Cardiovascular

Professor Nick Morrell

Cardiovascular disease including hypertension, heart failure and heart attack, and cerebrovascular disease (including stroke) remain the leading causes of death in Europe and reduce the quality of life for many.

Research in this area has expanded our understanding of the basic elements of cardiovascular development, physiology, pathology and pharmacology and, with this knowledge, it has been possible to establish new approaches to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease.

The cardiovascular theme aims to drive translational and experimental medicine programmes in cardiovascular disease affecting the systemic and pulmonary circulations. Specifically the cardiovascular research programme in Cambridge aims to -

  • Understand the genetic and phenotypic diversity of patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary vascular disease to allow risk stratification and enable the development of patient-specific therapies. These studies will include large scale epidemiology of international cohorts at risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as rare but important cardiovascular conditions such as pulmonary arterial hypertension and bleeding disorders.
  • Identify clinically relevant biomarkers of cardiovascular and pulmonary vascular disease using blood samples, tissues and state-of-the art imaging.
  • Develop novel imaging techniques to i) prospectively identify vulnerable arterial plaques to prevent stroke and myocardial infarction, ii) identify aortic aneurysms at risk of rupture, and iii) non-invasively monitor response to experimental medicine interventions.
  • Identify new targets for drug therapy and translate these into novel treatments or prevention strategies for patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary vascular disease to improve patient symptoms, quality of life and survival. These studies will include the use of patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells to model human disease and provide a platform for drug discovery.

Research in Cambridge is spread across multiple sites, with invasive and some non-invasive research performed at Papworth Hospital, and non-invasive, preclinical and basic research performed at Cambridge University Hospitals/Cambridge University. We are particularly keen to emphasise the participation of both basic scientists and clinicians to foster the transmission of new scientific findings into clinical practice.

Professor Nick Morrell