UCL News


International collaboration for cardiology

1 July 2004

Recent developments in the teaching and practice of cardiology have been spearheaded by one of UCL's eminent academics.

Professor Derek Yellon, Head of UCL's Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Studies and Director of the Centre for Cardiology at the Medical School, has devised a number of initiatives designed to encourage close international collaboration for research, teaching and clinical practice.

Founded in 1990, the Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Studies promotes greater understanding of cardiovascular disease and aims to develop new therapies for the improved treatment of heart disease. Following negotiations with the renowned Heart Disease Unit at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, Professor Yellon helped to create a sister medical school of the University of Cape Town, called the Hatter Institute for Cardiology, of which he is also a co-director.

Professor Derek Yellon

Professor Yellon said: "Since 1990, UCL's Hatter Institute has established an international reputation for research into cardiovascular disease. The creation of a sister institute at the University of Cape Town ensures greater collaboration on research and training, so that expertise can be shared and ideas developed together as a team."

As a result of the strong links between the two institutes, Professor Yellon worked with Professor Lionel Opie, Head of the University of Cape Town's Hatter Institute, to create an annual symposium for senior cardiology experts. 'Cardiology at the Limits' takes place for the seventh year in April 2005 to discuss the major issues in the world of cardiology. The symposium always attracts international experts in the fields of cardiovascular disease as guest speakers, and culminates in the production of a book reflecting the topics explored during the symposium. Next year's conference will have a guest speaker the celebrated international humanitarian, Bishop Desmond Tutu.

Professor Yellon said: "The 'Cardiology at the Limits' series has proved to be a resounding success, contributing to a greater understanding of cardiovascular disease. Following the ongoing success of this international collaboration, we have been asked to organise a new conference based on the same model, called 'Diabetes at the Limits'. The first in this series of meetings will take place in Japan in 2005 and represents the next vital step towards further international collaboration between the two Hatter Institutes."

Another new joint seminar series, the Hatter Institutes' Cardiac Horizons Series (HICHS) took place for the first time in 2003. This meeting was designed for Specialist Registrars, who are in training to become cardiologists, and examines new developments in the area, including new technologies as well as basic and clinical science. Now an annual symposium, the next meeting takes place in October 2004 at the University of Cape Town.

At a more basic science level, the two institutes also organise the Hatter Institute Cardioprotection Workshop. This is an international scientific workshop, in which 25 of the world's leading scientists meet to discuss and debate the future direction of this important area. This meeting alternates between London and Cape Town and the fourth in this series will take place at the University of Cape Town in April 2005.

The Hatter Institute at UCL also maintains a strong postgraduate training programme for clinicians and basic scientists to study for the higher degrees of MD and PhD. To date, in excess of 25 students have successfully completed their research training and 8 are in the process of their postgraduate studies.

To find out more about the Hatter Institutes and associated educational seminars, use the links below.


Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Studies

Cardiac horizons series

Cardiology at the Limits

Diabetes at the Limits