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On Sunday 18 June 2023, a team of researchers based at the Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine (IDRM) took on the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) London to Brighton Bike Ride, raising more than £1300 and counting.

Team IDRM at the start of the bike ride L-R: Aaron Johnson, Christophe Ravaud, Jacinta Kalisch-Smith, Sarah De Val, Charmaine Griffiths, Samantha Smallwood, Svanhild Nornes, Allan Griffiths, and Trent Kalisch-Smith

Five Oxford researchers, together with friends and family members, led by BHF Senior Fellow Associate Professor Sarah De Val used pedal power to raise money for BHF-funded research this June.

Associate Professor De Val was joined by her lab member Dr Svanhild Nornes, Prof De Val's friend Samantha Smallwood, Dr Jacinta Kalisch-Smith from the Smart lab, her brother Trent Kalisch-Smith, Dr Christophe Ravaud from the Riley group, DPhil student in Cardiovascular Science Aaron Johnston. They were supported by BHF Chief Executive Charmaine Griffiths and her husband Allan.

Thousands of cyclists of all abilities took part in the annual BHF’s London to Brighton Bike Ride. The 54-mile route starts at Clapham Common, winds through the beautiful Surrey and Sussex countryside and crosses the finishing line on Brighton’s famous seafront.

Prof Sarah De Val said: “The whole team greatly enjoyed the experience to cycle in such an iconic event, and appreciated all the support along the way from members of the public. We have raised nearly £1400 so far and our fundraising page is still open. Team IDRM will be back so please do get in contact if you would like to join us next year.”

Dr Jacinta Kalisch Smith said: "This was my second BHF London to Brighton ride, and it was great fun and still a real challenge. We had friends and family join us this time, my brother riding with me, which made it extra special."

Dr Christophe Ravaud said: "The ride was great and we all enjoyed it! I would definitely recommend people to do it next year, as it is a fun, though challenging, event. A big thank you as well to all our donators, we have exceeded our target, which makes this event even more memorable!"

Aaron Johnston said: "It was my first time doing the London-Brighton ride and it was a fantastic event from start to finish. I’ll definitely be back next year to retackle Ditchling Beacon! As a BHF-funded DPhil student, I visited nearly all the BHF-funded groups in Oxford this year and I was learn about many of the amazing projects the Foundation funds. Thus, I am delighted we exceeded our fundraising target of £1000 and I am extremely grateful to everyone who donated!"

To support the team and donate to the British Heart Foundation, visit the Team's page on JustGiving.

 L-R: Allan Griffiths, Svanhild Nornes, Christophe Ravaud, Sarah De Val, Aaron Johnston, and Samantha Smallwood

The Department is saddened to learn of the passing of David Cooper during the Bike Ride, and joins the BHF in sending our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones. More information and a tribute to the deceased can be found on the BHF website.

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