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Barbara Casadei


British Heart Foundation (BHF) Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine

  • Past President of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC, 2018-2020)
  • Steering Committee Member of the Oxford BHF Centre of Research Excellence (2013 - )
  • Lead, Cardiovascular Theme Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (2016 - )
  • Honorary Consultant Cardiologist (1995 - )

Translational cardiology: From target discovery to clinical trials

Barbara Casadei is a British Heart Foundation (BHF) Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine (2012 - ) at the University of Oxford and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust where she leads the Cardiovascular Theme of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre and is Steering Committee Member of the BHF Centre for Research Excellence.

After graduating in Medicine (cum Laude Medaglia Teresiana) at the University of Pavia in Italy, Barbara went on to a tenure-track training post in the University Department of Medicine in Varese, Italy at which point she moved to Oxford to further her clinical and research training. She was awarded the Joan and Richard Doll Fellowship at Green College, Oxford in 1991, a DPhil (PhD) in Cardiovascular Medicine (Pembroke College) in 1995, and a BHF Senior Research Fellowship in 2001. She is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians since 2001 and a Professor in Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Oxford since 2006.

She was awarded a BHF Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine in 2012, which she still holds, was elected to the Fellowship of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) in 2013 and selected as a NIHR Senior Investigator in 2023.

She holds the highest honour of the British Cardiovascular Society (The Mackenzie Medal) and of the European Society of Cardiology (Gold Medal), and is Past President of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC, 2018-20). Barbara is the founder of EuroHeart, an initiative supporting the assessment and improvement of quality of cardiovascular care in Europe, the Cardiovascular Patient Forum, and the Women in the ESC (WinESC).

She is currently member of several Scientific Advisory/Funding Boards (eg Fondation Leducq; Netherland Heart Institute; German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK); Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine) and Editorial Boards (eg Cardiovascular Research; Circulation; European Heart Journal; Circulation Research), and has delivered numerous named lectures including, The William Harvey Lecture on Basic Science and Silver Medal of the ESC, 2013; The Thomas Lewis Lecture and Silver Medal of the British Cardiovascular Society, 2014; The William H Gaasch Lecture, University of Massachusetts, 2017; The Michael Sole Lecture, University of Toronto, 2019; The 4th Annual Gootter Foundation Lecture, Stanford University, US; The Robert Reneman Lecture, University of Maastricht, NL, the Roman W. DeSanctis Lecture and Visiting Professorship, Harvard Medical School, US in 2021; the ISHR Keith Reimer Distinguished Lecture in 2022; and the Gustav Nylin Lecture and Medal of the Swedish Cardiac Society in 2023. She is the recipient of the 2022 Lucian Award from McGill University, Canada

Barbara is a passionate supporter of the career of women in science, both locally and within the ESC, placing a lot of effort on establishing initiatives aimed at supporting the career of young clinicians and scientists across Europe. She takes huge pride in the successes of  her younger collaborators (who have won many prizes in basic as well as translational and clinical science; i.e., 23 awards in the last 10 years), several of whom are now independent investigators and professors in the UK and abroad. 

Research Summary: Barbara's research focus is on understanding the cellular triggers and substrates of common cardiovascular diseases, such as heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Her research programme links cell-based studies in human heart tissue to animal models of human diseases and patient-based investigations. This has proved to be an efficient way of testing hypotheses and identifying new disease mechanisms which can then be targeted therapeutically in clinical trials. 

Barbara is also the PI of a large study within UK Biobank that addresses other pressing issues related to the identification, risk stratification, and management of people with asymptomatic arrhythmia in the general population (funded by the British Heart Foundation).

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