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Dr Sergey Tumanov, Biochemical Analyst at the Heart Research Institute (HRI), has been awarded a prestigious grant by The Ian Potter Foundation to help establish Australia’s first Fluxomics Centre devoted to identifying and exploring the cellular changes that are unique to each individual’s cardiovascular disease (CVD) – with the ultimate goal of personalised methods to prevent, detect, and treat CVD.

Despite being Australia’s – and the world’s – biggest killer, why CVD develops and progresses differently depending on the person is not yet clear.

Current preventatives and treatments for CVD do not work for everyone, due to the “one size fits all” approach of traditional research based on large population groups. Moving beyond this approach to look at how each person is uniquely affected by CVD and to understand what happens in CVD at the cellular level in individuals could make personalised therapy a reality.

Fluxomics is an emerging technology that enables a holistic, big-picture view of cells. Current technologies can only provide static “snapshots” of what is happening in a cell at any given moment. Fluxomics combines current approaches to provide “video”, showing how the cell changes over time.

Treat­ment needs to con­sid­er the unique bio­log­i­cal needs of each patient, but that’s cur­rent­ly not pos­si­ble,” says Dr Tumanov.

“I am extremely grateful to The Ian Potter Foundation for supporting HRI’s Fluxomics Centre. With fluxomics, we could take a patient sample and run it through a multi-layer system to understand what’s happening within their cells, to generate a ‘chemical fingerprint’ for that individual. The supporting statistics will allow for data to be extrapolated forwards to predict your likelihood of developing CVD, and what treatments will work best. This is incredibly powerful. And it could all come from just a simple blood test.”

The Ian Potter Foundation grant will help enable the purchase of a cutting-edge mass spectrometer for the Fluxomics Centre that would provide the capability to analyse the metabolic flux (rate of turnover) of molecules important to CVD through their metabolic pathways (linked chemical reactions occurring within cells). This could help reveal previously unknown molecular changes in CVD that could form the foundation for developing personalised treatments.

“The development of a new platform with fluxomics capacity will add substantially to our understanding of cardiovascular disease and bring personalised medicine one step closer,” says Prof Andrew Coats, Scientific Director and CEO at HRI.

The Ian Potter Foundation is one of Australia’s major philanthropic foundations. The Foundation makes grants nationally to support charitable organisations working to benefit the community across a wide range of sectors including the arts, medical research, public health research, early childhood development, community wellbeing and environmental science. The Ian Potter Foundation aims to support and promote a fair, healthy, sustainable and vibrant Australia.

What can you do to help?

The generosity of The Ian Potter Foundation will equip the Fluxomics Centre with a mass spectrometer. Additional funding will enable Dr Tumanov and his team to continue working on unlocking some of the key mysteries of cardiovascular research that will help to develop personalised treatments for CVD.

  • Why do people leading healthy lifestyles get CVD?
  • Why do current treatments work well for some, but not others?
  • Why do women and men develop heart disease in different ways?

You can help make personalised, life-saving treatment available for each and every heart by donating today.


Header image: Dr Sergey Tumanov

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