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Cambridge Heart & Lung Research Institute

The University of Cambridge is raising funds to build a dedicated Heart & Lung Institute in partnership with Papworth Hospital on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. This initiative has been catalysed by the relocation of Papworth Hospital and AstraZeneca global headquarters and R&D facilities, and will enable a major expansion of cardiovascular and respiratory research in Cambridge.

Diseases of the heart and lung are some of the biggest killers worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease causes nearly 18 million deaths per year, mostly due to heart attacks and stroke, with respiratory disease ranking just behind. Despite a growing awareness of risk factors, such as smoking and poor diet, the prevalence of such diseases is increasing.

Cardio-respiratory research has seen significant growth in Cambridge over the past 20 years with an expansion in professorships and senior research fellowships. The Institute will allow for further expansion of basic and clinical research capacity, with 40% new recruitment over and above existing staff levels. It will also enable the co-location of existing research groups that are currently dispersed across Cambridge.

The Institute's research portfolio will be partly drawn from existing groups within the University of Cambridge and Papworth Hospital. However, the Institute also offers an opportunity for a major strategic realignment of cardio-respiratory science. The new Institute’s scientific vision has been organised under six research themes:

As well as focusing on achieving a better understanding of the basis of cardio-respiratory disease and its treatment, research at the Institute will be increasingly directed towards prevention and the interplay between genetics and lifestyle.

Clinical trials will also be a critical part of the research process, and the Institute will open a new Clinical Research Facility complementing existing facilities by the University and Papworth Hospital. For many relevant conditions, Papworth Hospital is the largest referral centre in the UK, and new treatment strategies will benefit from close ties between the Hospital and the University of Cambridge.

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