With your help, we can protect the hearts of the women you love

Young, healthy women are having SCAD heart attacks and most have no idea they are at risk.

Spontaenous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD) is the leading cause of heart attack in women under 50, but it has none of the common warning signs of a traditional heart attack, such as high cholesterol.

With your gift today, we can help protect these women.

SCAD: The heart-stopping condition that is killing women

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Donate to heart research

will allow us to purchase essential lab chemicals for our SCAD research
will allow us to conduct experiments that will uncover the causes of SCAD
will help us to understand which cells have ‘turned on’ important genes that cause SCAD

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It never occurred to Lana that she was suffering a SCAD attack

Mum of twins Lana was 51-years-old, healthy, and active when she suffered a SCAD attack. 

Lana was out for lunch with a friend when a terrible pain spread across her shoulders and arms. She dismissed it as muscular, but when it got worse Lana’s friend insisted they call an ambulance.

It’s lucky she did because paramedics told Lana they believed she was having a heart attack and rushed her to hospital.

But this wasn’t your standard heart attack. It was a SCAD heart attack.

Most people wouldn’t have heard of SCAD before their diagnosis. But when Lana heard the word SCAD she was in total disbelief.

You see, Lana already knew someone who had suffered a SCAD attack – her sister.

20 years earlier, SCAD had threatened to take her big sister’s life, and now Lana had it too.

Thankfully, Lana made a full recovery and has become the first Australian patient to join the iSCAD registry – a collaboration of researchers and patients working together to beat SCAD.

Lana is determined to find a way to prevent other women, including her loved ones, from experiencing what she did.  

"I want to do everything I can to get answers so my nieces, my sons, and their future families are protected from this awful disease which hits without warning.” - Lana, SCAD survivor. 

What is SCAD?

The Institute’s Professor Bob Graham, cardiologist and SCAD researcher, explains the condition striking women down in the prime of their life.

SCAD research at Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute

Here at the Institute, we are at an exciting stage in SCAD research that could help protect women’s hearts.
When you donate to the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, you are powering life-saving research projects. 

Your gift today will help fund...



PHACTR1 is the first gene linked to SCAD. Research into this gene could pave the way for new targeted SCAD therapies to improve survival rates.

SCAD genetic database infographic

SCAD Genetic Database 

Our genetic study has enrolled 500 SCAD patients. The study aims to understand why SCAD is so likely to reoccur and to find a targeted treatment.

International Collaboration

International collaboration

As part of a global effort, the Institute has identified at least 16 genes associated with SCAD, significantly increasing our understanding of the causes of this potentially-deadly cardiac condition.


The Institute has become the first research group outside of the US to join the iSCAD registry – an international collaboration of researchers and patients working together to beat SCAD.