Cardiology consultant and senior lecturer in adult congenital heart disease at Royal Brompton Hospital, Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan, was invited by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to discuss her research at a major parliamentary reception held to showcase BHF-funded projects.
Over 100 parliamentarians attended the event, which covered research, prevention, survival, and support. The main focus was on research, and a team from King’s College London, which specialises in children with congenital heart conditions, joined Dr Babu-Narayan and one of her adult congenital heart disease patients, Sarah Howell. Feedback from the event was extremely positive with several MPs pledging their support for the BHF campaign to protect research funding.
Commenting, Dr Babu-Narayan said: "The MPs that Sarah and I met were interested both in her story and in our research projects at the Trust. These events are a great opportunity to promote the strong relationships that exist between the Trust, Imperial College London and our charitable funders, and to highlight the value of continued investment in research funding from government."
"One of the MPs, who was particularly interested, Angela Rayner, even went as far as inviting me to her constituency in September to talk to schoolchildren, especially girls, about working in medicine and science. This is exactly the type of outreach work that the National Institute of Health Research actively encourages. I know how important it was to me to have this kind of inspiring and influential experience when I was at school. I look forward to spreading the Royal Brompton message to the next generation of doctors and scientists."
Mrs Rayner, MP for Ashton under Lyne said: "Heart disease is a devastating condition that affects thousands of people in my constituency … If we are to continue making great strides in heart research both the public, including people in my constituency and the Government, need to support our brightest scientists."
Dr Babu-Narayan is pictured with Angela Rayner and Sarah Howell. She is holding a 3D actual size, personalised print of an adult heart with congenital heart disease, made by Dr Su Lin Lee from Imperial College’s Hamlyn Centre, in collaboration with Dr Sabine Ernst, consultant cardiologist and reader at Imperial, Dr Jenny Keegan, CMR physicist, and Professor Yen Ho, consultant cardiac morphologist. The print will be used to support simulation-based electrophysiology teaching in congenital heart disease.
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