Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in New Zealand, necessitating new biological markers that will aid in earlier diagnosis, treatment or prognosis. Recently, a potential source of these markers has arisen from what was previously thought of as ‘junk DNA’ but has now been found to produce functional proteins. This project will explore one such protein, myoregulin, which controls calcium levels in muscle cells. Stabilising calcium levels in the heart is important for normal heart functioning, thus, myoregulin may be an important regulator of heart function. We will measure levels of myoregulin to see if it is altered in patients with cardiovascular disease and whether it can be used as a biological marker to aid diagnosis or prognosis. This work will be the first to show that “junk DNA” can produce functional proteins that can be used as risk assessment tools for cardiovascular disease, ultimately improving patient care.