Skip to Content Skip to Navigation
8th September 2022 Heart Disease

$1.25 million to boost heart health

Johan Verjans

The Hospital Research Foundation Group is thrilled to share that seven grants totalling $1.25 million have been awarded to improve outcomes for those living with heart disease.

These groundbreaking grants, made possible thanks to our donors’ generous support, cover various cardiovascular diseases including Atrial Fibrillation, heart attacks, angina and more. See a summary of the projects below!

Associate Professor Peter Psaltis – preventing heart attacks
The University of Adelaide | SAHMRI | CALHN

People with diabetes have a high risk of repeat heart attacks due to the build-up of fatty plaque blocking their arteries. A/Prof Psaltis will investigate an injectable medicine called semaglutide (used to lower blood sugar levels in diabetes) to see if that stops plaque growth and prevent heart attacks from reoccurring.

Dr Dhani Dharmaprani – Atrial Fibrillation (AF)
Flinders University | SALHN

Often, the one-size-fits-all treatment for AF (a condition which causes an irregular heartbeat) fails in many patients. Dr Dharmaprani hopes to develop personalised treatments using new computerised models to identify the best treatment strategy to improve patient outcomes.

Dr Clementine Labrosciano – preventing readmissions
The University of Adelaide | Basil Hetzel Institute | CALHN

One in five people hospitalised for a heart attack return to hospital within 30 days and usually have poor outcomes. Dr Labrosciano hopes to produce a model to help identify patients at high risk of readmission after a heart attack.

Dr Sivabaskari Pasupathy – angina
The University of Adelaide | Basil Hetzel Institute | CALHN

People with ANOCA (Angina with Non-Obstructive Coronary Arteries) experience immense chest pain and have limited therapies available to them. Dr Pasupathy will investigate whether zinc supplements are a possible option to alleviate chest pain in ANOCA patients.

Dr Johan Verjans – patient management
The University of Adelaide | SAHMRI | CALHN

There are limited tools for doctors to monitor patients between appointments. Dr Verjans hopes to create a unique dashboard to enable better insights into cardiology patients’ health and risk using real-time clinical and medication data. This will enable doctors to track patients, prevent errors and avoid unnecessary admissions.

Dr Mergen Ghayesh – preventing heart attacks
The University of Adelaide

One in five patients will have a second heart attack within five years of their first. Dr Ghayesh hopes to develop targeted, more personalised approaches to better predict plaque growth and hence secondary heart attacks, which will potentially be lifesaving for these patients.

Dr Adrian Elliott – Atrial Fibrillation (AF)
The University of Adelaide | SAHMRI | CALHN

Catheter ablation is a procedure to help manage AF where flexible tubes are inserted through the veins or arteries to restore a regular heartbeat. Dr Elliott will evaluate whether patients undergoing this procedure have better outcomes if they also undertake exercise-based rehabilitation.