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Vascular Biology and Medicine

We conduct research into fundamental vascular mechanisms and the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Our research investigates the fundamental mechanisms involved in vascular and myocardial homeostasis and inflammation. We aim to develop new treatments and diagnostics for cardiovascular diseases including coronary heart disease, heart failure, cardiovascular ageing, and microvascular disease.

There is important unmet medical need for an interdisciplinary study of cardiovascular diseases mechanisms, effective identification of therapeutic targets, novel therapeutic regimens, and the development of novel diagnostics and methods of vascular assessment.

Our expertise spans from basic science to clinical medicine. Our strategy is to build bridges among the Newcastle University Institutes and local NHS Trusts. We collaborate with major stakeholders (biotech and pharmaceutical industries) and develop strategies to address major vascular health problems.

Research impact

Our research shows that amyloid-beta levels may be a key indicator of cardiovascular disease. We aim to develop a simple blood test to identify most at-risk patients so that preventative measures can be put in place and death rates reduced.

Our team has explored the formation of senescent cells, also known as zombie cells, in a preclinical model. These cells are damaged and can cause neighbouring cells to become senescent. We have uncovered their formation and identified possible reversal mechanisms to revitalise the heart after a heart attack.

We are investigating exercise capacity in patients with implanted left ventricular assist devices. While the output of blood from the heart improves pressure builds up in the lungs. The pump does not respond to the demands of exercise in the same way as a normal heart.

We have partnered with Kancera AB and secured £1.7M to run the FRACTAL clinical trial. This will test if Kand567, a new drug which blocks Fractalkine, can be used to treat patients after acute myocardial infarction.

We have shown that endoglin is essential for cardiovascular development and maintenance of the adult vasculature. Endoglin is regulated during angiogenesis, and its depletion leads to arteriovenous malformations.

Theme leadership

Dr Gavin Richardson is our Theme Lead. Guy MacGowan and Ioakim Spyridopoulos are the Deputy Theme Leads.

We provide research-led teaching in cardiovascular health and disease at all levels. Ioakim Spyridopoulos is our Education Lead.

Early career researchers interested in collaborating, please contact Sandip Nandhra.

Professional Administration Services are provided by Stephen Allott.

We are a supportive and inclusive community. Our theme EDI lead is Simon Tual-Chalot.