The Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney
The Sydney Heart Bank (SHB) is the largest repository of cryopreserved human hearts in the world (17,000 samples). It was established in 1989 by Cris Dos Remedios (Emeritus Professor University of Sydney) and the Late Victor Chang AC (Cardiothoracic surgeon at St. Vincent’s Hospital Sydney). It has been housed and maintained by the University of Sydney since 1989 and it currently resides on campus in state-of-the-art bio-banking facilities at the Charles Perkins Centre, with Dr Sean Lal as the Director of the SHB.
Comprised of failing hearts (heart failure) of many different causes, as well as donor hearts (non-diseased hearts) for comparison (control group), the SHB is completely not-for-profit, with the sole mission to foster national and international research collaboration into the causes of heart failure. Today, Dr Lal and Professor Paul Bannon, Chair of The Baird Institute, are expanding this biobank to include heart tissue from patients undergoing all forms of cardiac surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, with the aim to undertake the world’s largest multi-sequencing (gene, protein, enzymes, metabolite) study of human heart failure to-date in collaboration with a team of scientists at the Charles Perkins Centre. This will almost certainly lead to new discoveries as to the pathways that cause heart disease and hence the development of therapies to treat and reverse it.