Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Congratulations are in order for Associate Professor Nicola Smart, who has been awarded a renewal of her British Heart Foundation Senior Basic Science Research Fellowship. The award will fund research investigating the processes behind blood vessel growth in order to understand how to stimulate heart repair after injury.

Nicola Smart.JPGOver the past five years, the Smart Group’s research has been supported by both the British Heart Foundation and the family of Ian Fleming, the author best known for the James Bond series who died after a heart attack. The BHF have now renewed Prof Nicola Smart’s British Heart Foundation Senior Basic Science Research Fellowship for five more years. The award will enable her team to further build upon their work towards better understanding how building new vessels in the heart is controlled.

After a heart attack, large portions of the heart are deprived of blood flow and growth of new blood vessels is crucial for repair of the damaged muscle. However, to date, no treatments have been effective in clinical trials. Prof Smart and her team's recent work has shown that the heart attempts to repair its blood supply by redeploying similar processes to those used in the embryo to build the heart before birth.

There are two main sources for vessel growth: the inner lining of the heart (endocardium) and a large vein (coronary sinus) and the researchers have identified some of the ways in which vessel growth from these sources is controlled. They propose that understanding these processes in greater detail will enable the development of better drugs to stimulate the heart to grow vessels more efficiently and repair itself after a heart attack.

 

Our research has benefited enormously from the support of the BHF and the family of Ian Fleming. I'm delighted that the BHF have agreed to renew my fellowship. This research will take us a step closer towards understanding how to stimulate new vessel growth and repair in the growing population of patients who live with heart failure. - Prof Smart

Similar stories

Marcos Castro Guarda is an IMPRES 2022 prize winner

Congratulations are in order for DPhil student Marcos Castro Guarda, who has been awarded best oral presenter at the 1st International Symposium of Pharmacy Research.

Irene Tracey appointed Honorary Fellow of The Physiological Society

Congratulations are in order for Professor Irene Tracey CBE FMedSci, who has received the highest honour presented by The Physiological Society to an individual.

Strong performance for DPAG cardiac research at the Oxford BHF CRE Annual Symposium

Congratulations are in order for Kaitlyn Dennis, Dr Ni Li and Dr KC Park on their awards at this year's major showcase for Oxford's British Heart Foundation funded researchers.

Jaideep Pandit honoured with RCoA Gold Medal

Congratulations are in order for Professor Jaideep Pandit, Professor of Anaesthesia and consultant anaesthetist, who has received the rarely awarded prestigious Gold Medal of the Royal College of Anaesthetists. Professor Pandit was a student and research fellow at DPAG and is now an Academic Visitor in the department; he is also a Fellow and Tutor in Medicine at St John's College.

Louisa Zolkiewski awarded the Bruce Cattanach Prize 2022

Congratulations are in order for Louisa Zolkiewski, who completed her DPhil studies this year, on being awarded the 2022 Bruce Cattanach Prize by the Genetics Society for her DPhil thesis.