Pioneer of cardiothoracic surgery, Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, opens new research facility at Harefield Hospital

Richard, Magdi and Richard
Pictured left to right: Richard Bowyer, chief executive of Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity; Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, professor of cardiac surgery; Dr Richard Grocott-Mason, consultant cardiologist and chief executive of Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals.

A new state-of-the-art research facility at Harefield Hospital, led by a team of research nurses, was opened on Monday 14 November 2022 at a ceremony by the pioneer of cardiothoracic surgery, Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub.

The Clinical Research Facility provides a dedicated space for research patients at the hospital, many of whom require longer hospital appointments than regular clinical patients. These patients at Harefield Hospital are valuable to researchers because of the complex, and sometimes rare conditions, that they live with.

Currently there are over 50 pioneering and world-class research projects at Harefield aiming to develop new treatments, improve care for patients and help to inform decision-making and policy across the NHS and beyond.

Research which will be conducted at the new research facility includes:

  • A project to determine whether a diabetes medication could be used to reduce the risk of heart failure in patients who have had heart attacks.
  • A trial to investigate a new treatment to prevent hardening of arteries which can lead to cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks, strokes and peripheral vascular disease.
  • Work to understand whether a device, inserted into an artery in the groin, can increase the survival of patients who go into cardiogenic shock following a heart attack.

At the opening of the new facility, Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub said, “I consider it a distinct privilege and honour to be here today. The spirit of Harefield is a dedication to patient care, which right from the early days of the transplant programme, has been linked to research.

“Research is a spectrum from the bench to the bedside and back again. Importantly you have to have clinical research to bridge the gap between the basic science and developing treatments for patients.”

Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity raised over £161,000 to support the construction and opening of the Clinical Research Facility. The new facility is part of a long-term plan to increase the research capacity of Harefield Hospital.

Richard Bowyer, Chief Executive of Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, said: “Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity is delighted to support this important new facility, which is vital in the search for new ways to treat heart and lung diseases. It represents the next chapter in Harefield’s history of pioneering new treatments, and will help keep Harefield Hospital at the forefront of patient care.”

Professor Yacoub established the heart transplantation centre at Harefield Hospital in 1980, performing transplants on patients who went on to be the longest heart transplant recipients in Europe and the world. He performed the UK’s first combined heart and lung transplant at the hospital in 1983 and established a number of operations to correct congenital heart conditions. Further information about Professor Yacoub can be found here: