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Dr Holly Voges

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Dr Holly Voges

Human Valve in a dish to study Rheumatic Heart Disease

Dr Holly Voges, Murdoch Children's Research Institute

2022 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Years funded: 2023-2024

Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is a global healthcare problem affecting 33 million people worldwide. RHD is caused by infection that triggers irreversible damage to valve tissue which means the heart cannot function effectively. There is currently no treatment to repair tissue once it’s damaged. As such, there is an urgent requirement to better understand disease onset and identify early treatment options for patients without relying on valve replacement surgery. My program of research aims to address this gap in knowledge to improve treatment of heart valve disease. My aims are to understand the role of the immune system in heart valve damage, using a novel model of valve tissue that I have established from stem cells. The long-term goal of this research is to apply this new knowledge to find better medicine to reverse tissue damage and improve lives of people with RHD. The expected outcomes are to define important steps along the RHD pathway to identify more targeted therapies to provide better treatment for patients with RHD.

Last updated17 January 2023