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Cardiovascular Initiative

Addressing cardiovascular health through multidisciplinary research
We aim to improve cardiovascular health for current and future generations across Australia through clinical and translational research.

The Cardiovascular Initiative is a multidisciplinary approach to improving cardiovascular health. It provides common goals for the many unique research and clinical strengths found across the University of Sydney’s staff and affiliates and is built on a cohesive, dynamic and collaborative framework.

The initiative will improve health outcomes for current and future generations by:

  • translating our research discoveries into practical treatment and care programs
  • connecting researchers and practitioners from different disciplines to encourage innovation and fresh perspectives on cardiovascular health
  • providing a collaborative environment between fundamental and clinical researchers that will increase speed and quality of research, enhancing translational research and clinical outcomes for professionals and patients in all areas of cardiovascular care.

Connecting multi-faculty fundamental research and clinical research

The Cardiovascular Initiative provides a strategic interface between our fundamental cardiovascular research and the translational and clinical work of Sydney Health Partners, with support from the University of Sydney’s Research Portfolio and Charles Perkins Centre.

Our strong connections with Sydney Health Partners mean we are uniquely placed to capitalise on the leading research already carried out at the University, increasing awareness and capacity for multidisciplinary collaboration, building a sense of community, and enhancing the ‘bench to bedside’ translational focus of research.

Research pipeline

We are focused on three multidisciplinary research pipelines:

We will be working with experts in precision medicine and translational bioinformatics to facilitate biomarker discovery, development and application in cardiovascular disease using the well-phenotyped cohorts of Sydney Health Partners and its members. This will maximise the opportunities we have from our genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics research teams, as well as more candidate-focused work in vascular inflammation and redox signaling.

Our ultimate goals include discovery of new mechanisms and therapeutic targets for disease, as well as new biomarkers for early risk identification and stratification, thus facilitating improved precision in preventative strategies. 

Our drug discovery pipeline brings together the expertise of fundamental chemists in drug discovery and small molecule design, with cellular and preclinical models of cardiovascular disease. Working with Sydney Health Partners and using our clinical trials expertise, we will have a keen eye on translation to early phase clinical trials.  This will capitalise on the depth of fundamental vascular and myocardial biology embedded in our clinical departments.

The Cardiovascular Initiative will bring our experts in bioengineering, physics and mathematics closer to understanding current cardiovascular problems. Early challenges identified are: tissue engineering (including bioprinting, stem cell work, hydrogel composition, and biomaterials); devices (including percutaneous valves, pacemaker, defibrillators); and fluid dynamics (4D flow cardiovascular MRI; intracoronary flow measures; CT coronary angiography and modelling of flow and shear).

Our team

The Cardiovascular Initiative is supported by its team, members and partners who are committed to the aim of improving cardiovascular health outcomes across Australia through clinical and translational research. 


Professor Gemma Figtree

Operations Manager

Vicki Snelson

Vicki has a commercial health research and rapid diagnostics development background with experience working in start-up companies and large pharma. She has developed new products, assisted in the implementation of ISO and TGA accredited manufacturing processes, and has been involved in development of channel partnerships and technology transfer.


The initiative has over 170 members. Download a PDF of all members (522KB). 


Give now for a better future

With your help, our interdisciplinary research can transform the lives of individuals and families affected by cardiovascular disease, throughout Australia and around the world.

Your gift to the University of Sydney’s Cardiovascular Initiative will help us to build a brighter and healthier future for many by supporting the impactful work we are doing.

To find out more about ways to give please contact Sallie May,

Cardiovascular Initiative

Vicki Snelson

Operations Manager, Cardiovascular Initiative