Agents of change – Professor Stephen Nicholls

Agents of change – Professor Stephen Nicholls


Despite all of the advances that we’ve
made in the way that we treat heart disease, heart disease continues to be
the leading health problem in this country, so as a researcher I’ve decided
to change that. My research interests focus on the plaques that build up in
the walls of the blood vessels. These are the plaques that cause heart attacks and
stroke and I’m interested in understanding how they form and to look
at therapies that may have a positive impact on them. Heart disease
continues to be a really important issue for researchers and for all Australians.
We know that each year more than 50,000 Australians will have a heart attack and
Australia spends more money on heart disease than any other area of health.
This is despite all of the advances that we’ve made over the last three
decades. We’ve had a number of new therapies, whether it be devices or
medications which have really changed the outcome for many patients with heart
disease. Despite all of that we’re still faced with the fact that it’s some
bleeding cause of death and so it tells us that as good as the changes that
we’ve made have been, we need new therapies and new approaches to reduce
the risk of heart disease even further. The Victorian Heart Hospital is a
once-in-a-generation opportunity for this University and it’s going to embed
teaching and research inside the building, so it’s an opportunity because
it will bring the researchers to where the patients are.

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