Skip to main content

Understanding the increased risk of heart disease faced by premature babies and their mothers, how heart valve disease progresses from mild to severe symptoms, and exploring heart failure disparities for Māori and Pacific people are just three of the projects awarded funding this year by the Heart Foundation. Read the stories below to find out more about the life-saving research this year's recipients are undertaking. 

Specialist neonatal paediatrician Dr Sarah Harris standing in front of an incubator.

A cry for change

Specialist neonatal paediatrician Dr Sarah Harris will continue her research efforts to explore the relationship between premature birth and the heart health of mother and baby later in life.

A growing body of evidence suggests that adults who were born prematurely, and mothers who give birth to a premature baby, are at increased risk of heart disease. 

Supporting emerging talent

Matthew Moore, Samuel James and Ceridwyn Jones are three New Zealand PhD students awarded Heart Foundation Postgraduate Scholarships to further their studies in heart disease.

Their research investigates potential treatments for aortic valve disease, diabetic heart disease and heart attack.

Matthew Moore is a PhD student at the Department of Medicine, Otago University. Matthew is the recipient of a 2022 Postgraduate scholarship grant from the Heart Foundation to further his research on aortic valve disease.

Cardiac Cath Lab nurse, Maxine Rhodes, was awarded the Nurse Practitioner Training Fellowship 2022 by the Heart Foundation.

Investing in cardiac nurses

Cardiac Cath Lab nurse, Maxine Rhodes, is set to undertake her Master of Nursing with Ara Institute of Canterbury, thanks to a Nurse Practitioner Training Fellowship awarded by the Heart Foundation.

Maxine has worked in cardiology for 27 years in New Zealand, the UK and Canada. She says heart disease has such a profound impact on patients and their whānau.

Supporting kaupapa Māori research

This year’s Heart Foundation Māori Fellowship recipient, Anita Rangitutia (Ngāti Haua, Tainui) is investigating how a clinical exercise rehabilitation programme can improve heart health equity.

Anita is seeking to understand how whānau, who have or are at high risk of heart disease, modify their behaviour when participating in a Kaupapa Māori programme.

Anita Rangitutia is a cardiac nurse who was awarded the 2022 Nurse Practitioner Training Fellowship grant from the Heart Foundation to undertake her Master of Nursing degree.