Heart Foundation awards more than $14 million in research funding

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The Heart Foundation is pleased to announce offers from the 2015 research funding round

More than 70 awards, with a total value of $14.2 million, have been offered to support Australia’s best and brightest researchers, investigating the causes, treatment and prevention of heart disease and related disorders.

As a charity and the largest non-government funder of heart disease research in Australia, the Heart Foundation is proud to invest in research to help all Australians have better heart health.

Some key statistics:

  • $14.2 million in funding has been offered
  • 73 awards offered, including
    • 28 Fellowships
    • 10 Scholarships
    • 24 Grants
  • 359 applications, success rate 20.3%
  • More than $520 million (in today's value) invested in cardiovascular research from 1962 to 2015

Please see the tables below for the full list of successful applications.

Recognising research excellence

We are also pleased to announce awards for the year’s most outstanding and innovative applications.

Ross Hohnen Award for Research Excellence

The Ross Hohnen Award for Research Excellence recognises each year’s most outstanding and innovative Vanguard Grant application, and provides $10,000 on top of the Grant.

  • Dr Janet Bray

Heart Foundation Paul Korner Innovation Award

The Heart Foundation Paul Korner Innovation Award is given to the most innovative successful Future Leader Fellowship and Postdoctoral Fellowship applications each year, and provides a single payment of $20,000 on top of the Fellowship.

Future Leader Fellowships

  • Dr Graeme Polglase
  • Dr Enzo Porrello

Postdoctoral Fellowships

  • Dr Be’eri Niego
  • Dr Stephanie Simonds

Research funding offers

Future Leader Fellowships

Future Leader Fellowships support cardiovascular researchers as they build their research capacity and become leaders of research groups. The Fellowships provide generous salary and project funding to facilitate high impact research outcomes.

Name Administering institution State Award title
Dr Amy Brodtmann Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health VIC Exercise and brain volume loss after stroke
Dr Bruce Campbell University of Melbourne VIC Optimising stroke therapy: advanced brain imaging and rapid restoration of blood flow to the brain
A/Prof Melinda Carrington Australian Catholic University NSW Strategies to optimise cardiometabolic health
A/Prof Clara Chow The University of Sydney NSW Clinical approaches to preventing cardiovascular disease
Dr Hayley Christian University of Western Australia WA Starting early: increasing young children’s physical activity
Prof Robyn Clark The Flinders University of South Australia SA A program of research to improve access to cardiovascular care
A/Prof Barbora de Courten Monash University VIC Prevention of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease
Dr Joshua Ho Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute NSW Using computers to crack the genetic code of heart disease in babies
Dr Jodie Ingles The University of Sydney NSW Clinical, genetic and psychosocial aspects of inherited heart disease
Dr Judith Katzenellenbogen University of Western Australia WA Closing the knowledge to action gap in Indigenous heart disease and stroke
Dr Costan Magnussen University of Tasmania TAS Growing healthy hearts
Dr Graeme Polglase Monash University VIC Improving the entry into the world of preterm infants
Dr Enzo Porrello The University of Queensland QLD A novel therapeutic approach for heart regeneration
Dr Quenten Schwarz University of South Australia SA Defining the mechanisms controlling cardiac outflow tract formation
A/Prof Neil Spratt The University of Newcastle NSW New therapies for stroke: preventing stroke progression and enhancing recovery
Dr Connie Wong Monash University VIC Immune suppression after stroke

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Postdoctoral Fellowships encourage and support early-career cardiovascular researchers to develop research skills and independence. The Fellowships help researchers further their career as they become more competitive for future funding from a range of sources.

Name Administering institution State Award title
Dr Jocasta Ball Australian Catholic University NSW Improving health outcomes in atrial fibrillation via optimal management
Dr Xiaoqi Feng The University of Wollongong NSW What built environment helps or hinders clinical care of type 2 diabetes to protect heart health?
Dr Jeroen Hendriks The University of Adelaide SA iCARE: atrial fibrillation clinics
Dr Mohammad Javad Koohsari University of Melbourne VIC How can urban design reduce cardiovascular disease risk?
Dr Tracey-Lea Laba University of Sydney NSW Optimising value and equity in access to CVD medicines
Dr Yugeesh Lankadeva University of Melbourne VIC Novel treatments to maintain blood pressure in sepsis
Dr Rajiv Mahajan The University of Adelaide SA Targeting the atrial fibrillation substrate in obesity
Dr Courtney McDonald Monash University VIC Can stem cell therapy repair a leaky brain?
Dr Be'eri Niego Monash University VIC New drugs and drug delivery methods to enhance the safety of t-PA treatment in stroke
Dr Rebecca Perry The Flinders University of South Australia SA Echocardiography prediction of sudden cardiac death
Dr Stephanie Simonds Monash University VIC Cardiovascular diseases in obesity
Dr Stewart Vella The University of Wollongong NSW Sports participation and the cardiometabolic health of Australian children

Health Professional Scholarships

Health Professional Scholarships support cardiovascular health professionals to undertake a PhD. The Scholarships encourage health professionals to become active in research while continuing their cardiovascular health practice.

Name Administering institution State Award title
Dr Jonathon Fanning The University of Queensland QLD Silent and apparent neurological injury in transcatheter aortic valve implantation: SANITY study

Dr Thomas Ford

University of Sydney NSW Endothelial shear stress and its relationship with coronary plaque haemodynamics and morphology
Dr Tyson Fricke Murdoch Childrens Research Institute VIC Outcomes of the arterial switch operation
Dr Shane Nanayakkara Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute VIC Developing preventative and therapeutic strategies in heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction
Dr Nitesh Nerlekar Monash University VIC Obesity and cardiovascular disease
Dr Pierre Qian University of Sydney NSW Renal artery denervation using transcatheter microwave ablation
Dr Ross Roberts-Thomson The University of Adelaide SA The South Australian childhood rheumatic heart disease (SACRHD) screening project
Dr Sujitha Thavapalachandran University of Sydney NSW Activation and rejuvenation of endogenous cardiac stem cells
Dr Aleksandr Voskoboinik Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute VIC Exploring the link between alcohol and atrial fibrillation recurrence
Dr Matias Yudi University of Melbourne VIC A smartphone based secondary prevention program for patients with acute coronary syndromes

Vanguard Grants

Vanguard Grants give funding to test the feasibility of innovative concepts in public health or health services, including clinical service delivery. They are available to researchers for a concept study with the potential to improve cardiovascular health in the short term.

Name Administering institution State Award title
Prof Christopher Bladin Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health VIC Faster delivery of treatment to patients with a cardiac event: the role of a smartphone app
Dr Janet Bray Monash University VIC Developing a community-based CPR education program
Dr Jonathon Fanning The University of Queensland QLD Stemming devastating brain injury caused by catheter delivered aortic valves
Prof Gemma Figtree University of Sydney NSW Redox biomarker to predict events in heart failure
Prof Albert Frauman University of Melbourne VIC A test to directly measure patient adherence to prescribed blood pressure medications
Prof S. Ben Freedman ANZAC Research Institute NSW Identifying early recurrent post-operative atrial fibrillation to prevent stroke
Prof Jonathan Golledge James Cook University QLD Vitamin D insufficiency and artery weakening
Dr Kym Guelfi University of Western Australia WA Can relaxation reduce unhealthy eating in response to stress?
Ms Kylie Gwynne University of Sydney NSW Using an innovative device to detect atrial fibrillation in Indigenous people
Prof Graham Hillis University of Sydney NSW Colchicine to prevent peri-operative complications: the Co-POC trial
Dr Jodie Ingles University of Sydney NSW Clinical application of novel genetic testing approaches in childhood cardiomyopathies
A/Prof Andrew Maiorana Curtin University of Technology WA Exercise training in people with implanted mechanical pumps to support heart function
Dr Caroline Medi University of Sydney NSW Early repolarization ECG and risk of sudden death
A/Prof Chamindie Punyadeera Queensland University of Technology QLD A spit test for heart failure
Dr Martin Schultz University of Tasmania TAS Linking exercise blood pressure to clinical outcomes: the exercise stress test collaboration
Prof Chris Semsarian University of Sydney NSW Increasing physical activity in individuals with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: a pilot study
A/Prof Tony Stanton The University of Queensland QLD Benefit and cost-effectiveness of optimised CRT pacemaker settings in individuals with heart failure
Dr Aaron Sverdlov The University of Adelaide SA A glass of beetroot juice a day beats the exercise blues?
Dr Matias Yudi Institute for Breathing and Sleep VIC A smartphone-based secondary prevention program for patients with coronary heart disease

NSW CVRN Research Development Project Grants

NSW Cardiovascular Research Network Research (NSW CVRN) Development Project Grants stimulate, fund and support new collaborative research proposals from current NSW CVRN members.

Name Administering institution State Award title
Dr Alicia (Lis) Neubeck University of Sydney NSW Using iPhones to screen for atrial fibrillation in general practice clinics to prevent stroke
A/Prof Julie Redfern University of Sydney NSW Technological support for patients with cardiovascular disease via integrated text messaging
Dr Michael Skilton University of Sydney NSW Assessing aortic blood pressure in children

Collaboration and Exchange Awards

Collaboration and Exchange awards help Heart Foundation funded scholars and postdoctoral fellows visit other research facilities, across Australia and overseas, to collaborate and share knowledge.

Name Administering institution State
Prof David Burgner Murdoch Childrens Research Institute VIC
Dr Josephine Chau University of Sydney NSW
Dr Yung-Chih Chen Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute VIC
Dr Belinda Gray University of Sydney NSW
Dr Cheryce Harrison Monash University VIC
Dr Alex Huang Monash University VIC
Dr Sean Martin The University of Adelaide SA
Dr Jatin Patel The University of Queensland QLD
Mr Sean Taylor James Cook University QLD
Dr Xiaowei Wang Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute VIC
Dr Ruth Webster University of Sydney NSW

Partnership Engagement Grants

Partnership Engagement Grants (PEG) enable researchers to partner with the Heart Foundation to apply for NHMRC, ARC and other funding, for large-scale cardiovascular research projects. From the Round 2 2014 PEG applications, the Heart Foundation agreed to partner in three projects. Of these, two proceeded to application to other funding bodies and one was successful. Of the 2015 PEG applications the Heart Foundation has agreed to partner in two projects.

Round Name Administering institution State Award title
2014 (Round 2) Prof Bruce Neal University of Sydney NSW Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria [NHRMC APP1111457]
2015 A/Prof Jack Chen University of New South Wales NSW Evaluating the impact of a world-first state-wide program in reducing cardiac arrests and other adverse events in Emergency Departments in New South Wales
2015 A/Prof Julie Redfern University of Sydney NSW Quality improvement to prevent hospitalisations and improve effectiveness and efficiency for people living with heart disease: QUEL study

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