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Research overview

Our researchers

As a specialist heart and lung centre, innovation and research is a priority within the Trust and this is reflected in the number of Trust staff engaged in research, many of whom are key opinion leaders and NIHR senior investigators.

 

The clinical structure at Royal Brompton & Harefield Foundation NHS Trust has been developed to bring together clinical and research activities around specific care groups and disease areas.

 

Within the Biomedical Research Units, Trust research activities are brought together with those of basic scientists from Imperial College London to address key translational research issues in heart and lung disease.



Cardiovascular research: researcher profiles


Clinicians focused on heart failure research are:

 

  • Dr Nicholas Banner: the immunology of cardiac transplantation, diagnosis and treatment of organ rejection


  • Professor Martin Cowie: the causes of cardiovascular disease and heart failure and new ways of managing the care of the heart failure patients including remote monitoring


  • Dr Alex Lyon: cardiac physiology in heart failure, development and evaluation of novel biological therapies


  • Dr Sanjay Prasad: the role of genetics in predicting and treating heart failure and cardiomyopathy, magnetic resonance imaging of cardiomyopathy


  • Dr Rakesh Sharma: evaluating new treatments for heart failure and atrial fibrillation, understanding the role of the hibernating myocardium and revascularisation in heart failure.

 

Read more information about our research on heart failure in our active research studies and publications web pages.


Clinicians focused on arrhythmia research are:

 

  • Dr Sabine Ernst: catheter ablation studies of complex arrhythmias particularly atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia, the development and use of magnetic navigation techniques for understanding aetiology and treatment of cardiac disease


  • Dr Vias Markides: clinical trials of novel therapies and devices in arrhythmia, electrophysiological approaches and the ablation of complex particularly atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia


  • Dr Tom Wong: interventional treatment of complex cardiac arrhythmia especially atrial fibrillation and arrhythmia in patients with heart failure and congenital heart disease


  • Dr Jan Till: arrhythmias in childhood and evaluation of new treatments.

 

Read more information about our research on heart failure in our active research studies and publications web pages.

Clinicians focused on research in structural heart disease are:

 

  • Dr Neil Moat: evaluation of new therapies and devices for heart valve replacement and repair


  • Professor John Pepper: complex problems of the aortic valve and ascending aorta, surgery for heart failure, including mechanical circulatory support (ventricular assist devices).

 

Read more information about our research on heart failure in our active research studies and publications web pages.

Clinicians focused on coronary heart disease research are:

 

  • Dr Mahmoud Barbir: familial hypercholestraemia its treatment and the use of LDL apheresis therapy


  • Dr Jonathan  Clague: angioplasty and coronary bypass grafting; revascularization in blocked coronary arteries, development and evaluation of novel therapies including stem cells


  • Professor Peter Collins: heart disease in women and the role and action of hormones on the cardiovascular system, cardiac syndrome X


  • Dr Miles Dalby: strategies and logistics of primary angioplasty for acute myocardial infarction, coronary thrombosis, coronary stent imaging and biology, transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI)


  • Professor Carlo Di Mario: interventional devices including drug eluting stents, pharmacological and other approaches in coronary heart disease, intravascular imaging



  • Dr Charles Ilsley: evaluation of new treatments for myocardial infarction; invasive surgery, hybrid revascularisation and coronary angioplasty


  • Dr Mark Mason: myocardial protection, mode of action and efficacy of cardiac resynchronisation therapy.

 

Read more information about our research on heart failure in our active research studies and publications web pages.

The Trust has one of the two largest centres for adult congenital heart disease research in the world.

 

The Trust has a large team, working with colleagues at Chelsea and Westminster hospital and in paediatrics, focused on all aspects of congenital heart disease:

 



  • Dr John Wort: pulmonary arterial hypertension disease mechanism and evaluation of advanced therapies

 

Read more information about our research on congenital heart disease in our active research studies and publications web pages.

Researchers active in heart assessment and imaging research in the Trust are:

 

  • Dr Philip Kilner: cardiovascular magnetic resonance of congenital heart disease and valvular disease; cardiovascular fluid dynamics


  • Dr Raad Mohiaddin: cardiovascular magnetic resonance in congenital heart disease, vascular imaging of the arterial wall and magnetic resonance angiography, imaging for interventional procedures and assessment of pulmonary arterial hypertension, quantitative blood flow measurements, flow visualization and wall stress/strain analysis


  • Professor Dudley Pennell : Director of the Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Unit; research interests include development and use of magnetic resonance in cardiomyopathy; myocardial perfusion, coronary artery disease, myocardial iron measurements in thalassaemia


  • Dr Sanjay Prasad: magnetic resonance imaging of cardiomyopathy, the role of genetics in predicting and treating heart failure and cardiomyopathy


  • Professor Roxy Senior: development and evaluation of echocardiography techniques and in its application to cardiac syndromes


 

As a cross-cutting theme, our research in heart assessment and imaging underpins projects in many other disease areas.

 

Information is available from our list of active research studies, in particular those in coronary heart disease and congenital heart disease and our publications web pages.


Respiratory research: researcher profiles

 

Trust researchers with an active programme in asthma or allergy (who work closely with colleagues in paediatrics) are:

 

  • Professor Peter Barnes:mechanisms and treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, exhaled biomarkers of airway disease, corticosteroid resistance mechanisms and treatment


  • Professor Fan Chung: treatments for severe asthma, cough and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, role of lung inflammation and scarring in asthma and chronic obstructive airways disease, environmental pollution in asthma and COPD


  • Professor Paul Cullinan: the aetiology and distribution of environmentally and occupationally induced asthma, COPD and other respiratory diseases, traffic pollution and asthma, the impact of environmental and industrial disasters on respiratory health, early life determinants of asthma


  • Professor Steve Durham: subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy and the development of novel allergen: specific approaches, the epidemiology of rhinitis and the development of evidence-based guidelines for management of rhinitis, sinusitis and the practice of immunotherapy



  • Dr Joanna Szram: etiology and prevalence of occupational lung disease including asthma and COPD


  • Dr Omar Usmani: inhaled drug delivery technologies, lung imaging and small airways physiology in asthma and COPD, cough pharmacology and the molecular biology of inhaled therapeutic drugs.

 

Read more information about our research on asthma/allergy in our active research studies and publications web pages.

Trust researchers with an active programme in lung failure research are:

 

  • Dr Matthew Hind: stem and regenerative therapies for advanced lung diseases, cellular and molecular mechanisms of lung development and regeneration


  • Professor Michael Polkey, Dr Nick Hopkinson and Dr Will Man: all aspects of chronic obstructive lung disease including diagnosis and treatment, the role of skeletal muscle dysfunction, pulmonary rehabilitation, lung reduction surgery and other related minimally invasive procedures, diaphragm physiology and pulmonary mechanics, respiratory disease related to neurological disease. In addition Professor Polkey and team collaborate more widely within the London Respiratory Muscle Group


  • Dr Pallav Shah: the role of novel bronchoscopic treatments in airways diseases including devices to achieve bronchoscopic lung volume reduction and stents to create collateral airways, bronchial thermoplasty in moderate to severe asthma, early diagnosis and staging of lung cancer


  • Dr Anita Simonds: non-invasive ventilation in acute and chronic respiratory failure and neuromuscular diseases such as Duchene muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy, sleep disordered breathing in the elderly and in heart failure


  • Dr Mary Morrell: the causes and consequences of sleep disordered breathing, cardiovascular and neurological consequences of sleep apnoea particularly in those with pre-existing heart disease and the elderly.

 

Read more information about our research on lung failure in our list of active research studies in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and sleep medicine and ventilation therapy and our publications web pages.

Trust researchers with an active programme in lung infection and immunity (who work closely with colleagues in paediatrics) are:

 

  • Professor Eric Alton: developing and evaluating gene therapy in the treatment of cystic fibrosis. Professor Alton co-ordinates the UK CF Gene Therapy Consortium


  • Dr Diana Bilton: diagnosis and assessment of infection in chronic suppurative lung disease particularly cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis, developing and evaluating new therapies for airway infection and inflammation, chair of UK Cystic Fibrosis registry


  • Dr Rosemary Boyton: genetics and immune mechanisms in chronic lung infection in cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis, cellular responses in chronic allergic and infectious inflammatory lung disease with a view to elucidating pathological mechanisms and the development of effective and specific therapies including vaccines


  • Dr Michael Loebinger: investigating the susceptibility, progression and prognosis of chronic infective lung diseases with reference to both the host and microbe. New biomarker and clinical endpoint development. Bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, non tuberculous mycobacteria, tuberculosis, stem cells and immunology


  • Dr Toby Maher: basic and translational research into idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the use of acoustic lung imaging in diagnosis and disease monitoring in patients with chronic respiratory conditions, biomarker discovery and development of new treatments for interstitial lung disease


  • Dr Elizabeth Renzoni: diffuse/interstitial lung disease biology, its aetiology and the role of inflammatory mediators


  • Professor Athol Wells: the biology and epidemiology of diffuse/interstitial lung disease biology and associated pulmonary hypertension, the definition of diffuse lung disease type and severity in genetic and laboratory studies, prognostic evaluation in interstitial lung disease and the development and evaluation of new therapies


  • Dr Rob Wilson: pathogenesis of bronchiectasis, primary ciliary dyskinesia, non-invasive measures of lung inflammation, treatment of neutrophilic airway inflammation, non tuberculous mycobacteria, antibiotic trials in bronchiectasis and COPD.

 

Read more information about our research on lung infection and immunity in our list of active research studies in chronic suppurative lung disease and interstitial lung disease and our publications web pages.

Researchers focussed on surgical oncology research are:

 

  • Mr Vladimir Anikin: surgical outcomes and techniques in thoracic surgery and in pulmonary cryosurgery.


  • Mr Eric Lim: biology of lung cancer including genetics and resistance to chemotherapy, tumour profiling and biomarkers; clinical lung cancer research including surgical evaluations, clinical trials and meta-analyses.


  • Mr Simon Jordan: surgical treatment of sarcoma and COPD; surgical metastasectomy.


  • Dr Pallav Shah:early diagnosis and staging of lung cancer; the role of novel bronchoscopic treatments in airways diseases including devices to achieve bronchoscopic lung volume reduction and stents to create collateral airways; bronchial thermoplasty in moderate to severe asthma.

 

Read more information about our research on thoracic surgery in our active research studies and publications web pages.


Cross-cutting themes: researcher profiles

 

Clinicians and scientists working in the area of advanced imaging, particularly for heart abnormalities are: 


  • Professor Dudley Pennell: director of both the cardiovascular biomedical research unit (BRU) and the cardiovascular magnetic resonance unit (CMR) at Royal Brompton Hospital, and has specialised in CMR for more than 20 years.


  • Dr Sabine Ernst: catheter ablation studies of complex arrhythmias particularly atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia, the development and use of magnetic navigation techniques for understanding aetiology and treatment of cardiac disease.

The clinicians focused on critical care research (who work with colleagues in paediatrics) are:

 


  • Dr Brijesh Patel: pathophysiology and basic mechanisms of organ injury and inflammation within critical care disease states, including the optimisation and improvement of translational disease models of critical illness

 

Read more information about our research in heart failure in our active research studies and publications web pages.

Clinicians and scientists conducting research in the area of genetics and genomics are:


  • Professor Stuart Cook: cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging with a special interest in genetics in heart muscle disease


  • Dr James Ware: cardiovascular genetics; the management of inherited cardiac conditions (ICCs) – particularly cardiomyopathies and channelopathies – and the prevention of sudden cardiac death


  • Dr Paul Barton: understanding the genetic basis of inherited cardiac conditions focussing on cardiomyopathy 


  • Dr Elizabeth Edwards: (bioinformatics project manager). 

Trust researchers focused on paediatric cardiovascular and respiratory research are:

 

  • Dr Ian Balfour-Lynn: cystic fibrosis and inflammatory lung disease; pre-school viral wheezing and the use of oxygen.


  • Dr Margarita Burmester: development and evaluation of simulations and adult learning techniques primarily in paediatric intensive care into clinical practice.


  • Professor Andrew Bush, Dr Sejal Saglani and Dr Mark Rosenthal : paediatric respiratory medicine, invasive and non-invasive assessment of airway inflammation and structural airway wall changes in asthma, cystic fibrosis and other suppurative lung diseases, clinical respiratory physiology.


  • Dr Julene Carvalho: diagnosis of heart abnormalities and arrhythmias in the fetus including ultrasound techniques, echocardiography and biomarkers.


  • Dr Piers Daubeney and Dr Helena Gardiner : paediatric congenital heart disease including biological mechanism , epidemiology, assessment in utero and its management through intervention studies.


  • Professor Jane Davies : gene and other novel therapies in cystic fibrosis, bronchoscopic techniques including airway wall biopsy and broncho-alveolar lavage in children.


  • Dr Claire Hogg: mechanisms and markers of airway inflammation in cystic fibrosis and primary ciliary dyskinesia.


  • Dr Duncan Macrae: paediatric intensive care; paediatric cardiovascular disease mechanisms and inflammatory responses; interventions to improve outcomes in paediatric intensive care.


  • Dr Michael Rigby: interventions in fetal cardiology, the use of telemedicine technologies in clinical practice


  • Dr Jan Till:  arrhythmias in childhood and evaluation of new treatments

 

Read more information about our research in heart failure in our active research studies and publications web pages.

Trust researchers with active research interests are:

 

  • Dr James Hooper: biomarkers of cardiac damage in ischaemic heart disease and heart failure.



  • Professor Andrew Nicholson: all thoracic pathology particularly the lung, pleura and mediastinum, lung cancer and interstitial lung disease pathology.


  • Dr Alexandra Rice: general thoracic pathology, particularly lung, pleura and mediastinum, lung and heart transplantation pathology.

 

As a cross-cutting theme, our research in laboratory medicine underpins projects in many other disease areas. Information is available from our list of active research studies, in particular those in thoracic surgery.

Trust researchers with active research interests are:

 

  • Mr Andrè Simon: transplantation immunology, cardiac imaging; ventricular assist devices (artificial hearts)


 

More information about our research in transplantation is available from our active research studies and publications web pages.

The Trust is home to several NIHR Senior Investigators, an award which recognises the country’s top 200 leaders of clinical and applied health and social care research.


Current holders of these prestigious awards within the Trust are:

 


Previous award holders are:

 

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