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Dr Laura Bienvenu

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Dr Laura Bienvenu

Saving our hearts: Targeting inflammation to improve outcomes after heart attack

Dr Laura Bienvenu, The University of Melbourne

2021 Vanguard Grant

Years funded: 2022-2023

After a heart attack, the heart becomes very inflamed. This inflammation prevents the heart from working properly and can cause heart failure. Dr Laura Bienvenu and team have identified a drug (abatacept) that blocks a key part of this inflammation. It does this by stopping immune cells, which cause inflammation, from responding to the heart attack. As a result, this drug is able to protect the heart, allowing it to work almost normally after a heart attack. It is believed that a single dose of this drug shortly after a heart attack may be enough to prevent the majority of heart damage. In this research Dr Laura Bienvenu's team will define if this is true, and how this drug changes the inflammatory response in the heart. Dr Laura Bienvenu aims for these results to guide the design of a clinical trial to be conduct after the completion of this study. More importantly, the drug being investigating is already used to treat diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Consequently, Dr Laura Bienvenu's team believe its application for the treatment of heart attacks would be a quick and very effective way to improve heart health.

Last updated04 April 2022