Our goal is to reduce the number of people who die from heart disease and to offer a better life for those already suffering from the disease by understanding the underlying biological processes.
Our scientists are working across a field of research areas to identify factors which contribute to an increased risk of heart disease. These areas include :
Clinical Research: focuses on the early changes that eventually lead to blood vessel hardening and heart disease by examining the influence of gender, ethnic background, life-style, genetics, obesity, age and other factors.
Free Radical Group: This group seeks to understand how oxidants damage proteins, with particular emphasis on damage to the particles that carry bad cholesterol (LDL - low-density lipoprotein) in blood vessels, and the proteins that make up the scaffolding of the artery wall.
Inflammation: The main focus of the Inflammation Unit is to understand how the damaging oxidants produced by peroxidases alter cells in the wall of human arteries and how this contributes to the development of heart disease.
Gene Regulation: aims to discover how faulty genes contribute to the development of heart disease. Genes holds all the information necessary for the normal functioning of cells within our body including the "blueprints" or instructions to build cells.
Lipid Research: studies how high-density lipoproteins (HDL - the cholesterol fraction in blood known as "good cholesterol") are regulated by the body and how their protective properties can be increased. HDL is known to protect against the development of heart disease.
Nutrition and Metabolism: is interested in the relationship between diet and coronary artery disease. The group's general objective is to find natural foods and food components that can protect against the onset and development of atherosclerosis.
Translational Research: is a world leader in the study of angiogenesis, a process by which the human body forms new blood vessels in response to blocked arteries.
Vascular Immunology: specialises in finding out how high blood pressure damages blood vessels and if this damage leads to heart disease. As part of this, they investigate the incidence of preeclampsia, which is the condition that causes high blood pressure in women during pregnancy.
Immunobiology : focuses on a previously under researched area of heart disease - small proteins called chemokines - and examine their role in vascular inflammation. Atherosclerosis develops because of an accumulation of inflammatory cells in the walls of blood vessels and leads to the formation of plaque that can ultimately cause heart attack or stroke.
© 2010 Heart Research Institute Ltd ABN 41 003 209 952