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$29 million to tackle Nation’s biggest killers

A media release about a $29 million investment in vital research initiatives to tackle the nation’s two biggest killers – heart disease and stroke.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Former Minister for Health and Aged Care

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Media release
General public

The Morrison Government is investing more than $29 million in vital research initiatives to tackle the nation’s two biggest killers – heart disease and stroke.

This funding is the first round of disbursements from the Government’s 10 year, $220 million investment to boost research into heart disease and stroke through the Medical Research Future Fund’s (MRFF) Cardiovascular Health Mission.

Each year, one in five Australians are affected by heart disease and stroke, one Australian dies of cardiovascular disease every 12 minutes, and one Australian experiences a heart attack or stroke every five minutes.

Inflammation plays a critical role in the rupture of artery plaques, leading to acute stroke and despite current best treatments, many people remain at high risk of recurrent stroke events, predominantly because current therapies do not specifically target the inflammatory component of arterial disease.

Six projects will receive a share of $11 million for research that focusses on ways to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease.

The University of Sydney will receive $3 million for the Colchicine After Stroke to Prevent Event Recurrence (CASPER) Study.

This project will investigate the ability of colchicine, a safe and commonly used anti-inflammatory drug, to inhibit vascular disease-associated inflammation, thereby improving clinical outcomes.

An $18 million investment from the Government will support a further six research projects that aim to reduce the impact of congenital heart disease by investigating new ways to diagnose and treat the condition.

Each year in Australia, it is estimated 2,400 babies are affected with congenital heart disease. People with complex and severe congenital heart disease require specialist treatment throughout their life.

The Congenital Heart Fitness Intervention Trial (CH-FIT) being conducted at the University of Sydney will receive $3.3 million grant support.

CH-FIT is a research project that will investigate the health impact of exercise, and the best way to help adults and children living with congenital heart disease to lead active lives. The project is the largest and most definitive exercise trial ever performed in people living with congenital heart disease.

The Morrison Government’s Cardiovascular Health Mission will support our best and brightest researchers to make game-changing discoveries through prevention strategies, earlier detection and improved outcomes for patients suffering a heart attack or stroke.

The Mission brings together researchers, health professionals, industry and patients to make transformative improvements in heart and vascular health and stroke for all Australians.

Further information on the MRFF is available at


Funding Amount

Project title

University of Sydney


Colchicine After Stroke to Prevent Event Recurrence (CASPER) Study

University of New South Wales


Novel deep learning methods for large-scale cardiovascular risk screening using Australian digital health data

University of Melbourne


A randomised controlled trial of ultra-early, minimally invasive surgery for intracerebral haemorrhage (EVACUATE)

Monash University


Using Polygenic Risk Scores to Target Statin Therapy in Primary Prevention

University of New South Wales


Total Cardiac Care - STROKE: A randomised controlled trial of a comprehensive smartphone application-centric model of care to improve outcomes in stroke patients

University of New South Wales


The SaltSwitch Online Grocery Shopping (OGS) Trial: A Novel Method for Reducing Blood Pressure among Individuals with Hypertension

University of Sydney


An Australian Study of the Outcomes and Burden of Congenital Heart Disease

University of Sydney


Congenital Heart Fitness Intervention Trial: CH-FIT

University of Sydney


Personalised Pulmonary Valved Conduits: reducing re-operations in CHD

The University of Adelaide


Maternal exposures, congenital heart defects, and child development

The University of Queensland


Gene Expression to Predict Long-Term Outcome in Infants After Heart Surgery

Queensland University of Technology


CHD LIFE+ family-centred care models supporting long-term neurodevelopment

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