Cardiology (heart)
Spoken Languages


  • European Council on Nuclear Cardiology
  • European Society of Cardiology
  • British Nuclear Cardiology Society
  • International Congress of Nuclear Cardiology
  • National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence


Professor Richard Underwood studied chemistry at Merton College, University of Oxford, graduating with first class honours. After his general medical training, he specialised in cardiac medicine. His specialism allowed him to learn about invasive and non-invasive cardiac imaging for over 20 years. 

He started as a house physician at The Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford. He then held a house surgeon role at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Swindon and then as senior house officer/registrar on rotation in Oxford and London. In 1981 he became a research fellow and honorary senior registrar for the Middlesex Hospital and Medical School. He continued in this role next at the National Heart and Chest Hospitals, London. 

Professor Underwood has worked at Royal Brompton Hospital since 1985, and been part of its academic wing, the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College School of Medicine. 

In 1993, he became an honorary consultant at the Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. In 1995, he became an honorary professor at University College London in the Faculty of Clinical Services. 

Areas of expertise

Professor Underwood's areas of expertise include: 

  • non-invasive cardiology
  • cardiac imaging
  • nuclear cardiology
  • cardiac computed tomography (CT) scans
  • cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR). 

At Royal Brompton Hospital, Professor Underwood is lead clinician for nuclear medicine, research, training and strategy. At Harefield Hospital, he is lead clinician for nuclear medicine. 

Since he joined the Trust, Professor Underwood has been pivotal in the development of magnetic resonance techniques. These techniques help investigate the cardiovascular system and with his help has gone from a research technique to clinical use. 

He also champions techniques in radionuclide imaging of the heart. He works with one of the few solid-state gamma cameras in the country. This camera promises to provide unique information to assist in managing patients undergoing arrhythmia ablations. 

Research interests

Professor Underwood's research interests include: 

  • pharmacological stress in cardiac imaging
  • use of cardiac imaging in heart failure and the assessment of myocardial viability and hiberation
  • cost effectiveness of cardiac imaging techniques. 


Professor Underwood teaches on the cardiovascular BSc at Imperial College London. He is also the module lead for clinical sciences. 

He runs an annual training course for the Trust - Nuclear Cardiology in Practice. He also runs a course on Nuclear Cardiology and CT in Clinical Practice for the European Society of Cardiology. 


Professor Underwood is a member of the European Council on Nuclear Cardiology. He has chaired the European Society of Cardiology's working group on nuclear cardiology and magnetic resonance. He has also chaired the British Nuclear Cardiology Society and the International Congress of Nuclear Cardiology. 

He is on the Civil Aviation Authority's Medical Advisory Panel. He is also a specialty advisor for the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), and a member of the Department of Health's myocardial perfusion imaging group. 


Professor Underwood edited the Audio Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine, was editor-in-chief of New Advances in Nuclear Cardiology (2000-2002). He was also a specialty editor for nuclear medicine for the British Medical Bulletin. 

He has written several books and is on the editorial board of many national and international publications. 

Private patient referral 

If you would like to make an appointment with this specialist for private care, contact the RB&HH Specialist care team