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The BHF Big Beat Challenge

last modified Jan 29, 2020 12:16 PM
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has announced its shortlist of four research projects competing for a £30m reward as part of its Big Beat Challenge. International, multi-disciplinary groups of researchers were asked to identify and propose a transformational solution to a significant problem in any heart or circulatory disease. The iMAP team led by Professor Ziad Mallat at the University of Cambridge (UK) has competed with 75 other applicants and is one of four international teams that have been invited to submit a full application.

The Big Beat Challenge is a global competition that will culminate in a single research award of up to £30 million. The BHF challenged researchers to form international, multi-disciplinary teams and identify and propose transformative solutions to significant problems in heart and circulatory diseases, with a clear route to patient benefit.

Four international teams have now been invited to submit full applications with the hope of winning the £30 million funding award from the BHF including-


The iMAP team’s goal is to understand how the immune system drives the formation of fatty plaques that result in atherosclerosis. iMAP will utilise cutting-edge technologies pioneered by the Human Cell Atlas consortium (Sarah Teichmann, Wellcome Sanger Institute) to understand the composition of the plaque by building a 3D ‘google map’ of its cellular composition. This atlas of the plaque will enable the team to gain unprecedented insights into mechanisms that govern the health of the human artery.  The project proposes a radical approach to curb the global burden of cardiovascular disease by disease prevention and treatments that include immunotherapy and vaccination.



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