“If we stop sowing seeds today where will the crops come from tomorrow?”

Prof Ben Hogan, Dept of Anatomy and Physiology, has joined international experts to highlight the importance of funding basic research in the latest edition of Nature Cardiovascular Research.

Ben heads up the Hogan Lab in the Department of Anatomy & Physiology and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and says support for fundamental research has been in decline over the past couple of decades.

In the latest edition of Nature Cardiovascular Research journal, Ben and his co-authors from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of South Australia, discuss the key role fundamental research has played in developing new knowledge that has led to changes in medicine and clinical practice.

Fundamental discovery science has driven innovation and outcomes in cardiovascular medicine for decades, yet funding support in Australia has decreased 23 percent overall between 1992 and 2018.

Today,  the way physicians treat patients with cardiovascular disease is a direct result of the extensive knowledge gained through fundamental research that spanned generations of researchers the experts said.

The many risks in emphasising short term translational goals above a balanced discovery and translation research agenda are outlined in the article.

Not funding the entire research pipeline from discovery science to clinical translation may have long term costs in the health space.

“We need fundamental research to provide the seeds for the next major crop to bring about new knowledge and changes to medicine," Ben and co-authors said.

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