22.11.2019: Celebrating 25 Years of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute is one of the most respected heart research facilities in the world and is dedicated to finding cures for cardiovascular disease. The Institute was founded in 1994, as the legacy of legendary heart transplant surgeon, Dr Victor Chang. In 1996, the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute was officially opened in Sydney Australia, by the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Beginning with just two scientists, it is now home to more than 250 researchers and staff, focused on conducting the highest quality research, with an emphasis on ‘molecules and mechanisms’.
One of those many researchers is Professor Jamie Vandenberg, co-deputy director and head of cardiac electrophysiology laboratory, at the Institute. His laboratory is investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying abnormal electrical signals in the heart. One of his main research topics is to use a multi-disciplinary approach encompassing, among others, molecular and cell biology, pharmacology, electrophysiology and mathematical modelling to study how human ether-a-go-go-related gene (hERG) K+ channels work. These channels are not just one of the most important ion channels in the heart, they are also a critical target for the cardiac drug safety field.
Professor Vandenberg, uses one of Nanion´s most sophisticated high throughput automated patch clamp instruments, the SyncroPatch 384PE (a predecessor model of SyncroPatch 384i) to decipher unusual gating properties of these channels and their promiscuous behavior with respect to drug binding.
“The SyncroPatch 384PE allowed us to reliably and rapidly screen, until then an unimaginable number of KCNH2 mutations, the gene encoding hERG K+ channels. In our recent publication, we have validated a high-throughput functional phenotyping assay for the assessment of heterozygous KCNH2 variants and shown that the assay is capable of distinguishing benign KCNH2 variants from those that have a dominant negative effect, using Nanion´s SyncroPatch 384PE. We are very happy that we are now able to use this state-of-the-art technology at our Institute and develop successful assays for other ion channel genes as well.” Professor Jamie Vandenberg.
This year, the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute celebrates the 25th year of its existence by co-organizing the Sydney Cardiovascular Symposium.
We at Nanion Technologies wish all the Institute members a very happy anniversary and we celebrate with them as proud sponsors of the Sydney Cardiovascular Symposium.
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Pictures and text were kindly provided by and modified from: The Victor Chang Institute website.