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British Heart Foundation awards £35m to nine universities

 Image: Aqhuhn [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Funding will support collaborative research into diagnosis and prevention of cardiovascular disease

The British Heart Foundation is providing £35 million to nine UK universities to carry out research into cardiovascular disease.

The universities will receive between £1m and £5m over five years. Research areas include potential applications of approaches such as stem cell therapy in preventing and treating heart failure; the use of artificial intelligence to improve diagnoses; the impact of health inequalities; and the role of genetic factors in heart disease.

Other areas covered by the projects include the influence of the immune system, vascular dementia and how type 2 diabetes affects cardiac health, the charity said in a statement.

Lifesaving discoveries

Bryan Williams, the charity’s chief scientific officer, said the funding would “attract the brightest talent, power cutting-edge science and unlock lifesaving discoveries that can turn the tide on the devastation caused by heart and circulatory diseases”.

He added: “These awards not only recognise the world-class research already happening in the UK but will also help to safeguard the UK’s future as global leader in cardiovascular disease research.”

The funding is expected to give research into heart disease a “much-needed boost” after years of disruption following the Covid-19 pandemic and the period between Brexit and the UK becoming an associate member of the EU’s Horizon Europe research programme, the charity said.

The funding is being provided through the foundation’s Research Excellence Awards scheme, with the aim of encouraging closer collaboration between researchers from different fields and institutions.

The nine universities are: Imperial College London, King’s College London, University College London, the University of Cambridge, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Leeds, the University of Leicester, the University of Manchester and the University of Oxford.