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The Heart Research Institute (HRI) and Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (VCCRI) jointly hosted the 2021 Sydney Cardiovascular Symposium, attracting the world’s leaders at the forefront of cardiovascular research.

Forty-eight speakers – representing the best and brightest of NSW researchers, interstate and internally – spoke at the Symposium, around the theme ‘remodelling and regeneration’ in research and clinical practice. There was also a session around COVID-19 and the heart, and the impact of the pandemic on medical research.

With Dr Melissa Farnham as Symposium Chair, the sessions were presented via a virtual platform during the day, and two in-person events were hosted at the end of each day to encourage networking and conversation.

The first day of the symposium gave focus to early and mid-career researchers (EMCRs), who encompass a significant and important portion of the research community. To ensure they were represented correctly, Dr Jessica Maclean worked with an EMCR steering committee to discover and understand what they most wanted to learn. With this in mind, the event included career development and mentorship opportunities through panel discussions and workshops. Art in Science and Graphical Abstract competitions, as well as Rising Star awards and Flash Talks were also available for EMCRs to participate in.

Two leading international researchers joined the conversation. The plenary clinical lecture was presented by Prof Eduardo Marbán (Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) on his research into novel RNA drugs for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) – a common type of heart failure. The event closed with the Princess's Lecture by Prof Ralf Adams about his research on organ-specific and functional specialisation of vascular cells.

The full program is available here.

“This symposium really pushed the limits of innovation, promoted mentors in a challenging industry and championed our EMCRs,” said Dr Farnham.

I’m very proud to have led this event as ultimately it is collaboration and learning from one another, which will diminish the terrible cost of cardiovascular disease.”

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