New drug targets for the treatment of cardiovascular disease

Years funded:
2017 - 2021

Cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer of Australians every year.

Dr Nicola Smith's laboratory is interested in finding new therapeutic targets for the alleviation of cardiovascular disease so that they can design potent new drug treatments.

DrSmith's laboratory is focused on understanding a subset of proteins from a family that is the most successfully targeted by currently available therapies. Yet despite this success, only 25% of this family has been paired with its hormone partner and the remainder have unknown function in the body.

Dr Smith's team is using computational and experimental approaches to identify drugs that act at these proteins so that we can unlock their role in the cardiovascular system. They will specifically focus on three candidates that have been implicated in heart development, blood pressure control and heart growth.

By combining their computational and experimental tools with animal models of cardiovascular disease, they will identify proteins that can be targeted therapeutically for the treatment of this deadly disease.

Researcher Profile

Dr Nicola Smith

Institute: Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Limited
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