Heart Research Institute

HRI Logo

The Heart Research Institute is a world-class research institute and a hub for scientific excellence in cardiovascular research. Our scientists are focused on understanding the causes and complications of cardiovascular disease and are at the forefront of conducting innovative research to prevent, detect and treat the world’s number one killer – cardiovascular disease.

Established in 1989, The Heart Research Institute was created as a joint initiative of The National Heart Foundation of Australia, to exist in the supportive environments of The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and The University of Sydney.

The desire of this scientific model was to allow scientists to be inspired by the challenges encountered at the patient’s bedside, while also giving them access to the multidisciplinary capabilities of The University of Sydney.

More than 25 years on, this model is more relevant than ever. Integrating medical research with the delivery of health services has become a mantra for how contemporary medical research institutes should organise themselves for translational impact and improved public health outcomes.

Today the HRI has more than 170 personnel, working in 12 scientific groups, with research collaborations in 20 countries.

Our 12 Research Groups Include:

Applied Materials – Bioactive materials than can bond to living tissues.

Cardiac Imaging – Cutting-edge imaging technology.

Cell Therapeutics – Using stem cells to stimulate new blood vessel growth.

Clinical Research – Detecting heart and blood vessel problems in their early stages.

Free Radical – Understanding the biochemistry of free radicals and oxidants.

High Blood Pressure – How the brain controls blood pressure.

Immunobiology – Increasing stent ‘biocompatibility’.

Inflammation – Understanding changes in the arteries during inflammation.

Thrombosis – Research into clot formation and factors.

Translational Research & Bioengineering – Bench to bedside.

Vascular Complications – Understanding fundamental mechanisms in molecular and cellular biology.

Vasular Immunology – Understanding the causes of high blood pressure in preganancy.

The past 25 years have seen many achievements and discoveries at the HRI, including:

  • Uncovering the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, a world-first and a discovery with the potential to save lives. (2013)
  • Demonstrating that low-birth weight babies have thicker aortic walls, possibly predisposing them to greater risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. (2005)
  • Studying the effects of passive smoking on heart disease, research that became pivotal in the global move to ban smoking in public places. (1995)