Baker Department of Cardiovascular Research, Translation and Implementation facilities

The Baker Department of Cardiovascular Research, Translation and Implementation has world class research laboratories, primarily located at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute.

Our research is supported by state-of-the-art platform technologies in lipidomics, proteomics, single-cell profiling, genomics and bioinformatics.

Our facilities include:

We are using an integrative systems biology approach to understand heart failure at the cellular level.

Our laboratory features single-cell sequencing, high-dimensional flow cytometry and multidimensional imaging to assist with high-resolution mapping of cardiovascular cellular landscapes.

Use of these technologies has enabled characterisation of the cardiovascular cellular diversity, definition of new cellular protagonists of disease, and discovery of fundamental differences in the cellular and molecular makeup of female and male hearts.

Find out more about the single-cell omics platform.

We are using imaging and other diagnostic tools to better understand disease development and treatment, clinical trials and health services research.

Our domain incorporates the Baker Institute’s clinical services including specialised heart, diabetes, lung, eye, and weight reduction clinics, as well as a range of allied health and health education services.

Equipment includes state-of-the-art MRI, transthoracic and stress echocardiography and body composition (DEXA) scanning.

The MRI scanner is capable of detailed morphologic and functional cardiac imaging, including the ability to acquire real-time data during exercise. Research and investigational services include electrocardiogram, Holter and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, ankle-brachial indices and cardiopulmonary exercise testing, as well as a clinical and research gymnasium, and dedicated clinical research rooms.

We are developing strategies to combat the metabolic underpinnings of cardiometabolic disease.

Our facility features tandem mass spectrometry and the only high-throughput lipidomic platform in Australia, which has performed some of the largest reported clinical and population lipidomic studies. Equipment has enabled the characterisation of metabolic pathways and identified lipidomic biomarker profiles that are better able to predict disease risk and therapeutic efficacy.

Find out more about the molecular proteomics and metabolomics platform.

We are working to identify more sensitive diagnostics to enable the early detection of cardiovascular disease using advanced functional and molecular imaging. We are also applying nanobiotechnology to create novel nanocarriers for the delivery of drugs and mRNA, to achieve side-effect-free therapeutics.

Our laboratory features preclinical imaging modalities including ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, micro-computed tomography, fluorescence and photoacoustic imaging.

Using recombinant antibody technologies, contrast agents are directed to specific biomarkers, to image and visualise diseases. Early diagnosis enables the selection and delivery of the necessary treatment using personalised drug/mRNA-loaded nanoparticles.

Find out more about the molecular imaging and theranostics laboratory.

We are working to understand the molecular function of cell particles, known as extracellular vesicles, with the goal of identifying new therapeutic approaches.

We use a multi-disciplinary approach to understand the molecular function of extracellular vesicles using advanced proteomics, lipidomics, molecular biology, nanobiotechnology and regenerative cell biology, with the goal of identifying deliverable therapeutic targets and engineered nanoparticles for cell-free therapies, including cardiac protection and repair.

Our laboratory provides advanced high-sensitivity mass spectrometry-based proteomics to understand cardiac physiology and disease, phosphorylation signalling, biomarker discovery, and therapeutic and drug target effect.

We are identifying the genetics of cardiometabolic disorders and ageing.

Our platform enables the characterisation of whole-body metabolism as well as mitochondrial function in cells and tissues. Equipment includes an echoMRI machine which measures body composition (fat and lean mass), facilities to measure metabolic indicators such as oxygen consumption, energy expenditure, physical activity levels and food intake, and a treadmill for exercise capacity testing and training programs.

We specialise in modelling cardiovascular conditions including myocardial infarction (ischaemia with re-perfusion), hypertension and heart failure.

Our platform offers advice, design support and flexible technical services to scientists including microsurgery, echocardiography (non-invasive), hemodynamic assessment to model clinical conditions, and phenotypes these models using clinically-equivalent approaches.

It allows scientists to comprehensively assess heart function in both novel genetic models and diseased conditions in response to pharmaceutical intervention.

Find out more about the preclinical cardiology microsurgery and imaging platform.

La Trobe’s proteomics and metabolomics platform offers a suite of capabilities for the characterisation of proteins and metabolites of interest to academic and industry researchers in the agricultural, health, life, molecular, pharmaceutical, population, and psychological sciences. 

The platform enables the identification and quantitation of biomolecules, from complex mixtures through to metabolomics and small molecule structure determination.

Find out more about the platform.