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Federal Government and Heart Foundation pledge $8million for next-generation heart research
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Federal Government and Heart Foundation pledge $8million for next-generation heart research

Media Release - 18 June 2020

The Federal Government and the Heart Foundation are investing $8 million in emerging fields of cardiovascular research.

Heart Foundation CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly, welcomed the Government’s announcement that it will match the Heart Foundation’s $4 million investment for targeted research.

“This is a fantastic contribution from the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). The funding boost has the potential to make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of millions of Australians,” Professor Kelly said.

“This initiative opens up new funding models for the MRFF to partner with organisations, such as the Heart Foundation, to support life-saving medical research going forward.”

Four research projects will each receive $2 million to tackle Australia’s biggest killers – heart disease and stroke. The funding will boost research into:

  • Predictive modelling - new ways to accurately predict a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which could lead to intervention early in their life and prevent sudden cardiac death in young people
  • Cardio-oncology – preventing and treating heart disease in cancer survivors which can be caused by toxic chemotherapies and other cancer therapies
  • Secondary prevention – improve the treatment and care of patients after a cardiovascular event, including cardiac rehabilitation
  • Women and heart disease – address the disparities in treatment and care that exist between women and men, investigate the biological and behavioral factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease in women and improve their survival rates after a cardiac event.

“The Heart Foundation consulted Australians living with heart conditions, the general community, health professionals and other stakeholders to get their opinion on what our research priorities should be for 2020 and beyond,” Professor Kelly said.  

“We are focusing on research that will find answers to major gaps in our knowledge, where we can make a significant global contribution to the treatment and prevention of heart disease.”

Professor Kelly said many cancer patients suffered a double assault on their health when intensive cancer treatment damaged their heart muscle, heart valves and blood vessels. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and other treatments can damage the heart.
He said predictive modelling was a promising field of study.

“If we can predict an individual’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease we can intervene early, possibly prevent it from developing or minimise its impact.

“We are heading towards personalising prevention strategies and treatment for individuals and we hope we will be able to do that at an early age, well before damage occurs to the heart and brain.”

More information about the grants and how to apply will be available on our website soon.

Media enquiries

Suzanne McKenzie, Senior Media Adviser, Research, Heart Foundation
M: 0434 691 461; E: Suzanne.McKenzie@heartfoundation.org.au

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