In 2014, The British Heart Foundation (BHF) awarded the £3,000,000 to establish a Centre for Cardiovascular Research Excellence (CRE). The Centre is led by Prof , and brings together leading investigators across multiple Departments and affiliated Institutes.
The Centre runs for five years (2014-2019) in the first instance. It provides a focus for Cardiovascular Sciences and strengthens links between existing research groups through funding for studentships, fellowships, and pilot projects. It also supports the integration of research groups within the planned Cambridge Heart and Lung Research Institute (HLRI), for which the fundraising started in 2015.
The overarching scientific objective of the Centre is to advance understanding of pathobiology, diagnosis, prevention and therapy of selected common and rare cardiovascular conditions by applying our combined expertise in generating assumption-free approaches.
Our specific objectives are:
- To define and validate the mechanistic basis of cardiovascular disease by integrating discoveries in population sciences and functional genomics with laboratory based cardiovascular biology.
- To advance prevention through gaining understanding of gene-environment interactions, and the identification of informative genetic and other robust biomarkers, elucidated in cell and animal models of disease.
- To develop novel approaches to cardiovascular diagnostics, including genetics, through to advanced imaging in animal models and patients, and by linking chemists and physicists with the expertise of laboratory and clinical scientists.
- To catalyse the development of new experimental therapeutics in atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and pulmonary and systemic hypertension by integrating the expertise of clinical scientists, population scientists and clinical trialists with new insights derived from stem cell technology, computational and structural biology, medicinal chemistry, and pharmacology.
The Centre is led by a Steering group representing the main research themes:
- Prof Nick Morrell
- Prof Ziad Mallat
- Prof Willem Ouwehand
- Prof Nicole Soranzo
- Prof Toni Vidal-Puig
- Prof Ian Wilkinson
The Centre has appointed a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) to give it guidance and feedback. The SAB consists of:
- Prof Calum MacRae (Harvard University)
- Prof Dan Rader (University of Pennsylvania)
- Prof Peter Weissberg (retired, formerly BHF Medical Director)
- Prof Martin Wilkins (Imperial College London)