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Professor Rebecca Ritchie

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Professor Rebecca Ritchie

Do vascular cells hold the key to treating heart failure?

Professor Rebecca Ritchie, Monash University

2022 Vanguard Grant

Years funded: 2023-2024

In the next decade, 750,000 Australians will have heart failure. Our research focuses on a particular type of heart failure whose causes are not well understood, survival rates are poor (similar to most cancers) and there are no drug, surgery or lifestyle interventions that improve survival.

Endothelial cells form the lining of all blood vessels. Loss of function of these cells in heart failure predicts poor patient survival. Building on our combined drug discovery expertise together with a bank of Australian patient endothelial cell samples collected from patients with heart disease, the major aims of our research program outlined here are to:

  1. define the human gene expression “fingerprint” in endothelial cell samples from patients with heart failure, and
  2. using our drug discovery pipeline, we will test novel drug candidates, to determine which restore normal function to their endothelial cells “in the dish

Expected outcomes: We will identify exciting potential new therapies heart failure, ready for the next stage of drug discovery.

Last updated17 January 2023