Research update: A/Prof John O’Sullivan and Dr Sean Lal

Great work from Prof John O’Sullivan and Dr Sean Lal. Parallel paths in Academic Cardiology coming together to advance the care of women and men with heart failure. See article from the Sydney Morning Herald and University of Sydney

A/Prof John O’Sullivan’s further research at the HRI

Image from University of Sydney

The Failing Heart of a Woman is Different to a Man’s’–  Groundbreaking collaborative research by A/Prof John O’Sullivan (Heart Research Institute) and Dr Sean Lal from the Department of Anatomy and the Charles Perkins Centre, Sydney University has just been published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications. Metabolomics (Biochemistry made sexy) not only shows different metabolic pathways in hearts which fail but, crucially, how these differ between women and men in energy generating metabolism (cellular energetics).

Heart Failure is a very costly and disabling syndrome. Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF) is not simple to diagnose and treatments largely symptomatic until now. This builds a pillar in our understanding as HFpEF being a metabolic disease.

The frantic search for vaccines and treatments for COVID19 is entirely understandable and desirable but the ‘Inconvenient Truth of Science’ is that ‘overnight success’ takes years of unselfish work by many with lots of firmly held beliefs scattered to the side of the road by rigorous scientific testing.

We also need to remember and thank those families who donated their hearts to the Sydney Heart Bank and the work of Dr Sean Lal and Professor Paul Bannon and his colleagues in Cardiothoracic surgery who collaborated over many years collecting and curating them to build this world class resource.