Cardiac and Vascular Health

Cardiac and vascular diseases (including cerebrovascular disease, peripheral artery disease, microvascular diseases involving the kidney, eye and nerves, and related conditions such as diabetes) are the leading causes of death in Australia and most countries around the world. They are also responsible for substantial ill-health creating a massive financial and social burden. 

Substantial progress had been made in reducing the burden of cardiac disease over the last half-century, with a reduction in coronary mortality by more than half in Australia, but these advances are currently under threat. The increasing prevalence of obesity, diabetes and related conditions is driving a renewed wave of cardiac and vascular disorders. The most recent Global Burden of Disease study suggests that life expectancy in Australia may have declined over each of the last two years, for the first time in over half a century. A rebound in cardiac and vascular conditions is a key driver of this reversal. A redoubling of efforts to improve prevention and treatment of cardiac and vascular diseases is therefore an urgent priority.

Our Vision

Our Vision

Our vision is to reduce the burden of cardiac and vascular diseases within the communities we serve – locally, nationally and globally. We aim to do this through a broad program of research, translation, education and advocacy that takes an inclusive approach where all SPHERE partners, consumer and community representatives and relevant industry partners, are welcome and pro-actively engaged.

Our Focus

Our Focus

Four priority areas have been identified and subsequently referred to as CVH Clinical Theme Areas of Focus:

  • Focus Area 1 – Mechanisms and causes of disease

    The overarching goal of this focus area is to understand mechanisms underlying cardiovascular disease to discover novel drug targets and undertake preclinical development of new therapies for clinical translation. Positive outcomes from these studies will then proceed to translation and implementation by members of Focus Areas 2- 4.

  • Focus Area 2 – Identifying best treatments

    This will build on the work of Focus Area 1 as well as develop opportunities arising elsewhere to rigorously assess potential interventions for Cardiac and Vascular disorders, through high-quality randomised controlled trials. Work on novel therapies will be included, sometimes in partnership with industry, as well as investigations of novel uses for existing treatments.

  • Focus Area 3 – Optimising uptake of proven therapies

    There are many proven therapies for Cardiac and Vascular disorders that are poorly implemented across Australia and globally. This area will focus on finding better ways to deliver proven therapies (implementation science) as well as improving translation across SPHERE partner organisations.

  • Focus Area 4 – Protecting the community from CV disease

    Drivers of Cardiac and Vascular disease such as poor diet, inactivity and obesity may be best addressed through community and population-based initiatives. This focus area will undertake research and advocacy to define and implement the best ways to implement initiatives.



All our research is conducted via the respected research centres of SPHERE’s Partners, including:

We also work, and conduct research with: The University of Wollongong

Through these connections, we have access to whole genome sequencing, high-throughput chemical small molecule screening, advanced imaging, clinical trials, and big data support. We’re using this sophisticated equipment to turn scientific discoveries into cures faster.

Contact us:

For more information on our work, contact Dr Sophie Gates