Heart disease researchers at UCL awarded £3 million

Researchers at the UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science will receive £3 million over the next five years from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) as part of the charity’s Research Excellence Awards funding scheme.

The new Centre of Research Excellence at UCL will enable cutting-edge research, innovative teaching and training, forward-looking policy development and advocacy with and for patients.

The centre will transform lives by trialling new treatments for rare diseases and cardiac arrythmia, delivering a simulation lab and robotics programme to develop devices for congenital and structural heart disorders, and enabling research to better understand ethnic differences in cardiovascular health.

Professor Perry Elliott, Head of the UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science, said: "The award of a Centre of Research Excellence represents a landmark in our long-standing relationship with the BHF and is a substantial boost to our ambitions for cardiovascular science at UCL.

"The centre builds on an established track record of transformative science and benefits from a strategic network comprising three NIHR Biomedical Research Centres, the UCL Partners Academic Health Sciences Network, Barts Heart Centre, Royal Free Hospital, UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

"Over the next five years, we will use our Centre of Research Excellence to create a new diverse multidisciplinary workforce who will focus on transforming lives through innovation in therapeutics and targeted prevention.

The funding aims to support universities to cultivate world-class research environments that encourage collaboration, inclusion and innovation, and where visionary scientists can drive lifesaving breakthroughs.

The awards are part of a £35 million boost to UK cardiovascular disease research, supporting the Government’s ambition for the UK to become a science superpower. King’s College London and Imperial College London also received funding.

Professor Bryan Williams, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer at the British Heart Foundation, also a UCL professor of medicine and honorary consultant physician at UCLH, said: "We’re delighted to continue to support research at these three outstanding institutions to address the biggest challenges in cardiovascular disease. This funding recognises the incredible work happening in London and will help to cement its status as a leading destination for cardiovascular disease research.

"With generous donations from our supporters, this funding will power cutting-edge science and unlock lifesaving discoveries that can turn the tide on the devastation caused by heart and circulatory diseases."

Research Excellence Awards offer researchers greater flexibility than traditional research funding, allowing scientists to quickly launch ambitious projects that can act as a springboard for larger, transformative funding applications.

The funding also aims to break down the silos that have traditionally existed in research, encouraging collaboration between experts from diverse fields. From clinicians to data scientists, biologists to engineers, the funding will support universities to attract the brightest minds, nurture new talent and foster collaboration to tackle the biggest questions in heart and circulatory disease research.

    Mark Greaves

    T: +44 (0)7990 675947

    E: m.greaves [at] ucl.ac.uk
  • University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT (0) 20 7679 2000