Ground-breaking research plays a crucial role in providing world class specialist heart and lung care for patients.
The Trust’s world class research is made possible by the support of patients and volunteers who participate in our trials. In total 2,200 participants were recruited for research, an increase of over 20 per cent from the previous year.
Our clinical teams continue to lead on recruitment to clinical trials. For example, this year we recruited the first patient for a global study into a new device for people with heart failure, run by Harefield-based consultant cardiologist Dr Rebecca Lane. We also recruited ahead of schedule for a study by a consultant cardiologist and electrophysiologist, Dr Tom Wong, to compare ablation techniques in patients with atrial fibrillation.
Our staff continue to be recognised internationally for their expertise and achievements. Professor Anita Simonds, consultant in respiratory and sleep medicine was elected president of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and Professor Michael Polkey, consultant chest physician, was awarded the European Respiratory Society Gold Medal in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Consultant cardiologist Professor Martin Cowie is chair of the Digital Cardiology Committee for the European Society of Cardiology and associate editor of JACC: Heart Failure, a publication from the American College of Cardiology.
Close research ties exist with our partners at Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare Trust and the Royal Marsden Hospital on collaborative research and education activities, facilitated through the Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC).
Research highlights over the year include:
Trust researchers and their collaborators were awarded over £10m funding by a variety of organisations including the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the British Lung Foundation and the British Heart Foundation.
Dr Elisabetta Renzoni, consultant respiratory physician, and her collaborators have shown that the use of portable oxygen (ambulatory oxygen) improves the quality of life of patients suffering from pulmonary fibrosis.
A national research collaboration led by Dr John Wort, consultant in pulmonary hypertension and intensive care medicine, helped identify four novel genes associated with heritable pulmonary arterial hypertension.
An international clinical trial on a new drug, led by Professor Toby Maher, consultant respiratory physician, has shown some promising results for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Our researchers produced 889 peer-reviewed publications (including letters and abstracts) with academic partner Imperial College London – highlighting the Trust’s role as a leading centre for cardiovascular, critical care and respiratory research.
The Trust was awarded funding from the National Institute for Health Research Invention Innovation (i4i) Programme for the first time. Professor Claire Hogg and her team will now study the role of artificial intelligence in the diagnosis of primary ciliary dyskinesia (click here).
Researchers at the Trust have discovered a new link between alcohol, genes and cardiac health, which may lead to better treatment and monitoring for those at risk of heart failure.