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Can we prevent heart attacks and strokes?

Heart Research Institute

  • Cardiovascular Early-Mid Career Researcher Grant
Date Funded:
  • 28 November, 2023
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Dr. Ashish Misra

What is the issue for NSW?

Cardiovascular disease is the second most common cause of death in NSW and coronary heart disease is the most common cardiovascular disease as it contributes to the 27% of cardiovascular deaths in NSW. Coronary heart disease has remained the leading cause of cardiovascular hospitalisations in NSW for the last 20 years.

Coronary heart disease commonly occurs due to a build-up of fatty plaque within arteries. Unstable plaques are like ticking time bombs as they can rupture which blocks blood flow to other areas of the body such as the heart (heart attack) or brain (stroke). Despite ‘optimal medical treatment’, coronary heart disease patients continue to face significant adverse health outcomes and are at risk of life-threatening cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. Currently, no therapies are able to prevent rupture of plaques which is urgently needed to save lives and improve quality of life for CHD patients.

What does the research aim to do and how?

Our aim is to use custom-designed nanotechnology to decrease the size of plaques and strengthen plaques, both of which will reduce the risk of plaque rupture. We will test our nanotechnology design on plaque cells, animal models and human plaque samples to ensure it is effective in reducing the risk of plaque rupture and also not harmful to other body organs.