into inherited heart disease as well as Alzheimer’s disease have been boosted
after two Centenary Institute researchers successfully secured a total of $3m
in highly competitive National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding.
Associate Professor Jodie Ingles, Head of the Institute’s Clinical Cardiac Genetics Group in the Molecular Cardiology Program (pictured left), was awarded a Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grant in excess of $2m. This will fund a five-year study into inherited cardiomyopathies involving approximately 2,500 participants. The cohort of participants will be comprehensively investigated and followed over time, making this an extremely unique and important resource for better understanding these diseases.
cardiomyopathies such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy affect the heart muscle
and are passed on genetically in families. There can be important health
implications, including a risk of heart failure and sudden cardiac death,” says
“There are many
aspects of how we manage and treat inherited cardiomyopathies that are not well
understood. Our study will follow participants over time to gain critical
clinical and genetic insights. In doing so, we can then provide tailored advice
regarding management, treatments, prognosis and family screening regarding the
disease,” she says.
Gamble, Head of the Vascular Biology Program at the Centenary Institute was awarded
an Ideas Grant of just under $1m. The
grant will fund research into Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of
dementia. Supported by secondary Chief Investigator Doctor Ka Ka Ting also from
the Centenary Institute, the research program will focus on the blood vessels
of the brain and their potential role in Alzheimer’s development and progression.
disease is an age-related neurodegenerative disease that is on the rise due to our
ageing population. Although we don’t know yet what causes the disease it is
thought that changes to the blood vessels in the brain are the earliest sign of
Alzheimer’s and actually predispose the patient to the development of the
disease,” says Professor Gamble.
will support our work on
investigating the cells that form the barrier between the blood and the
tissues, endothelial cells. We have identified significant age-related changes
in these cells. We want to determine if
the breakdown and dysfunction of these cells with age actually leads to, or
makes Alzheimer’s Disease more likely. If this is the case, our work
will open the door to an entirely new approach to combatting the disease,” she
In addition to
the two Grants, the Centenary Institute’s Laura Yeates received a NHMRC
Postgraduate Scholarship for her study into ‘Caring for families affected by
sudden cardiac death of a young relative due to genetic heart disease.’
Centenary’s Natalia Pinello also received a NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship for
her study into ‘RNA 5-hydroxymethylation in Haemopoiesis and Leukaemia.’
Read the full media release here.