Dr Andrew Owens
Reader in Cardiothoracic Surgery
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: 0191 241 8859
- Fax: 0191 241 8666
- Address: Institute of Genetic Medicine
International Centre for Life
Newcastle upon Tyne
I am a Principal Investigator in cardiovascular sciences, based at the Institute of Genetic Medicine, and have a cardiac surgical practice that focusses on surgery of the aortic valve and aorta. My research interests include cardiac regeneration and fibrosis, the mechanisms underlying thoracic aortic aneurysms and, in the clinical field, minimally invasive cardiac surgery and aortic valve surgery.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Reader in Cardiac Surgery, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University.
- Honorary Consultant Cardiac Surgeon, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
- Director of Research and Development, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
MB BCh BAO(Hons), MD, FRCS, FRCSI, FRCS(CTh)
Honours and Awards
- Hunterian Professor, Royal College of Surgeons of England
- McCormack Medal, Intercollegiate Board in Cardiothoracic Surgery
- National Heart Foundation of Australia Postgraduate Medical Research Scholarship
- Royal College of Surgeons Research Fellowship
- HJ Windsor Prize, Royal College of Surgeons of England
- Sinclair Medal for Surgery, Queen's University, Belfast
International Advisory Board, Heart Journal.
Elected trustee member to the Executive Committee, Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland.
Until recently the adult mammalian heart was considered to be a post-mitotic organ, lacking native stem cells and incapable of self-repair. This view is being increasingly challenged, and a number of groups have isolated populations of putative cardiac stem cells and/or demonstrated evidence of cardiomycoyte replication.
We have used the expression of telomerase, an enzyme that maintains the ends of telomeres in dividing cells, protecting them from long-term senescence, to test the hypothesis that native cardiac stem cells can be identified by telomerase expression, thereby identifying them using a functional, rather than antigenic, marker.
The numbers of telomerase expressing cells present in the heart appears to decrease with age and very few are found in the adult mammalian heart, but we have observed the appearance of increased numbers in the heart muscle surrounding areas of damage or at times of increased growth. We are now exploring their role in myocardial disease and regeneration.
More recently we have, in collaboration with the Neuromuscular Research group at the Institute of Genetic Medicine, demonstrated cardiac regeneration in models of cardiomypoathy and are currently undertaking work, funded by the BHF, to explore this further.
Almost all cardiac disease is associated with some degree of abnormal cardiac fibrosis, the presence and degree of fibrosis often given an indirect indication of the severity of the underlying condition, correlating with symptoms and prognosis and in some conditions influencing the likelihood of successful treatments. In collaboration with the Fibrosis Group at the Institute of Cellular Medicine, we are investigating the signalling pathways underlying cardiac fibrosis, with a focus on serotonergic signalling.
Aortic valve surgery
Open heart surgery to replace the aortic valve is one of the most frequently performed cardiac surgical procedures. It is usually performed through a median sternotomy incision, which involves division of the entire breast bone. More recently a procedure has been developed to perform this through a smaller incision, limited to the manubrium (the upper part of the breast bone). Early results have suggested that patients undergoing the surgery through the smaller incisions have reduced blood loss and a reduced need for blood transfusion. We are now undertaking an NIHR-funded research project (MAVRIC) randomising patients to either conventional or manubrium-limited sternotomy to compare blood loss, transfusion requirements and speed of recovery from surgery.
- Richardson GD, Laval S, Owens WA. Cardiomyocyte regeneration in the mdx mouse model of non-ischemic cardiomyopathy. Stem Cells and Development 2015, 24(14), 1672-1679.
- Martin RIR, Owens WA, Cunnington MS, Mayosi BM, Koref MS, Keavney BD. Chromosome 16q22 variants in a region associated with cardiovascular phenotypes correlate with ZFHX3 expression in a transcript-specific manner. BMC Genetics 2014, 15, 136.
- Meeson A, Fuller A, Breault D, Owens W, Richardson G. Optimised Protocols for the Identification of the Murine Cardiac Side Population. Stem Cell Reviews and Reports 2013, 9(5), 731-739.
- Nelson KE, Bates MA, Turley AJ, Linker NJ, Owens WA. Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Left Ventricular Pacing in Patients With and Without Previous Sternotomy. Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2013, 95(3), 907-913.
- Richardson GD, Breault D, Horrocks G, Cormack S, Hole H, Owens WA. Telomerase expression in the mammalian heart. FASEB Journal 2012, 26(12), 4832-4840.
- Hill RP, Gardner A, Crawford HC, Richer R, Dodds A, Owens WA, Lawrence C, Rao S, Kara B, James SE, Jahoda CA. Human hair follicle dermal sheath and papilla cells support keratinocyte growth in monolayer coculture. Experimental Dermatology 2013, 22(3), 236-238.
- Bell E, Richardson G, Jahoda CA, Gledhill K, Phillips HM, Henderson D, Owens WA, Hole N. Dermal stem cells can differentiate down an endothelial lineage. Stem Cells and Development 2012, 21(16), 3019-3030.
- Hill RP, Gledhill K, Gardner A, Higgins CA, Crawford H, Lawrence C, Hutchison CJ, Owens WA, Kara B, James SE, Jahoda CA. Generation and Characterization of Multipotent Stem Cells from Established Dermal Cultures. PLoS One 2012, 7(11), e50742.
- Richardson GD, Breault D, Horrocks G, Cormack S, Hole N, Owens WA. The Identification of Native Cardiac Stem Cells Based on Telomerase Activity. In: CNIC: Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares. 2010, Madrid, Spain.
- Horrocks G, Hole N, Owens A. Characterisation of putative stem cells in the mammalian adult heart using a GFPmTert mouse. In: 28th European Section Meeting of the International Society for Heart Research. 2008, Athens, Greece: Academic Press.
- Turley AJ, Roberts AP, Morley R, Thornley AR, Owens WA, deBelder MA. Secondary prevention following coronary artery bypass grafting has improved but remains sub-optimal: the need for targeted follow-up. Interactive CardioVascular and Thoracic Surgery 2008, 7(2), 231-234.
- Chaulet H, Lin F, Guo J, Owens WA, Michalicek J, Kesteven SH, Guan Z, Prall OW, Mearns B, Feneley MP, Steinberg SF, Graham RM. Sustained augmentation of cardiac α1A-adrenergic drive results in pathological remodeling with contractile dysfunction, progressive fibrosis and reactivation of matricellular protein genes. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 2006, 40(4), 540-552.
- Dunning J, Hunter S, Kendall SWH, Wallis J, Owens WA. Coronary bypass grafting using crossclamp fibrillation does not result in reliable reperfusion of the myocardium when the crossclamp is intermittently released: a prospective cohort study. Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 2006, 1(1), 45.
- Hunt PA, Greaves I, Owens WA. Emergency thoracotomy in thoracic trauma – a review. Injury 2006, 37(1), 1-19.
- Lotto AA, Owens WA. Intraoperative doppler velocity measurements to locate patent ITA grafts at reoperation. Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2006, 82(3), 1108-1110.
- Owens WA, Vitale N, Hasan A, Hamilton JRL. A policy of elective delayed sternal closure does not improve the outcome after arterial switch. Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2001, 71(5), 1553-1555.
- Lin F, Owens WA, Chen S, Stevens ME, Kesteven S, Arthur JF, Woodcock EA, Feneley M, Graham RM. Targeted a1A-adrenergic receptor overexpression induces enhanced cardiac contractility but not hypertrophy. Circulation Research 2001, 89(4), 343-50.
- Nanda N, Iismaa S, Owens WA, Husain A, Mackay F, Graham RM. Targeted inactivation of Gh/transglutaminase II. Journal of BiologicalChemistry 2001, 276(23), 20673-20678.
- Vitale N, Owens WA, Hamilton JRL, Forty J, Dark JH, Hasan A. Early results with the Carbo-seal (R) composite valve conduit for aortic root replacement. The Journal of Heart Valve Disease 1999, 8(1), 80-84.
- Graham RM, Owens WA. Pathogenesis of Inherited Forms of Dilated Cardiomyopathy. The New England Journal of Medicine 1999, (341), 1759-1762.
- Anderson R, TualChalot S, Redgrave R, Dodds R, Owens WA, Saretzki G, Arthur H, vonZglinicki T, Passos JF, Richardson GD. The role of cardiomyocyte senescence and regeneration in Ageing. In: British Microcirculation Society 66th Annual Meeting. 2016, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: BMS.
- Martin RIR, Babaei MS, Choy MK, Owens WA, Chico TJA, Keenan D, Yonan N, Koref MS, Keavney BD. Genetic variants associated with risk of atrial fibrillation regulate expression of PITX2, CAV1, MYOZ1, C9orf3 and FANCC. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 2015, 85, 207-214.
- Gardner A, Hill RP, Higgins CA, Whitehouse CJ, Yung S, Zhang X, Crawford HC, Richer R, Dodds A, Owens WA, Lawrence C, Rao S, Kara B, James SE, Lako M, Jahoda CA. Human hair follicle dermal cells provide enhanced support for both epithelial and embryonic stem cell culture proliferation and maintenance. In: 7th World Congress for Hair Research. 2013, Edinburgh, UK: Nature Publishing Group.
- Akowuah E, Goodwin AT, Owens WA, Hancock HC, Maier R, Kasim A, Mellor A, Khan K, Murphy G, Mason J. Manubrium-limited ministernotomy versus conventional sternotomy for aortic valve replacement (MAVRIC): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials 2017, 18(1), 46.