Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Barts Health NHS Trust have received £10 million from Barts Charity for the creation of a world-class cardiovascular academic medical centre at the Trust’s Barts Heart Centre, St Bartholomew’s Hospital.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death worldwide, and in parts of London the early mortality rate from cardiovascular disease is currently one of the worst in England at 85 per 100,000 of the population, compared to 67 per 100,000 in England, and 50 per 100,000 in Europe.
The £10.2m investment will focus on integrating clinical care and research strategies to tackle the most pressing cardiovascular healthcare issues facing the community, with broad global relevance. These are in the areas of genomic diagnoses of rare inherited disease, innovative therapeutics for hypertension, addressing the growing burden of heart failure and establishing a state-of-the-art device innovation centre for cardiovascular disease.
Mark Caulfield, Director of QMUL’s William Harvey Research Institute, said: “Our aim is to create the “go-to academic medical centre” for both research and treatment of cardiovascular disease at Barts Health. The generosity of Barts Charity and partners of their new Circulate network will enable us to attract the highest calibre international faculty, healthcare teams and groups to the Barts Heart Centre that will deliver cutting-edge patient care.”
The support also underpins the collaboration between Barts Health, QMUL and UCL Partners’ aim to create the premier translational cardiovascular institute across the affiliated hospitals within the two organisations within five years. The integrated NHS/University partnership will place patient care at the centre of a strategy that connects cutting-edge cardiovascular science to Barts Health patients through the centre.
Laura Wilson, Director of Grants at Barts Charity, said: “This funding is testament to the potential of the Barts Heart Centre to make a significant difference to the cardiac health and wellbeing of our community, while having international importance through the research undertaken at the centre. The Barts Heart Centre is a world-leading institution with the best medical staff and equipment under one roof, and it also provides a great opportunity for the people of London to support cardiac patients and help safeguard their own health, too.”
Charles Knight, Professor of Cardiology and Executive Director of the Barts Heart Centre, said: “The people of North and East London continue to suffer appalling rates of cardiovascular disease, and this is a tremendous opportunity to develop new approaches for cardiovascular patients worldwide. If the establishment of the centre lowers early mortality rates to European levels, then we could potentially save over 11,000 lives over the next five years.”
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