UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science


Cardiovascular Surgery

Lead: Professor Christopher McGregor, M.B., Ch.B., F.R.C.S., M.D.(Hons)

Group Members: Prof Christopher McGregor, Dr Guerard Byrne, Prof Gaetano Burriesci, Dr Jacob Salmonsmith, Dr Benjamin Rahmani and Dr Romilde Kotze.

Professor McGregor:
Prof McGregor continues to be a principal investigator (PI) for multiple external peer reviewed grants (MRC, NIH and others) over the last 25 years and has held multiple leadership positions clinically and scientifically. Prof McGregor trained in Cardiac Surgery at Cambridge and Stanford. He performed the 1st successful infant heart transplant in UK, the 1st successful single lung transplant in Europe and the 1st successful heart-lung-liver transplant in the US. He established and directed the Transplantation Centre at the Mayo Clinic, now the world’s largest and was Professor and Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UCL and Director of Surgery at the Heart Hospital, London. He is currently Professor of Cardiac Surgery at UCL. Professor McGregor is currently PI in a second MRC/DPFS grant following a Confidence in Concept award from UCL. He has published circa 300 peer reviewed manuscripts and presented >500 abstracts.
Dr. Guerard Byrne:
Dr Byrne has extensive experience in biomedical research in both biotechnology industry (as Director of Research) and academic settings (as Associate Professor). He helped produce GTKO pigs and has been co-investigator in multiple peer reviewed grants from the NIH and MRC. Dr Byrne is recognised as an expert molecular biologist and leader in the field of antibody responses in xenotransplantation.
Professor Burriesci:
Prof Burriesci is a leader in both industry and academic settings in the development of novel cardiovascular devices. He has approximately 30 patents related to mitral valve repair, minimally invasive heart valve replacement, and development of new heart valves.  He established the UCL Cardiovascular Engineering Laboratory, an advanced state-of-the-art facility for the treatment and testing of biomaterials and assessment of the hydrodynamic/durability performances of cardiovascular prostheses. 

Current Research:

Development of a Gal-free Calcification Resistant Porcine Pericardial Heart Valve: Establishment of Biological Tissue Equivalence. (MRC/DPFS Award)

Professor McGregor's and Dr. Byrne's long background in cardiac xenotransplantation research provides a robust depth of knowledge relating to anti-Gal antibody mediated calcification, inflammation and rejection. The Burriesci lab has extensive experience in heart valve development and has created a premier academic UK facility for in vitro valve testing.  It is this background and their publications on anti-Gal antibody mediated bioprosthetic tissue calcification, which sets the foundation of this current research project (see publications below). Our aim is to bring to patients a new generation of tissue heart valves which will be calcification resistant, allowing their use in younger patients without the need for anticoagulation.  Our laboratory is also involved in ICS teaching activities.

Selected Recent Publications:

Collis R, Tsang V, Pantazis A, Tome-Esteban M, Elliott PM, McGregor CGA:
Individualised surgical strategies for left ventricular outflow tract obstruction in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  Eur J Cardiothoracic Surg 2018, 53(6):1237-43. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezx458. PMID:  29293974.

McGregor CGA, Takeuchi Y, Scobie L, Byrne G:
PERVading strategies and infectious risk for clinical xenotransplantation.  Xenotransplantation. July 2018, 018;25:e12402. doi:10.1111/xen.12402. PMID: 30264876.

Byrne G, Ahmad-Villiers S, Du Z, McGregor CGA
B4GALNT2 and Xenotransplantation:  a newly appreciated xenogeneic antigen.  Xenotransplantation  2018;e12394.[Epub ahead of print]  doi: 10.1111/xen.12394.

McGregor CGA, Byrne GW: 
Porcine to Human Heart Transplantation: Is Clinical Application Now Appropriate?  J Immunol Res  2017 2017:2534653,  doi: 10.1155/2017/2534653. PMID: 29238731.

McGregor C, Byrne G, Rahmani B, Chisari E, Kyriakopoulou K, Burriesci G:
Physical equivalency of wild type and Galactose α 1,3 Galactose free porcine pericardium; a new source material for bioprosthetic heart valves. 
Acta Biomaterialia, 2016, 41:204-9. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2016.06.007. PMID: 27268480

Mohiuddin MM, Reichart B, Byrne GW, McGregor CG:
Current status of pig heart transplantation.
Int J Surg 2015, 23(Pt B):234-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2015.08.038. PMID: 26318967

Byrne GW, McGregor CGA, Breimer ME:
Recent investigations into pig antigen and anti-pig antibody expression
Int J Surg 2015, 23(Pt B):223-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2015.07.724. PMID: 26306769

Byrne GW, Du Z, Stalboerger P, Kogelberg H, McGregor CGA:
Cloning and expression of porcine [beta] 1,4 N-acetylgalactosaminyl transferase encoding a new xenoreactive antigen.
Xenotransplantation, 2014, 21(6):543-54. E-published 2014 Sep 1. doi: 10.1111/xen.12124. PMID: 25176027

Byrne GW, Azimzadeh AM, Ezzelarab M, Tazelaar HD, Ekser B, Pierson RN, Robson SC, Cooper DKC, McGregor CGA:
Histopathological insights into the mechanism of anti-nonGal antibody-mediated pig cardiac xenograft rejection.
Xenotransplantation, 2013, 20(5):292-307. doi: 10.1111/xen.12050. PMID: 25098626

CGA McGregor, H Kogelberg, M Vlasin, GW Byrne:
Gal-Knockout bioprosthesis exhibit less immune stimulation compared to standard biological heart valves.
J Heart Valve Dis, 2013, 22(3):383-90. PMID: 24151765

McGregor CGA, Carpentier A, Lila N, Logan JS, Byrne GW:
Cardiac xenotransplantation technology provides materials for improved bioprosthetic heart valves.
J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg, 141(1):269-75, 2011. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2010.08.064.   PMID: 21168032

Lila N, McGregor CGA, Carpentier S, Rancic J, Byrne GW, Carpentier A:
Gal knockout pig pericardium: New source of material for heart valve bioprostheses.
J Heart Lung Transplant, 29(5):538-43, 2010, e-pub December 23, 2009. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2009.10.007. PMID: 20036160


Emma Borland
Project Co-ordinator / Secretary
McGregor Cardiovascular Surgical Research Group
Institute of Cardiovascular Science
Room 228 | 2nd Floor |Rayne Institute | 5 University Street | London | WC1E 6JF
Tel: 0203 108 6764 (Internal: 56764)
Email: emma.borland@ucl.ac.uk