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Awardees : Left to right Dr Sarah De Val (BHF Senior Fellow), Dr Duncan Sparrow (BHF Senior Fellow), Associate Professor Pawel Swietach (BHF Programme Director), BHF Professor Paul Riley, Director of Regenerative Medicine Centre, Professor Manuela Zaccolo (BHF Programme Director & Director of Cardiac Centre), Dr Lisa Heather (BHF Intermediate Fellow),  Dr Samira Lakhal-Littleton (BHF Intermediate Fellow) & Professor David Paterson (BHF Programme Director & Head of Department).  

The British Heart Foundation has awarded a total of £7.6 million to research programmes at the world-leading Burdon Sanderson Cardiac Science Centre in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics. Grants awarded recently include:

BHF Senior Basic Science Research Fellowships to Dr Sarah De Val and Dr Duncan Sparrow;

Dr De Val’s research is concerned with regulatory pathways during heart development and regeneration, while Dr Sparrow will investigate genetic and environmental causes of congenital heart disease.

A BHF Intermediate Basic Science Research Fellowship to Dr Lisa Heather and an extension of her current Intermediate Fellowship to Dr Samira Lakhal-Littleton;

Dr Heather’s fellowship will enable her to research the type 2 diabetic heart, and Dr Lakhal-Littleton will be able to follow up some exciting results on iron homeostasis in the heart.

BHF Programme Grants to Professor Manuela Zaccolo and Professor David Paterson;

Professor Zaccolo’s research into the cardiac response to stress and Professor Paterson’s investigation of cardiac sympathetic neurons in heart disease may lead to the identification of novel therapeutic targets.

The renewal of the Oxbridge BHF Centre for Regenerative Medicine, led by Professor Paul Riley. 

Professor Riley’s award is an acknowledgement of the success of the Oxbridge BHF CRM which brings together 26 world leading basic and translational research groups (13 based in Oxford, 12 based in Cambridge, and 1 based in Bristol). 

This multidisciplinary centre combines significant expertise in cardiovascular repair and regeneration (Oxford), wound healing (Bristol), with a major focus on stem cells (ESCs and iPSCs) and genetics in the context of regeneration (Cambridge).

The BHF investment highlights the excellent quality of research, at the forefront of cardiac science today, which is carried out at the Burdon Sanderson Cardiac Science Centre. Embedded in the Oxford Cardiovascular Science network, we are grateful to the BHF Centre for Research Excellence, led by Professor Hugh Watkins, for start-up funding which enabled some of our awards.

Professor David Paterson, Head of the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, commented: ‘Cardiac science is one of the main research themes in the Department, and this current funding is testament to the quality of the work undertaken by the 90 scientists in the Burdon Sanderson Cardiac Science Centre’.

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