Expertise from across the University of Leeds is to be channelled into a new research centre that aims to progress the understanding, treatment and prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
The Multidisciplinary Cardiovascular Research Centre (MCRC) will help researchers from the Faculties of Medicine and Health and Biological Sciences to pool their knowledge and research in the development of new approaches to the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, and implement these into clinical practice.
The new Centre will draw together expertise on the behaviour of molecules, genes and proteins to the health of the whole cardiovascular system and its relationships with associated conditions such as diabetes and obesity. It will develop strong links with the NHS Trusts and encourage researchers from other faculties with expertise that can be applied to cardiovascular research, such as mechanical and tissue engineering, nanotechnology and mathematical modelling, to join forces with them.
The appointed Head of Centre is David Beech, Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology from the Faculty of Biological Sciences. He will work closely with the Deputy Head of Centre Professor Mark Kearney, a cardiologist and scientist who was recently recruited to the Faculty of Medicine and Health from Kings College London.
“Drawing together all the related expertise from across the University offers a wonderful opportunity and the drive to form the Centre has been strongly supported by the researchers and clinicians themselves,” says Prof Beech. “There's a great deal of internationally renowned research here but it has not previously been co-ordinated in such a formally constituted centre.
“This joined-up approach will provide a real focus for all our work. It will allow us to collaborate and communicate much more easily, which will generate more research findings and ultimately lead to real benefits for patients. It will also inform and enhance undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, and thus help educate the next generation of cardiovascular researchers and clinicians,” he says.
Also instrumental in the creation of the Centre is Professor Chris Wild, Director of Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health and Therapeutics (LIGHT). He says: “Cardiovascular research at Leeds has always been highly regarded: the LIGHT alone received new awards worth more than £2 million from the British Heart Foundation in 2007 including a prestigious British Heart Foundation sponsored Intermediate Fellow. The added benefit of a co-ordinated cross-Faculty approach is that it will enable us to bid for larger research grants to tackle major questions crucial to understanding cardiovascular health and disease.”