Hull York Medical School has been awarded two PhD Studentships from the British Heart Foundation which will enable its Centre for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research to study the blood in patients who have cardiovascular disease.
Unlike healthy subjects, whose blood clots to ensure they stop bleeding after injury, in those with cardiovascular disease blood clots also form on the inside of vessels which may lead to thrombosis, a heart attack or a stroke.
Cardiovascular disease comprises a group of diseases of the heart and circulation, including stroke, cardiomyopathy, heart disease and atrial fibrillation. It is estimated that 7 million people live with cardiovascular disease in the UK with an associated cost of approximately £19 billion each year. [i]
Dr Simon Calaminus and Professor Khalid Naseem have received the first award to research the chemicals in blood and how to reverse clotting on the inside of vessels. Dr Simon Calaminus said: ‘This award allows us to fully understand how chemicals produced by the body moderate the ability of the platelet to withstand the flow of the blood and form a blood clot. This is key as excessive blood clot formation can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Therefore understanding how these chemicals affect platelet function may lead to better anti-platelet therapy and therefore control of cardiovascular disease.’
The second award is for Dr Francisco Rivero and Prof Khalid Naseem to research on new protein components of platelets, which allows them to maintain their shape and form blood clots. Dr Francisco Rivero said: ‘I am delighted to have been awarded a PhD Studentship from the British Heart Foundation. Our research may provide crucial information for the development of new drugs to prevent blood clotting and therefore reduce the risk of thrombosis.’
This funding success comes on the back of recent awards for British Heart Foundation funded future scientists: Hull York Medical School’s Katie Wraith and Casey Woodward, who recently won awards for best oral presentation and poster presentation at the European Atherosclerosis Society Congress in Glasgow, March 2015.
Subreena Simrick, research adviser at the British Heart Foundation said: ‘The BHF is committed to supporting the next generation of scientists through our PhD studentships, and we’re delighted to have awarded these grants to the Hull York Medical School. The studentships will not only provide a rigorous training in research, but will increase our understanding of blood clot formation and the mechanisms underlying thrombosis, an important step in the development of potential new therapies to combat cardiovascular disease.’
NOTES TO EDITORS
- Hull York Medical School (HYMS) is a partnership between the two well-established Universities of Hull and York. Since opening in 2003, HYMS has become known as one of the UK’s most welcoming and inclusive medical schools with a reputation for innovative, inspiring, exciting and rigorous medical education. HYMS’s research is organised into Centres which each conduct world-class research. Much of this is interdisciplinary, spanning traditional subject boundaries and reaching out into other departments within the Universities of Hull and York.
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