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The Cardiometabolic Disease Group conducted life-saving research at the Heart Research Institute until July 2023.

Our objective

Our mission is to transform the management of heart failure, especially “stiff” heart failure, or heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).

We aim to make fundamental advances in understanding how the heart uses fuel to generate energy.

We employ clinical and preclinical research programs to address our aims. We combine a specialist HFpEF clinic, the Sydney Heart Bank (Director, Dr Sean Lal), the world’s largest cryorepository of human heart tissue, a novel cardiac biopsy program with Prof Paul Bannon, cardiac MRI, a human ex vivo myocardial tissue slice model, murine heart failure models, ex vivo beating hearts, and stable isotope tracing.

We also examine the relationship of diet, microbiome, and cardiac development from in utero to adulthood.

Our impact

We are performing two clinical trials that will replenish a vital molecule in the hearts of patients with HFpEF. These trials will be performed at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney and The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne (with collaborator Prof David Kaye), and A/Prof John O’Sullivan as the Chief Investigator of the trials.

We have recently discovered a new fuel pathway in the heart, which serves as a rescue fuel in HFpEF. Remarkably, this pathway can be activated by replenishment of the above molecule. We were recently awarded grants from the National Heart Foundation (Level 2 FLF; Vanguard), NSW OHMR (Capacity Building Grant; EMCR Fellowship), and HRI-UK to perform these clinical trials.

The team

Renping Liu

PhD Student

Paraskevi Morris

PhD Student

Shashwati Dutta

Research Assistant