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Selective clot-busting: Novel treatment of clotting and inflammatory cardiovascular diseases

Ms Amy Searle, Institution: Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

2016 Australian Indigenous Scholarship

Years funded: 2017-2020


Cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack and stroke are the biggest killers in Australia and worldwide. Most of these events are caused by an underlying disease known as atherosclerosis. More often than not, the plaques caused by atherosclerosis rupture without warning, leading to sudden blockage of arteries in the heart or brain, resulting in oxygen starvation thus heart attack and stroke. Targeted drug delivery would overcome current complications of bleeding faced in the clinic which prevents thousands of patients receiving life-saving treatment each year. Due to the risky nature of clot-busting drugs, which have been used in the clinic for decades, a large proportion of patients are refused treatment due to the fragile nature of their blood vessels and their prescription of blood thinning medications. The aim of this research is to deliver a drug directly to the blood clot therefore reducing bleeding complications associated with the current treatment. This targeted drug delivery approach promises major benefits to patients and has the potential to allow complication free treatment of heart attack and stroke for all patients, regardless of the individuals’ age, current medications and risk factors.

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