UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science


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Students on lawn

ICS wins Athena SWAN Silver Award

ICS is proud to announce that the Institute’s application for an Athena SWAN Silver Award has been successful. This award evidences ICS’s commitment to sustainable gender equality. The Institute’s Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team worked hard to achieve this award and plans to ensure that momentum is maintained, removing barriers to women’s equality. The Self-Assessment Team has the full support of the Institute’s Strategic Management Group and will be working towards implementing the action plan outlined in our application so that gender equality can become a reality in ICS.

This is the full application submitted by ICS and the individual case studies profiled in the application which were key to us demonstrating our support for and commitment to achieving gender equality. You are encouraged to use the Athena SWAN Silver Award logo on all relevant Departmental documents, email signatures and webpages.

Optimal Treatment for Resistant Hypertension Defined for the First Time: European Society of Cardiology PATHWAY-2 Presentation

Bryan Williams ESC

On 2nd September 2015, Professor Bryan Williams presented two hotline presentations from data from two trials in high blood pressure. The PATHWAY-2 trial studied the drug treatment of resistant hypertension and was labelled as one of the highlights of the ESC meeting – which is the largest cardiovascular science meeting in the world.

The reason the PATHWAY-2 study received so much attention is because it has defined the optimal treatment for resistant hypertension for the first time. This condition affects about 100 million people and the results of this study will have high impact and influence treatment guidelines globally.

Details of the study can be found on the UCLH website which recently announced the study. The principal results were published in a Lancet article, of which Professor Williams was the first author.

Highly successful symposium concerning "Challenges in Inherited Cardiovascular Disease"

Challenges in cardiovascular disease

On Friday 28th August, over 120 people attended a one-day symposium, “Challenges in Inherited Cardiovascular Disease”. The event was jointly organised by the UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science, Queen Mary University of London and the Barts Heart Centre. The meeting brought together clinicians, scientists, industry representatives and patient groups to discuss the current state of the art in diagnosis and treatment of rare cardiovascular disorders and explored strategies to improve the lives of people with genetic disorders affecting the cardiovascular system.

Keynote speakers included Euan Ashley (Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease), James Spudich (Stanford University School of Medicine), and Peter Schwartz (IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Italy). Other speakers represented the best of the UK’s scientists and clinical researchers, and representatives from patient groups. Unique insights also came from industry supporters Amicus Therapeutics, Boston Scientific, Genzyme, and MyoKardia.

The meeting was a great success, with attendees coming from 18 countries. It was an excellent opportunity to make new contacts that will lead to future collaborations and the advancement of cardiovascular research.

The event was captured on video and presentations are available to view via the link below.

‘Reviewer of the Year’ award goes to Dr Floriaan Schmidt


ICS is pleased to announce that Dr Floriaan Schmidt has been awarded ‘Reviewer of the Year’ by the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, due to be announced formally in the January 2016 edition of the publication. The journal complemented Dr Schmidt on his “well-structured and thoughtful reviews…” which “…provide objective and specific suggestions…” allowing the authors of articles “…truly to improve their manuscripts’ quality and readability”. Dr Schmidt has focussed on tailoring treatment effects toward individual patients using the concept of effect modification and works on drug discovery within ICS.

ICS bids farewell to Professors Philippa Talmud and Steve Humphries

Steve Humphries and Philippa Talmud

The Centre for Cardiovascular Genetics (CVG) at UCL headed by BHF Professor Steve Humphries, started life in the Department of Medicine in 1991. Steve moved, together with Philippa Talmud and their group, from the Sunley Research Centre, Charing Cross Hospital to UCL. Now 24 years later Steve and Philippa are retiring. Their contribution to cardiovascular genetics was celebrated on 12th June, 2015 by an afternoon of lectures, chaired by Dr Mary Seed, covering different aspects of their careers. Steve’s early days at the Beatson Institute, Glasgow and St Mary’s Hospital was related by Dr Anna Kessling. Philippa came from South Africa to UCL to do a PhD, followed by 2 postdocs, and together with her time at CVG has spent almost 33 years at UCL.

Steve and Philippa’s contribution to the European cardiovascular community was told by Prof Ulrike Beisiegel, President of Gottingen University. They served on the committees of the European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) and the British Atherosclerosis Society and together with Ulrike set up the enormously successful EAS Atherosclerosis Summer School in Hamburg. Steve has been editor in chief of the journal Atherosclerosis, the official journal of the EAS for over 10 years.

Their influence on cardiovascular genetics was outlined by their long time collaborators Prof Anders Hamsten, Provost, Karolinska Institut, and Prof Gunilla Olivecrona, Umea University (pictured left). Prof Andrew Neil, Oxford University, recounted how Steve’s persuasive talents had helped push forward the translational aspects of his work into Familial Hypercholesterolaemia. Prof Peter Weissberg, the Medical Director of the BHF paid tribute to Steve as currently the longest standing BHF Professor, with some amusing footage of a TV interview of Steve. Prof Aroon Hingorani, director of ICS told of their contribution of to the gene-centric chip collaborative studies at UCL. Finally showing how much Steve and Philippa have paved the way for the next generation of cardiovascular scientists, Dr Michael Holmes, Oxford University, Dr Marta Futema and Dr Andrew Smith, both from CVG UCL, presented their exciting work taking cardiovascular genetics forward.

The afternoon of excellent talks was rounded up by a reception in the Rayne Building which provided the perfect environment for the reunion of past CVG members, collaborators, friends and family.

Steve and Philippa will retire on 30th September, 2015, but both will then become Emeritus Professors at UCL and will continue different aspects of their interests, Steve by a focus on Familial Hypercholesterolaemia and Philippa in mentoring and supporting Women in Science.

Dr Pier Lambiase (Reader in Cardiology and a Consultant Electrophysiologist in the UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science) has been chosen as the winner of the 2015 Michael Davies Early Career Award. This highly prestigious prize, awarded at its Annual Conference by the British Cardiovascular Society, recognises Dr Lambiase’s outstanding contribution to cardiovascular medicine. Over the past nine years at UCL, his research has focused on determining the mechanisms of sudden cardiac death and the development of new strategies to identify & treat patients at risk.


The Award acknowledges clinical and non-clinical researchers who have recently established themselves as independent investigators, conducting ground-breaking research. Professor Hingorani commented “…this is superb news and a really major achievement for Pier and the Institute. I am especially pleased with Dr Lambiase’s success in gaining this award, as I understand he was up against some very stiff competition”.  

More news

  1. Centre for Cardiovascular Imaging wins public engagement award
  2. BHF 4-year PhD studentships
  3. Gene Annotation newsletter Nov 2014
  4. Diabetis risk and statins
  5. HRH opens the ICS Phenotyping Unit
  6. Drink less for a healthier heart
  7. Test for cholesterol gene starts
  8. 3D patient-specific models of congenital heart diseases
  9. ICS submits its silver Athena Swan application
  10. PhD student Marianna Fontana wins Early Career Award
  11. ICS PhD student wins Melvin Judkins Young Investigator Award
  12. Dates for 2014 Hands-on cardiac morphology courses
  13. Can a genetic study anticipate the outcome of a randomized trial?
  14. New Open Heart Journal
  15. Blood pressure at night is higher than previously thought
  16. Research Grant success
  17. Blood screening that prevents heart attacks
  18. Seeing the heart in 4D
  19. National early warning score to identify patients in need of urgent care