The William Harvey Research Institute is structured into three main research areas and led by Professors Mark Caulfield and Amrita Ahluwalia.
Our research activities are organised around the following centres and groups:
The Centre for Biochemical Pharmacology is successfully investigating key aspects of innate and adaptive inflammation, as well as the mechanisms by which the inflammatory process is resolved published in Immunity, Nature Medicine, Science Translational Medicine amongst others. The Centre has attracted major investments from Research Councils, Charities and EU funding agencies, including 1 MRC and 2 ARUK intermediate and senior fellowships, 3 BHF Intermediate Fellowships, a prestigious Sir Henry Dale Fellowship, and a BHF Chair and Programme Grant.
This Centre has been created to bridge the gap between academics and clinicians; with a strong emphasis on innovation. We encourage collaborations between our academic and scientific knowledge base to test new ideas and treatments.
This Centre houses a productive transatlantic relationship with Yale University, which focusses on research and innovation. Our projects include next-generation stent technology and big data consolidation. Our Yale colleagues include one of the Centre’s research leads, Prof. Alexandra Lansky, alongside Prof. Carlos Mena-Hurtado, Prof. John Forrest and Prof. Eric Velasquez. Similarly, the Centre has a strong working relationship with Prof. Bernard Gersh, based at the Mayo Clinic.
The WHRI offers one of the largest Centres for Clinical Pharmacology in the UK led by Professors Andrew Tinker and Patricia Munroe. Research in Clinical Pharmacology focuses on improving the understanding and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Our strategy combines basic science, ranging from vascular biology, large-scale genetic epidemiology to innovative clinical trials as a route to potential new therapies for cardiovascular disease, prevention of transplant rejection and pain management.
Led by Professor Márta Korbonits research activity in the Centre for Endocrinology spans between clinically applied research in endocrinology to basic research in endocrine signalling pathways. The Centre remains one of the leading centres in clinical endocrine research and practice worldwide and has been responsible for many of the current protocols for investigation and management of endocrine disease.
Led by Professor Costantino Pitzalis the Centre for Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology (EMR) is focused on the development of innovative therapeutic and diagnostic approaches to inflammatory and degenerative arthropathies, particularly rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
For more information please visit the Centre for Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology
Led by Professor Sussan Nourshargh the research objective of the Centre for Microvascular Research (CMR) is:
For more information please visit the Centre for Microvascular Research
Led by Professor Steffen Petersen the research objective of the Centre is:
- To support research activities requiring non-invasive cardiac imaging in our NIHR Barts Biomedical Research Centre
- Use cardiac imaging to support stratified healthcare through optimal diagnosis, risk stratification, guidance of management and monitoring of treatment
- Develop new cardiac imaging biomarkers from method development to testing the impact on cardiovascular outcomes
- Support economic evaluations of non-invasive cardiac imaging in various clinical settings
- Collaborate on machine learning, deep learning and other artificial intelligence approaches to improve image acquisition, analysis, and reporting
- Collaborate closely with clinical and clinical academic partners at Barts Heart Centre Department of Cardiac Imaging.
Translational Medicine aims to improve human health and longevity by moving new preclinical discoveries e.g. of new drugs or other interventions to their evaluation in man (‘bench-to-bedside’). Translational Medicine also seeks to use new knowledge gained in clinical practice and to incorporate clinical observations into scientific hypothesis in the laboratory (‘bed-to-benchside’). The evaluation of new treatments in man will not only inform us about their efficacy but may also lead to a better understanding of the mechanism of action of a drug or lead to the development of new concepts that improve the quality of our preclinical disease models.
The centre comprises of more than 60 members of staff (including PhD-students) which have either a medical background or are basic scientists with a strong interest in applied healthcare research. Together with the Critical Care and Perioperative Medicine Group, our research aims are to gain a better understanding of the pathophysiology and ultimately therapy of both acute, critical illnesses (e.g. sepsis, trauma, surgery & perioperative care, acute kidney injury, acute myocardial infarction) as well as chronic diseases (diabetes, chronic kidney disease, pulmonary hypertension, heart failure). Over the years, our preclinical research has led to the discovery of new therapeutics, which are currently being tested in clinical trials in man: COMPARE is a phase II clinical trial that investigates the ‘Combination therapy with racecadotril in pulmonary artery hypertension’, while TOP-ART evaluates (together with the Centre for Trauma Sciences at QMUL) the effects of the anti-malarial drug artesunate in patients with trauma and severe blood loss (together with the Centre for Trauma Sciences at QMUL). We hope that our efforts will improve the care of our patients in East London and well beyond. Our translational efforts have also resulted in the discovery that bicarbonate supplements prevent end-stage kidney disease (already forming part of the guidelines), while our PEAR is evaluating the effects of pentoxyphylline in patients with dialysis and vascular inflammation.