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Professor Martin Bennett

Professor Martin Bennett

BHF Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences

Mechanisms underlying atherosclerosis

Intravascular imaging techniques

Office Phone: 01223 746298

Departments and Institutes

NIHR Cambridge BRC:
Honorary Consultant
Cardiovascular Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC):
BHF Oxbridge Centre of Regenerative Medicine:
Department of Medicine:
Head of Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
BHF Cambridge Centre of Excellence:
Cardiovascular Biology Theme Lead

Research Interests

We use both human and mouse cells in vitro and models of atherosclerosis with genetic manipulation to study the role of specific gene products or cells in atherosclerosis. In particular, we have developed unique cell-type ablation systems to analyse the role of specific cells in vivo. Recent work has focussed on the protective mechanisms that ensure survival in VSMCs, and their defects in disease as well as the triggers for VSMC apoptosis and cell senescence. We have also identified novel mechanisms of regulating cell death receptors in vascular cells and how cell: cell interactions govern cell death.

Our clinical studies have used radiofrequency (virtual histology) intravascular ultrasound and computed tomography to determine the types and composition of plaques that determine patient presentation and future events, and are refining these techniques to examine vulnerable plaque characteristics. Our recent work with engineering has examined the mechanical properties of vulnerable plaques, and whether they predict plaque rupture.


cell biology ; senescence ; apoptosis ; atherosclerosis ; biophysical modelling ; intravascular imaging ; cardiometabolic disease

Key Publications

Please follow the link to PubMed for a full list of publications.

Vascular smooth muscle cell death, autophagy and senescence in atherosclerosis. Grootaert MOJ, Moulis M, Roth L, Martinet W, Vindis C, Bennett MR, De Meyer GRY. Cardiovasc Res. 2018 Jan 18. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvy007.

Prediction of postpercutaneous coronary intervention myocardial infarction: insights from intravascular imaging, coronary flow, and biomarker evaluation. Hoole SP, Hernández-Sánchez J, Brown AJ, Giblett JP, Bennett MR, West NEJ. Coron Artery Dis. 2017 Nov 6.

Coronary CT angiography features of ruptured and high-risk atherosclerotic plaques: Correlation with intra-vascular ultrasound. Obaid DR, Calvert PA, Brown A, Gopalan D, West NEJ, Rudd JHF, Bennett MR. J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr. 2017 Nov;11(6):455-461.

Anatomical plaque and vessel characteristics are associated with hemodynamic indices including fractional flow reserve and coronary flow reserve: A prospective exploratory intravascular ultrasound analysis. Brown AJ, Giblett JP, Bennett MR, West NEJ, Hoole SP. Int J Cardiol. 2017 Dec 1;248:92-96.

Plaque Rupture in Coronary Atherosclerosis Is Associated With Increased Plaque Structural Stress. Costopoulos C, Huang Y, Brown AJ, Calvert PA, Hoole SP, West NEJ, Gillard JH, Teng Z, Bennett MR. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2017 Dec;10(12):1472-1483.

Detection of Atherosclerotic Inflammation by 68Ga-DOTATATE PET Compared to [18F]FDG PET Imaging. Tarkin JM, Joshi FR, Evans NR, Chowdhury MM, Figg NL, Shah AV, Starks LT, Martin-Garrido A, Manavaki R, Yu E, Kuc RE, Grassi L, Kreuzhuber R, Kostadima MA, Frontini M, Kirkpatrick PJ, Coughlin PA, Gopalan D, Fryer TD, Buscombe JR, Groves AM, Ouwehand WH, Bennett MR, Warburton EA, Davenport AP, Rudd JH. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017 Apr 11;69(14):1774-1791.

Impact of Fiber Structure on the Material Stability and Rupture Mechanisms of Coronary Atherosclerotic Plaques. Douglas GR, Brown AJ, Gillard JH, Bennett MR, Sutcliffe MPF, Teng Z. Ann Biomed Eng. 2017 Jun;45(6):1462-1474.

DNA damage-dependent mechanisms of ageing and disease in the macro- and microvasculature. Shah AV, Bennett MR. Eur J Pharmacol. 2017 Dec 5;816:116-128.

Extensive Proliferation of a Subset of Differentiated, yet Plastic, Medial Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells Contributes to Neointimal Formation in Mouse Injury and Atherosclerosis Models. Chappell J, Harman JL, Narasimhan VM, Yu H, Foote K, Simons BD, Bennett MR, Jørgensen HF. Circ Res. 2016 Dec 9;119(12):1313-1323.

Plaque Structural Stress Estimations Improve Prediction of Future Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events After Intracoronary Imaging. Brown AJ, Teng Z, Calvert PA, Rajani NK, Hennessy O, Nerlekar N, Obaid DR, Costopoulos C, Huang Y, Hoole SP, Goddard M, West NE, Gillard JH, Bennett MR. Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2016 Jun;9(6).

Embryological Origin of Human Smooth Muscle Cells Influences Their Ability to Support Endothelial Network Formation. Bargehr J, Low L, Cheung C, Bernard WG, Iyer D, Bennett MR, Gambardella L, Sinha S. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2016 Jul;5(7):946-59.

Geographical miss is associated with vulnerable plaque and increased major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with myocardial infarction. Calvert PA, Brown AJ, Hoole SP, Obaid DR, West NE, Bennett MR. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2016 Sep;88(3):340-7.

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