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

Vladyslav Vyazovskiy elected Vice President of the European Sleep Research Society

Congratulations are in order to Professor Vladyslav Vyazovskiy on his appointment as Vice President (Basic) of the European Sleep Research Society (ESRS).

New evidence for how our brains handle surprise

A new study from the Bruno Group is challenging our perceptions of how the different regions of the cerebral cortex function. A group of ‘quiet’ cells in the somatosensory cortex that rarely respond to touch have been found to react mainly to surprising circumstances. The results suggest their function is not necessarily driven by touch, but may indicate an important and previously unidentified role across all the major cortices.

Professor Dame Sue Black to deliver 2022 Christmas Lectures

In the 2022 Christmas Lectures from the Royal Institution, DPAG's Visiting Professor of Forensic Anatomy Dame Sue Black will share secrets of forensic science.

Kaitlyn Dennis to receive the William C Stanley Early Investigator Award

Congratulations are in order for DPhil student Kaitlyn Dennis, who has been awarded the William C Stanley Early Investigator Award. The award highlights the scientific accomplishments of promising young researchers and is a major focus of the Annual Meeting of the Society for Heart and Vascular Metabolism.

Zoltán Molnár delivers Keynote Lecture at first-of-its-kind Anatomical conference

Professor Zoltán Molnár delivers the first Keynote Lecture at the 116th Annual Meeting of the Anatomische Gesellschaft, which this year is held as a Joint Meeting with the Anatomical Society for the first time.