Our purpose at the Victorian Heart Institute is simple; to deliver research excellence which turns into measurable change in the rates of heart disease in Australia and beyond.
There are some unmet needs in the cardiovascular disease research space that we believe are preventing Australia from making a real impact for patients. The need is for more personalised, cutting edge novel solutions that work for many individuals, especially the most vulnerable in our society.
These five areas are the VHI’s research themes or ‘grand challenges’, targeting the areas of greatest opportunity in battling the cardiovascular disease crisis.
In addition to these grand challenges, research priorities of the VHI also include the creation of an Asia-Pacific Hub for Cardiovascular Clinical Trials and databases, registries and biobanks. Creating world-class registries and having access to biobanks of tissue sample allows the research impact of trials to expand and benefit from scale and additional knowledge.
These are shovel-ready projects ready for expansion into the Victorian Heart Hospital when it opens in 2022.
How can we better understand genetic links to prevent and treat heart disease? This 3 year study will recruit 600 Australians with established heart disease and sequence their DNA, to better understand their genetic risk. Participants will receive statin therapy (an existing gold-standard treatment), to determine whether there is a link between genetics (polygenic risk) and the effectiveness of statin therapy.
Funded by the Federal Government (MRFF), the DA VINCI trial is led by Victorian Heart Institute and Monash Heart Director, Professor Steve Nicholls. He has assembled a national team of cardiovascular research and clinical leadership to deliver the first-of-its-kind trial.
This trial is the first critical step in better understanding how we can create a more tailored and personalised heart health solution for every Australian.
Now we are closer to understanding the beacons of information within your DNA which predict your risk of heart disease (heart attack, stroke, heart failure), identifying how we can match this with the most effective and individualised treatment strategies to have all Australians living long and well is our goal.
By understanding an individual’s genetic risk, we are able to personalise health solutions, giving everyone a more targeted treatment, at the right time in their disease. This is what the future heart disease management should look like for all Australians.