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Heart Protection Theme

Background

Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) is the leading cause of death and disability in Singapore and worldwide. As such novel treatment strategies are required to protect the heart against the detrimental effects of acute ischaemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) - this is required to preserve cardiac function and prevent the onset of heart failure in patients with IHD. This is particularly important in IHD patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery and in IHD patients presenting with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in which mortality and morbidity remain significant. Therefore, our main research objective is to discover novel therapeutic strategies for protecting the myocardium from acute IRI (a strategy termed ‘cardioprotection’).

We use a translational approach to cardioprotection with the identification of novel therapeutic targets at the laboratory ‘bench’ using pre-clinical models of acute IRI, and investigate their therapeutic potential in proof-of-concept clinical studies and multi-centre clinical outcome randomised controlled trials in IHD patients undergoing CABG surgery and in IHD patients presenting with an AMI.

Research Area

  1. Pre-clinical and clinical cardiac MRI and hybrid PET/MR studies to investigate the pathophysiology of acute IRI and assess cardioprotection in the setting of AMI and post-ischaemic heart failure
  2. Clinical cardioprotection proof-of-concept and multi-centre outcome studies in CABG and AMI patients
  3. Mitochondria as targets for cardioprotection
  4. Ischaemic preconditioning and postconditioning – underlying signalling pathways, mechanisms and clinical application
  5. Remote ischaemic conditioning – underlying mechanisms and clinical application
  6. Effect of co-morbidities such as diabetes on cardioprotection

Achievements

Awards

  1. European Society of Cardiology Outstanding Achievement Award (July 2013)
  2. Winner of the British Society of Cardiovascular Research SCR Marshall Research Excellence Award (July 2012)

Grants

  1. NMRC Clinical Trial Grant $1.72 million 3 years 4 months (June 2016)
  2. British Heart Foundation Clinical Study Grant $2.6 million 5 years (September 2015)