacic, Executive Director Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute

For more details about these projects, please read our press release. If you wish to support these research projects, we'll be extremely grateful for your donation.

Considering our community

As we are part of a healthcare precinct that includes St Vincents Hospital and the Kinghorn Cancer Centre, we are also implementing these restrictions with the safety of the broader community in mind.

We will not be hosting our weekly tours until such time that we can accommodate large groups in a single space. We would like to thank you for your patience, understanding and above all, your support.

As the situation has been unfolding, the researchers at the Institute have been sharing practical advice and their knowledge about the virus through our social media channels. We have created an information hub on Heart Disease & Coronavirus which contain videos, FAQs and the latest research news.

Thank you and we wish you all the best health.

Access our Coronavirus Information Hub

Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land, the Gadigal of the Eora nation, on which we meet, work, and discover.
Our Western Australian laboratories pay their respect to the Whadjuk Noongar who remain as the spiritual and cultural custodians of their land.