Heart and Stroke Research Program


In Australia, someone has a stroke every 19 minutes, and every 10 minutes someone has a heart attack. More than a million Australians are living with ongoing heart health problems and stroke-related disabilities. ​ 

Our scientists are working together with people who live with stroke and heart conditions, health professionals and the community, to develop new approaches for prevention, brain and heart tissue preservation, recovery, and well-being. ​ 

This includes collaborative research linking neurology, cardiology, oncology, psychology, genetics, engineering, and others.​ 

Research Areas

Acute Stroke 

Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide and the leading cause of long-term adult disability in Australia.  

Our researchers are national and international leaders in the development of new strategies in acute stroke imaging and therapies. Research spans from experimental laboratory research to community-based studies and health systems implementation. The generation of new knowledge and its translation to improve health care outcomes for people experiencing stroke is being realised with the Hunter now one of the international leading sites for implementation of clot-busting therapies for stroke. 

Stroke Recovery and Prevention 

We are working to improve the lives of those affected by stroke. Stroke can have many physical, mental and emotional impacts such as paralysis, poor coordination, memory loss, fatigue and depression. Our research team is working to better understand the impacts of stroke on patient and carer lives and to guide recovery through evidence-based practice. 

Consumer Engagement

The Stroke Research Register, Hunter is the only Register in Australia in stroke that is dedicated to consumer engagement in research. Our commitment to consumer engagement in research aligns with the major funding body requirements (NHMRC and MRFF), and the Stroke Foundation. It comprises a centralised database of people keen to participate in cutting-edge stroke research and trials. Stroke trials include those aiming to reduce stroke risk, improve fatigue levels, understand, and improve activity levels and arm function, or target degenerative decline following stroke.

Cardiovascular disease 

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading killer of Australians. Cardiovascular health in the Hunter New England Region (HNE) remains among the worst in the country. Within the Hunter region, there are significant disparities in cardiovascular outcomes based on geography and indigenous status. 

Our members span from benchtop research in the latest techniques to unravelling the complex biology of cardiovascular disease, through to clinicians improving the health and saving the lives of the people of our region. The program brings together leading cross-disciplinary researchers and clinical cardiologists who provide a wealth of collective experience and skill sets. 

Sports Concussion 

The research program spans research across the full spectrum of concussion - from the acute diagnosis, assessment, and management as well as examining the longer-term issues of repeated concussion in older or retired athletes. 

Heart and Stroke Research Program Team

Leadership Group 

Associate Professor Doan Ngo
Research Program :
  • Heart and Stroke Research Program
Research Topics :
Clinical Cardiovascular, Preventing Cardiovascular Disease
Associate Professor Aaron Sverdlov
Research Program :
  • Heart and Stroke Research Program
Research Topics :
Clinical Cardiovascular, Effective Health Services, Healthy Ageing, Heart Physiology, Preventing Cardiovascular Disease
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