Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan is an honorary consultant cardiologist at Royal Brompton & Harefield hospitals, clinical senior lecturer at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, and an intermediate clinical research fellow at the British Heart Foundation.

Dr Babu-Narayan obtained a first-class honours BSc degree in Neurosciences (1994) at University College London, before completing her MB BS medical qualification.

She was awarded the Merit in Clinical Medicine (1998) and the Archibald Ferguson Prize for Personal Qualities in Patient Care (1998). 

In 2001, Dr Babu-Narayan was awarded Membership to the Royal College of Physicians; MRCP (UK) after continuing her adult medicine training in Oxford. During 2005 to 2011, she trained in cardiology at Royal Brompton, Chelsea and Westminster, Great Ormond Street (paediatric cardiology) and the Heart hospitals, with a focus on adult congenital heart disease. 

In January 2012, she was appointed as consultant cardiologist and senior lecturer, and in 2016 gained her Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians. In 2017 she was elected British Congenital Cardiac Association Scientific Officer.

Clinical expertise

Dr Babu-Narayan’s ambition is to improve the care of adults born with heart defects and is a fully trained cardiologist, with training at three key centres for congenital heart disease; Great Ormond Street, Royal Brompton Hospital and The Heart Hospital. 

Her clinical work has included paediatric cardiology, non-invasive imaging, maternal, interventional and structural heart disease and pulmonary hypertension. Dr Babu-Narayan is also fully accredited in cardiovascular magnetic resonance and has specific expertise in congenital heart disease imaging.

Since her consultant appointment in 2012, Dr Babu-Narayan has implemented three new Trust services in the field of cardiology and has contributed heavily to a variety of departmental and hospital audits and clinical service improvements.  She is also chair for the cardiac morphology clinical steering group. 

Research interests

With support from a British Heart Foundation Intermediate Clinical Research Fellowship award, Dr Babu-Narayan has been building on her previous work to ascertain the role of cardiac fibrosis in pathophysiology, and whether biomarkers, including measures of fibrosis, can improve predictions of cardiac outcomes in congenital heart disease patients. 

This video features one of Dr Babu-Narayan's patients who donated his old heart for her research. 

Her work also continues on: 

  • the intersection between clinical congenital heart disease care and cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging
  • the prevention of sudden death in congenital heart disease patients
  • using late gadolinium enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance to stratify risk
  • integrate imaging for transcatheter procedures
  • outpatient ACHD clinical care with a one-stop evening clinic
  • arrhythmia risk in adult congenital (ARIA) service
  • adult and pediatric congenital heart disease MRI
  • 3D visualisation and printing 

Find out more about Dr Babu-Narayan's work with 3D visualisation and printing.

British Heart Foundation

In October 2018, Dr Babu-Narayan was appointed as Associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, working alongside the current associate medical directors, Professor Jeremy Pearson and Professor Metin Avkiran. 

This is an exciting time to be taking on this new challenge; there’s a growing need to foster national and global collaboration to generate world-class cardiovascular research, new technologies – particularly data processing and artificial intelligence – are helping us to think in new ways, and we’re seeing more and more cases where patients have more than one long-term condition, which increases the complexity of both treatment and research.

I’m proud to have an opportunity to serve the 7 million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases, and to work towards a future where we beat the heartbreak from these devastating conditions.


Dr Babu-Narayan is experienced in teaching in a number of settings, including: 

  • Lecturing for a cardiovascular BSc module for Imperial College London Adult Congenital Heart Disease 
  • stream lead for Imperial College MSc Innovations in Clinical Cardiology 
  • PhD and MDRes supervision 
  • Lecturing at various NHS Trust regional training, patient conferences and nursing symposia 
  • Teaching small hospital-based groups, such as junior doctors, nurses and medical undergraduates 
  • Contributing to patient projects, conferences for primary and secondary school pupils, art projects and the Imperial College Science Festival 
  • One-to-one practical teaching for medical staff specialising in adult congenital outpatient clinics and CMR technicians Web-based teaching, with various lectures available to view online at   


Dr Babu-Narayan has published a large number of journal articles, contributed many chapters to medical textbooks in the field of adult congenital heart disease and cardiovascular magnetic resonance, and produced a series of online lectures on these subjects. A list of her publications can be found at