Heart

Research area:  Clinical sciences

Helping patients and their families manage heart disease.

Our group studies many aspects related to cardiovascular health in children. The diverse nature of these studies reflects the varied skills and knowledge of our group members. The team has world-leading expertise in the assessment of cardiovascular function, acquired both through animal studies and cells. This includes the use of invasive and non-invasive techniques, including the development of new techniques, in order to improve our understanding of congenital and acquired heart disease.

Our projects use cord blood stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells – those generated from adult cells – through collaboration with laboratory researchers at the Institute. Our epidemiology research has informed the management of paediatric cardiomyopathy and the Fontan circulation in addition to many other congenital heart conditions. The study of myocardial protection through ischemic preconditioning is a major focus of our research, in particular the changes with maturation and applicability in children with complex heart disease.

Successful management of heart disease in children has led to a large population of adults with complex heart conditions. We are actively involved in the clinical care and research in this patient group in order to understand the altered cardiac physiology and allow novel treatments to improve the quality of life.

The close working relationship between clinicians and scientists fosters rapid clinical translation in addition to identifying areas of clinical interest that would benefit from the mechanistic investigation.

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Dr Michael Cheung