This brings us one step closer to a safe, effective synthetic graft, such as those used in heart bypasses, that the body does not reject. Commonly used implants very often fail just months after they are inserted, due to the body’s immune response to synthetic implants. The coating we have developed switches off the body’s inflammatory responses that lead to rejection of the implant. This leads to vascular grafts that remain clear of blockages for longer, improving the performance of the graft and ultimately reducing the need for patient re-intervention.
We uncovered why common anti-clotting medications like aspirin, which are used to protect people from life-threatening blood clots leading to heart attack and stroke, don’t work as well for people with diabetes. A drug we are developing has been found to target this mechanism, and appears to be effective in preventing disease-forming clots in people with diabetes. Further testing to understand this mechanism and how it can help protect people with diabetes is underway.
We raised awareness of preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) and its impact on long-term cardiovascular health, and continue our work to prevent this life-threatening condition. Preeclampsia is the leading cause of stillbirths and newborn deaths in Australia, and doubles a woman’s risk of heart disease and stroke later in life. We have found that a commonly available, over-the-counter medication has the potential to prevent preeclampsia and reduce associated risks during pregnancy. In the next stage of our research, we will investigate how it can be used most safely and effectively.
For 30 years, we have been working towards a future without cardiovascular disease (CVD), supported by generous donors like you. These are just some of the incredible breakthroughs we have been able to achieve together.
- 2017 Discovered a molecule that can predict who is most at risk of developing diabetes, 12 years in advance
- 2013 Uncovered the link between diabetes and CVD, a world-first and a discovery with the potential to save lives
- 2005 Demonstrated that low-birth weight babies have thicker aortic walls, possibly predisposing them to greater risk of CVD later in life
- 2003 Investigated the role high-density lipoproteins ‘HDL’ (good cholesterol) plays in the protection against atherosclerosis
- 1998 Discovered that both protein and fat oxidation can have a major effect on heart disease and enter previously uncharted territory as we try to understand how protein oxidation can actually be prevented
- 1995 Proved the link between passive smoking and heart disease, research that became pivotal in the global move to ban smoking in public places
Your support is vital.
Cardiovascular disease is responsible for one death every 12 minutes. With your support, we are fighting to change that.
Over 70% of the funding for our life-saving work comes from generous donors like you.
Research can take years, and in an unpredictable funding environment, your ongoing support allows us to plan for the future and enables our research to advance to the breakthrough stages that could one day save the life of a loved one... or even your own.
See your support in action.
Your support is vital to keeping our labs open, so we would love to welcome you to visit our research facilities in Sydney, where you can meet the scientists you are supporting and see first-hand the research you have made possible. Find out more and register your interest here.