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The William Harvey Research Institute - Barts and The London

Queen Mary BHF Accelerator Award enables Covid-19 research

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has allowed and encouraged institutions that hold Accelerator Awards (AA) to allocate currently uncommitted funds from their award to supporting Covid-19 research, at the discretion of the award director.

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Queen Mary University of London and the William Harvey Research Institute are fully committed to supporting research efforts to tackle Covid-19. To advance efforts to better understand the impacts of the virus on people with heart and circulatory diseases and their risk factors the Queen Mary BHF AA, which is funded by a prestigious BHF Award and led by Professor Federica Marelli-Berg, is delighted to announce that we will support three flagship projects from the BHF-NIHR Cardiovascular Partnership with the NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Centre and the Barts Life Sciences COVID Master Dataset led by Professor Sir Mark Caulfield, Professor Panos Deloukas and Dr Sam Mohiddin (BHF AA Clinical co-director).

1. COVIDITY-COHORT: Using UK cohort studies to understand which genetic, demographic and lifestyle factors related to cardiovascular health are important in the increased risk of severe consequences of COVID-19 infection

This project complements CVD-COVID-UK harnessing the power of over a dozen large UK cohort studies, where participants have already provided a wealth of information about their cardiovascular health, and general health and wellbeing. For most of these studies, their genetic make-up and a series of other biochemical markers are available. 

2. CAPACITY-COVID: UK-wide collection of cardiovascular complications due to Covid-19 infection

This builds an international registry (CAPACITY) of patients with COVID-19 to address questions on the role of cardiovascular disease in this pandemic as an extension of the ISARIC (International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium) and WHO (World Health Organisation) which 88 centres across 17 countries have registered to join.

3. Barts Life Sciences COVID Master Dataset

This is a rich multi-ethnic dataset that contains over 3000 COVID positive and 900 COVID negative patients who were hospitalised with COVID-19 over the first wave that is accessible via Barts Life Sciences. In concert with the above two national efforts, the QMUL BHF AA will support the project ‘Role of cardiometabolic risk factors and medications in the severity of COVID-19 disease’ which is led by the Barts Cardiovascular COVID-19 Consortium under the leadership of Dr Ajay Gupta from the William Harvey Research Institute.