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Since 1926, the Baker Institute has established a strong track record of scientific discovery and translation of these findings to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related conditions.

Here is some of the cutting-edge work that has been undertaken by our researchers.

  • Two types of diabetes

    Providing evidence of the two types of diabetes — a step that changed the concepts, research and treatment of diabetes.

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  • Blood coagulation

    Advanced understanding of blood coagulation that led to improved treatment in areas including cardiovascular surgery and haemophilia.

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  • Open heart surgery

    Conducted pivotal experimental studies that paved the way for open heart surgery at The Alfred Hospital.

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  • Omega-3 fatty acids

    Establishing link between omega-3 fatty acids in fish and reduction in coronary heart disease by demonstrating how a diet rich in fish oil lowers blood triglycerides and improves elasticity of large arteries.

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  • Predicted diabetes epidemic

    Pioneering research in Pacific and Indian Ocean populations was critical in both the global prediction of the current diabetes epidemic and demonstration of the profound impact of lifestyle change on type 2 diabetes.

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  • Treatment of hypertension

    Development of a method for measuring activity of the human sympathetic nervous system, knowledge that supported the introduction of beta blockers.

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  • Benefits of regular exercise

    Demonstrated that regular exercise lowers blood pressure and cardiovascular risk, and mechanistic insight into the physiologic basis for such action.

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  • Blood vessel biology

    Studies in blood vessel biology have resulted in new treatments for pulmonary hypertension and safer therapeutic strategies targeting angiotensin.

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  • High blood pressure

    Provided insight into the role of aldosterone, the salt-retaining hormone, and the mineralocorticoid receptors in organs such as the heart and kidney.

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  • Metabolic memory

    Explained the molecular process for the phenomenon of ‘metabolic memory’ — the process whereby previous episodes of poor glucose control lead to cardiovascular injury in diabetes.

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  • Sedentary behaviour

    Development of a body of observational and experimental evidence pointing to the clinical and population-health significance of sedentary behaviour — too much sitting as distinct from too little exercise.

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  • Future research

    It is with great optimism that we look to the future.

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With the rising number of Australians affected by diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the need for research is more critical than ever.

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