Healing broken hearts

Scientists at UQ have created a functional human heart muscle from stem cells allowing them to better understand and treat one of Australia’s deadliest diseases.

Dr James Hudson from the UQ School of Biomedical Sciences led an international research team to build human heart tissue in a petri dish, an important step in developing potential treatments.

“This provides scientists with viable, functioning human heart muscle to work on, to model disease, screen new drugs and investigate heart repair,” he said.

The research has since been extended by the UQ Muscle Tissue Engineering Laboratory to look at the ability of heart muscles to regenerate following injury.

“Our goal is to use this model to potentially find new therapeutic targets to enhance or induce cardiac regeneration in people with heart failure,” Dr Hudson said.

Each year about 54,000 Australians suffer a heart attack - on average about 23 deaths every day.

This research was supported by generous donations from the Heart Foundation Queensland, who were excited to fund such an important project.

“The research by Dr Hudson will help unlock the key to regenerating damaged heart tissue, which will have a huge impact on the quality of life for heart attack survivors,” CEO Stephen Vines said.

Finding cures to the world’s deadliest diseases is a priority for UQ, one which can be achieved through the work of researchers such as Dr Hudson. Philanthropic funding drives these discoveries by providing researchers with the tools, equipment and ability to carry on their work. You too can support further research by donating today.

Help researchers at the UQ School of Biomedical Sciences find cures to the world’s deadliest diseases.