Our History

The Heart Research Institute has been a hub of scientific excellence for more than 25 years.
Over 25 years of discovery

Established in 1989, The Heart Research Institute was created as a joint initiative of The National Heart Foundation of Australia, to exist in the supportive environments of The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and The University of Sydney.

The desire of this scientific model was to allow scientists to be inspired by the challenges encountered at the patient’s bedside, while also giving them access to the multidisciplinary capabilities of The University of Sydney.

More than 25 years on, this model is more relevant than ever. Integrating medical research with the delivery of health services has become a mantra for how contemporary medical research institutes should organise themselves for translational impact and improved public health outcomes.

Today the HRI has more than 150 personnel, working in 12 scientific groups, with research collaborations in 20 countries.

The HRI is a world-class research institute and a hub for scientific excellence in cardiovascular research. Our scientists are focused on understanding the causes and complications of cardiovascular disease and are at the forefront of conducting innovative research to prevent, detect and treat the world’s number one killer – cardiovascular disease. 


In the past 25 years, we’ve:

  • Uncovered the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, a world-first and a discovery with the potential to save lives. (2013)

  • Demonstrated that low-birth weight babies have thicker aortic walls, possibly predisposing them to greater risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. (2005)

  • Studied the effects of passive smoking on heart disease, research that became pivotal in the global move to ban smoking in public places. (1995)

And so much more.