Our primary missions are (i) to study the impacts of and best treatments for congenital heart diseases (CHD) and (ii) to detect cardiac and vascular disease promptly in order for treatments to be administered at an early, optimal stage to prevent serious late consequences of disease.
Our goals are to detect and prevent complications from three primary types of serious heart disease:
- Atherosclerosis – the narrowing of the main blood vessels in the body, and the main cause of heart attack and stroke;
- Congenital heart disease – as an increasing number of adults surviving with inborn heart problems still require extensive care and treatment; and
- Pulmonary vascular disease – the narrowing of the main blood vessels to the lungs, which can lead to overload of the right side of the heart.
Our work on CHD has the potential to revolutionise care for the “whole of life” for CHD patients. Funded by the Medical Research Future fund (MRFF), we will create one of the world’s best registries for children and adults with CHD across Australia and New Zealand, documenting the burden and outcomes of CHDs, and define the best exercise strategies for CHD patients. Our work on early detection and prevention of advanced heart disease may save hundreds of thousands of lives each year.
We aim to detect heart and blood vessel abnormalities at an early stage, before the condition becomes irreversible. We design interventions to treat a wide range of abnormalities, with a particular focus on the prevention of atherosclerosis in children and young adults who have risk factors for early heart disease, obesity, exposure to passive smoke in the home, those who smoke themselves, or those with high levels of cholesterol. We also concentrate on all subject ages with pre-diabetes or diabetes, and babies who are born small at full term.
Barraclough JY, et al. Weight Gain Trajectories from Birth to Adolescence and Cardiometabolic Status in Adolescence. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2019;208:89-95.
Dennis M, et al. Clinical Outcomes in Adolescents and Adults After the Fontan Procedure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2018;71:1009-17.
Celermajer DS, et al. Passive smoking and impaired endothelium-dependent arterial dilatation in healthy young adults. N Engl J Med. 1996;334:150-4.
Adams MR, et al. L-arginine reduces human monocyte adhesion to vascular endothelium and endothelial expression of cell adhesion molecules. Circulation. 1997;95:662-8.
Miller OI, et al. Inhaled nitric oxide and prevention of pulmonary hypertension after congenital heart surgery: a randomised double-blind study. Lancet. 2000;356:1464-9.
Woo KS, et al. Effects of diet and exercise on obesity-related vascular dysfunction in children. Circulation. 2004;109:1981-6.
Lau EM, et al. Assessment of ventriculo-arterial interaction in pulmonary arterial hypertension using wave intensity analysis. Eur Respir J. 2014;43:1804-7.
Cordina R, et al. Management errors in adults with congenital heart disease: prevalence, sources, and consequences. Eur Heart J. 2018;39:982-9.