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The William Harvey Research Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Professor Ben O'Brien


Professor of Perioperative Medicine

Centre: Translational Medicine and Therapeutics



  • Clinically active Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Cardiac Anaesthesia
  • Trained in London, Berlin and Sydney
    Medical School in Germany and U.S.
  • M.D. at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, Berkeley, CA, USA
  • Habilitation at Charité University Berlin
  • Master of Health Business Administration, School of Health Economics, Nürnberg University, Germany
  • Clinical Director for Perioperative Medicine since 2013
    Initially St Bartholomew’s Hospital and London Chest Hospital
    Since 2015 St Bartholomew’s Hospital and Barts Heart Centre
  • Since 2018 Professor of Perioperative Medicine, William Harvey Research Institute
    (Senior Lecturer 2011-2016, Reader 2016-2018)
  • Holds a commercial pilots licence (ATPL)

Memberships and awards

  • Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists
  • Fellow of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine
  • Senior Fellow of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine
  • Member of the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Panel B
  • Elected UK Representative on EACTA Representative Council
  • European co-chair of SCA/EACTA (US/Europe) Clinical Practice Advisory Group on AF after Cardiac Surgery
  • Member of the Outcomes Research Consortium, Cleveland Clinic


Group members

Prof Julie Sanders (Barts), Prof Hugh Montgomery (UCL), Dr Niall Campbell (Manchester), Dr Rui Providencia Costa (Farr Institute, WHRI), Prof Diane Elbourne (LSHTM), Prof Elizabeth Allen (LSHTM), Prof James Moon (UCL and WHRI), Dr Gaby Captur (UCL and WHRI).

Funded projects (current)

  • CI for the Tight K multicentre RCT (role of potassium in arrhythmia prevention in patients after cardiac surgery) – British Heart Foundation
  • Co-PI for HeartOME (Omics investigations in myocardial tissue) – Barts Charity
  • Co-applicant Sub-30 (pre-hospital ECMO in cardiac arrest) – Barts Charity and London Air Ambulance Charity
  • Co-applicant PROPHECY (Transfusion in cardiac surgery) - British Heart Foundation

Tight K   Sub-30  Prophesy

  • Weier Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs:
  • Fluorescence in Situ Hybridisation and Data Mining in Genetics and Genomics – NIH and Dep of Energy


  • Saphire CE marking study – industry-funded
  • Cumulative total extramural funding: > £12.8 Million

Key Publications

  • Ben O’Brien, Peter S. Burrage, Jennie Yee Ngai, Jordan M. Prutkin, Chuan-Chin Huang, Xinling Xu, Sanders H. Chae, Bruce A. Bollen, Jonathan P. Piccini, Nanette M. Schwann, Aman Mahajan, Marc Ruel, Simon C. Body, Frank W. Sellke, Joseph Mathew, J. Daniel Muehlschlegel, SCA/EACTA Practice Advisory for the Management of Perioperative Atrial Fibrillation in Patients undergoing Cardiac Surgery
    Accepted for simultaneous publication in Anesthesia & Analgesia and Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia 
  • Baumgartner A, Ferlatte Hartshorne C, Polyzos AA, Weier HG, Weier JF, O'Brien B
    Full Karyotype Interphase Cell Analysis, J Histochem Cytochem. 2018 Aug;66(8):595-606
  • Campbell NG, Allen E, Sanders J, Swinson R, Birch S, Sturgess J, Al-Subaie N, Elbourne D, Montgomery H, O'Brien B, The impact of maintaining serum potassium ≥3.6 mEq/L vs ≥4.5 mEq/L on the incidence of new-onset atrial fibrillation in the first 120 hours after isolated elective coronary artery bypass grafting - study protocol for a randomised feasibility trial for the proposed Tight K randomized non-inferiority trial. Trials. 2017 Dec 28;18(1):618



External: Prof Chris Connor (Harvard, Brigham); Prof Danny Muehlschlegel (Harvard, Brigham); Prof Daniel Sessler (Cleveland Clinic Outcomes Research); Prof Allan Walkey (Boston University); Prof Joseph Mathew (Duke)Dr Ulli Weier (Berkeley); Ms Trudie Lobban, OBE (Arrhythmia Alliance)

Internal: Prof Richard Schilling (WHRI); Prof Mel Lobo (WHRI); Dr Laura Green (WHRI)

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