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27th January 2020

Banking on the future of research

Assoc Prof Margaret Arstall banking on the future of research

A new cardiovascular biobank is being set up at the Lyell McEwin Hospital (LMH) in Adelaide to transform heart research for high-risk areas.

The biobank will store blood samples and other tissues long-term, allowing clinicians and researchers to analyse the samples and determine what specific features – known as biomarkers – are responsible for particular cardiovascular diseases.

Associate Professor Margaret Arstall, Director of Cardiology at the LMH, is leading the project and is excited about the health benefits the biobank will provide the community both now and in the future.

“With this biobank, for the first time in this area we can launch a ‘bench-to-bedside’ approach to detecting, monitoring and reducing high rates of cardiovascular disease in the local community,” A/Prof Arstall said.

“It will increase the quality of research into cardiovascular health and potentially identify new, effective diagnoses and treatment methods.”

High-risk areas for Heart Disease

The need for this research within the northern suburbs of Adelaide is pressing, with the region characterised by the highest rates of cardiovascular risk factors (such as obesity, high blood pressure and lack of physical activity) in South Australia.

A/Prof Arstall said the knowledge would then go on to benefit all Australians, as links start to appear between heart disease and a person’s environment, lifestyle and genetic makeup.

“Findings from the research may result in earlier diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease and also preeclampsia, a pregnancy condition characterised by high blood pressure,” she said.

“We will be able to establish ourselves as a frontrunner in performing quality, translatable cardiovascular research, developing novel preventions, therapies and improving patient outcomes.”

The biobank has been established in pre-existing laboratory facilities at the LMH and a full-time laboratory technician will collect samples and undertake the research.

We look forward to keeping you updated on this exciting project.