Heart Research Australia
Heart Research Australia supports world-class and emerging researchers to conduct ground-breaking research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.
Heart Research Australia was established in 1986 by a group of Royal North Shore Hospital cardiologists to reduce the high mortality rates due to heart disease.
In the early 1980s a group of Royal North Shore Hospital cardiologists (Dr Gaston Bauer AM, Dr John Gunning AM and Professor Stephen Hunyor) recognised the growing need for a Foundation to be established that would support the first-stages of research aimed at reducing the alarmingly high death rates due to heart disease.
Heart Research Australia raises funds for innovative research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.
Their goal is to reduce the devastating impact heart disease has on families and the community. The focus is seed-funding for cardiac researchers to investigate new areas. The aim is to make their work competitive for grants from national bodies such as the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Making breakthroughs in heart disease happen.
They support a centre of excellence that attracts world-class and emerging researchers to conduct ground-breaking research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.
Heart Research Australia provides seed funding for researchers to test innovative ideas, before seeking larger, competitive grants from government funding bodies.
They provide scholarships for PhD students whose research work is supervised by their leading cardiac researchers. In this way, they play an integral role in nurturing and developing some of Australia’s most promising heart health scientists.
‘Bench to Bedside’
Most funded senior researchers are practising clinical cardiologists, which puts them in the best position to identify research opportunities and immediately translate their discoveries ‘on the bench’ into benefits for patients ‘at the bedside’. The breakthroughs they make contribute to and inspire the international body of knowledge on cardiac research.
Evidence of how their funded research saves lives
An outstanding example of the long-term benefits created by Heart Research Australia is the ETAMI (Early Triage of Acute Myocardial Infarction) procedure for heart attack victims. ETAMI allows patients to be assessed and triaged in the ambulance, using ECG diagnosis transmitted via mobile phone technology. ETAMI saves significant time (up to 100 mins) from incident to treatment and saves heart muscle from irreversible damage by opening up the coronary artery earlier. The Program dramatically cut heart-attack mortality rates from 30% to 2% at Royal North Shore Hospital and is now used as a model of best-practice around Australia.
Advances in Research and Treatment
They fund a range of different cutting edge research areas – prevention strategies, diagnosis methodologies and technology, and treatment types. In the 1960’s, the death rate from heart disease peaked , causing over 50% of deaths in Australia. Thanks to the increasing advances in heart research and treatment, this rate has been steadily declining to the 33% rate it is today. But there is still must to do. Heart disease still remains the leading cause of death worldwide – far more than any other disease, and the rising levels of obesity and diabetes in adults and children makes the need for breakthroughs even more pressing.
Chairs of Cardiology
The Foundation also funds two academic chairs of cardiology in association with the University of Sydney, as well as specialist support staff for these positions: the Chair of Cardiology held by Professor Helge Rasmussen and the Chair of Preventative Cardiology held by Professor Geoffrey Tofler.
By virtue of their position at the Royal North Shore Hospital, one of Sydney’s foremost teaching hospitals, their Chairs supervise some of their most promising postgraduate students and Early Career researchers. As mentors for future generations of heart researchers they are building a mighty base of faculty talent which enriches the hospital and in turn attracts a world-class team of high quality investigators all focused on one thing: beating cardiovascular disease.