World renowned professor receives cardiovascular leadership grant

Professor Jason Kovacic has received a $2.5m cardiovascular research leadership grant which will see him relocate to UNSW Sydney and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.

Jason Kovacic

Professor Jason Kovacic.

NSW Health has announced that Professor Jason Kovacic will receive a cardiovascular leadership grant of $500,000 per annum over five years. The grant forms part of the NSW Government’s $150 million investment over 10 years into cardiovascular research.

The funding will see Professor Kovacic relocate from New York to take up the inaugural position of the Robert Graham Professor of Cardiovascular Research at UNSW Sydney and Executive Director of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (VCCRI).

“I am thrilled to have received this visionary NSW Health award. In normal circumstances relocating back to Australia from the United States would have set my research, and my career, back several years. Over the past decade I have been fortunate to have secured a steady stream of funding from the US National Institutes of Health. Abandoning that and moving to Australia without any source of funding is not a logical career move,” Professor Kovacic said.

“This grant ensures I will have five years of secure funding to re-establish my research program in New South Wales. I am very excited by this prospect and after 13 years in the United States my family and I are really looking forward to returning home! I am most grateful to NSW Health for having given me this opportunity."

Professor Kovacic trained as a cardiologist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney and completed a PhD in cardiovascular medicine at the VCCRI in 2007. He subsequently moved to the United States to undertake postdoctoral studies at the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Bethesda Maryland, and then on to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York where he is Professor of Medicine and Acting Director of the Mount Sinai Cardiovascular Research Centre.

The long-term goal of Professor Kovacic’s research is to further improve the understanding, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease.

UNSW Dean of Medicine Professor Vlado Perkovic said: “We are thrilled to welcome Professor Kovacic back to UNSW Medicine. I have no doubt that he will have an important impact on cardiovascular health research in Australia.”