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BHF Centre of Research Excellence


Since 2008, the University of Oxford has been awarded £14.4 million from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to establish a Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) to enable further research into cardiovascular disease, which is the UK's biggest killer. There have been two awards, one for £8.4m over 6 years (2008 to 2014), and a further £6m over 5 years, beginning April 2014.

The Centre Director is Prof Hugh Watkins.

The BHF CRE in Oxford brings together over 60 world leading clinical and laboratory researchers, based in Departments and Centres across the University of Oxford. Their research spans diverse areas and covers the translational research spectrum, from basic to clinical research.

“The BHF Centre of Research Excellence award provides a wonderfully flexible funding framework for current and future leaders in cardiovascular science.  We are very proud of the achievements made possible through the first CRE award, and excited about the greater leaps forward we can make with our renewed funding.  The opportunities to launch innovative projects which allow researchers to test out early stage ideas, the development of state of the art infrastructure and the training opportunities for our cardiovascular leaders of the future all make for a high quality, buzzing research environment across Oxford” Prof Hugh Watkins

Aims of the CRE

  • To develop an unrivalled research training programme and attract the most talented researchers who will become the next generation of world leading cardiovascular researchers.
  • To carry out ambitious, innovative and ground breaking research into cardiovascular disease.
  • To cultivate research collaborations between cardiovascular researchers and other researchers, such as engineers, chemists, mathematicians and computer scientists, so as to gain new insights and develop novel approaches that will increase our understanding of cardiovascular disease and help develop ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat the disease.

BHF Centres of Research Excellence

There are 6 BHF Centres of Research Excellence in the UK: