August 21, 2017  Print

Dr Loan Le, post-doctoral researcher in the Cardiac Regeneration Laboratory at the Westmead Institute and Cardiology Department at the Westmead Hospital, has been awarded the 2017 Ralph Reader Basic Science Prize.

Westmead Institute's post-doctoral researcher Dr Loan Le.


Dr Le received the award for her research investigating the promise of stem cell therapy in repairing damaged hearts. She said her research aims to create effective treatments for patients with injured hearts, for example after a heart attack.

"My research involves modifying cells from the adult heart with a gene called hTERT to enhance their stem cell function.

"The research showed that this modified cell repaired damaged heart muscle tissue and improved heart function after heart attack.

"There is great potential for these therapies to become a viable treatment option to repair damaged heart muscle into the future.

"We are excited by the possible therapeutic application of stem cells to regenerate the human heart and we hope to progress this research to pre-clinical and clinical studies in the next five to ten years." Dr Le said.

Westmead Institute's researchers Dr. Loan Le and Associate Professor James Chong


Dr Le also acknowledge and thanked her supervisor Associate Professor James Chong for his contribution to her research. 

"I am thankful for his support with this project and the Ralph Reader prize." Dr Le Concluded.

The Ralph Reader Prize is one of the most prestigious awards in cardiovascular research in Australasia. 

Dr Le was co-awarded the prize with Dr Inken Marten from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.

The prize was awarded to the best individual presentation by an investigator at the recent Cardiology Society of Australian and New Zealand (CSANZ) annual meeting in Perth.

The prize was awarded by a panel of judges based on the quality of research. The meeting was attended by more than 2,000 cardiologists, technologists, researchers, trainees, surgeons, physicians, nurses and students.

Congratulations Dr Loan Le - we look forward to more great achievements from you in the future.