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Dr Be'eri Niego

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Dr Be'eri Niego

Targeted imaging of heart fibrosis in cardiac disease

Dr Be'eri Niego, Monash University

2022 Vanguard Grant

Years funded: 2023-2024

Heart fibrosis is a common feature of heart disease, where scar tissue (consisting of a protein called collagen) replaces the healthy heart muscle and weakens its function.

In this project, we aim to develop new molecules (short peptides), which tightly bind various types of collagen and enable the delivery of imaging contrast agents to the affected heart. This clever approach, also termed 'Molecular Imaging', allows more sensitive imaging and earlier diagnosis of heart conditions. Following the promising feasibility studies presented in this application, the capacity of our novel tracers to demonstrate cardiac disease will be further tested in a range of mouse models and in human heart tissue. A multidisciplinary team of leading experts (including chemists, heart researchers, imaging specialists and cardiologists) supports our ambitious plan.

This innovative project is expected to yield clinically-compatible breakthroughs for the detection of heart fibrosis, with significant impacts on the early diagnosis and treatment of cardiac patients.

Last updated17 January 2023