The Heart Research Institute (HRI) is calling on public donations as part of their end of year Christmas appeal to help fund their cutting-edge research to fight cardiovascular disease.
HRI is using Australian-first technology to identify the “chemical blueprint” of each person's cardiovascular disease (CVD), to better understand how and why the disease occurs, and how it can be prevented. Head of HRI’s Fluxomics Centre, Dr Sergey Tumanov, is spearheading the groundbreaking research using a mass spectrometer, which enables scientists to watch changes in human cells in real time.
“The mass spectrometer will allow scientists to take a patient's blood sample and run it through a multi-layer system to understand what’s happening within their cells, organs and the body, to generate a ‘chemical fingerprint’ for that individual,” he said.
Speaking to 7News, Dr Tumanov explained more about the impact of CVD and exactly how the mass spectrometer works.
“Fluxomics already has the ability to screen for changes in molecules which are known to be important for cardiovascular disease,” he said.
"However, to take the next step, researchers need to understand these changes at the cellular level, and how they affect different individuals using this emerging technology which enables a holistic, big-picture view of cells.
“The supporting statistics will allow for data to be extrapolated forwards to predict your likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, and what treatments will work best. This is incredibly powerful. And it could all come from a series of simple blood tests.”
But the progress so far is only the beginning, and it can't happen without the support of the community.
The new mass spectrometer machine, which is the size of a small fridge and looks like a 'pizza oven', has been delivered to HRI and will now start creating a database of molecular fingerprints that will then help doctors decipher the unique biological needs of each patient for more personalised treatments.
“The technology, that enables scientists to watch changes in cells in real time, could revolutionise the way cardiovascular disease, including heart attack, stroke and coronary heart disease, is diagnosed, treated and prevented, making personalised medicine a reality for every heart,” Dr Tumanov said.
“We have the technology, now we just need the manpower to do it.”
HRI is seeking donations to fund a team member to examine data from the state-of-the-art mass spectrometer, helping to unlock some of the key mysteries of cardiovascular research to develop a critically deeper understanding of how and why cardiovascular disease is formed.
Despite medical advances, one in four Australians will die from cardiovascular disease, with one life lost every 12 minutes.
For people like Nicole Gallacher, who suffered a stroke out of the blue when she was just 30 years old, this precision medicine could be life-saving.
"I hope you’ll give to support the Heart Research Institute. The research they do today will save lives, tomorrow,” she said.
Donate to support vital heart research
This Christmas, your greatest gift to the next generation could be supporting the research that finds answers. Your support will fund groundbreaking projects like this and others in the fight against CVD. Donate now.
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Sydney Morning Herald – Nicole Gallacher lost her unborn child when she suffered a stroke at 30, 11 December 2023