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Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa

The Hatter Institute of the Department of Medicine and the Cape Heart Centre has two divisions, Heart Protection and Cardiovascular Genetics.

The Heart Protection programme aims to promote the scientific education of young South African researchers and the better understanding of heart attacks and heart failure at a molecular and cellular level, and to prevent the adverse effects of diabetes and coronary disease on the heart muscle.

These are diseases predicted to increase substantially in South Africa within the next decade.

The Cardiovascular Genetics Laboratory aims to discover the genetic basis of inherited heart diseases that cause sudden death. This work involves the study of rare families with monogenic disease (i.e. inherited cardiomyopathies and arrhythmogenic disorders), and the delineation of the genetic architecture of complex traits associated with sudden death (such as cardiac hypertrophy). These studies hold promise in discovering the critical biological pathways that can be targeted by drugs to prevent sudden cardiac death.