We look at whole life from in utero to the elderly, with a shared aim of:
- understanding pathogenesis
- decreasing prevalence
- improving management
Our research work encompasses three principal areas of investigation into the impact and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
These principle areas are:
Congenital cardiovascular malformations (CVMs) are among the most common birth defects. They occur in almost 1% of live births.
We use mouse/zebrafish models to look at genes and physical forces in cardiovascular development. This is with particular focus on the role of Wnt, Rho, Tbx1, Pax9 and TGFbeta pathways.
We conduct human genetics studies in large cohorts of families affected by CVM. This identifies genetic and genomic variants that contribute to disease risk.
We use understanding of cardiovascular development and genetics to inform regenerative medicine strategies.
Ageing is the principal risk for major cardiovascular causes of morbidity and mortality. These include hypertension and coronary heart disease (CHD).
We assess how ageing of immune systems and telomeres (the ends of chromosomes) affects susceptibility to CHD.
We use clinical MRI to investigate age-related changes in cardiac function and energetics.
We use genome-wide association studies (GWAS). These identify genes associated with increased risk of hypertension and coronary artery disease.
Our goal is to discover biomarkers that predict cardiovascular outcomes. We want to find new therapeutic targets to ease detrimental effects of cardiovascular ageing.
Repair and regenerationRepair and regeneration
With an ageing population, the prevalence of heart failure has increased.
We treat suitable patients with left ventricular assist devices. These act as a bridge to transplantation or in certain cases can help recovery.
The heart has limited repair potential. There is an immense challenge to develop effective heart repair therapies.
We need different approaches depending on the stage of disease. Our team explore ways of repairing the heart and improving heart function.
We use complementary approaches in mouse and zebrafish models.
We aim to promote vascular regeneration at an early stage of myocardial ischaemia. We want to develop interventions to activate resident cardiac stem cells during disease.
Analysis of resident stem cells in human heart tissues supports this work.
Patients with familial muscle myopathies are also at high risk of cardiomyopthy. We are using mouse models to investigate suitable therapies.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSc) provide an important patient-specific cellular model. This is for investigating familial cardiomyopathies and for developing vascular regeneration therapy.
For more details of our research work, please visit the Cardiovascular Research Centre website.
Dr Lyle Armstong - modelling cardiac developmental disease with pluripotent stem cells
Dr Helen Arthur - role of TGFB receptors in cardiovascular development and disease
Dr Simon Bamforth - genetics of cardiovascular development
Dr Bill Chaudhry - physical and genetic aspects of cardiac morphogenesis
Professor Deborah Henderson - morphogenetics of heart development
Dr Gavin Richardson - myocardial revitalisation
Professor Majlinda Lako - pluripotent stem cell biology and differentiation
Dr Guy MacGowan - MR studies of age-related changes in cardiac function and energetics, cardiomyopathy and heart failure
Dr Annette Meeson - stem cells in cardiac development and regeneration
Dr Andrew Owens - the identification of native cardiac stem cells and their role in development and disease
Dr Helen Phillips - role of rho kinase in ventricular development and adult heart disease
Professor Ioakim Spyridopoulos - finding how ageing of stem cells and the immune system affect cardiovascular disease