BHF Centre of Research Excellence

Promoting innovative, world-leading cardiovascular research

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) Centre of Research Excellence at Imperial was established in 2008 under Professor Michael Schneider. The Centre was renewed by the BHF in 2019 for a further five years, through to 2024, under the directorship of Professor Martin Wilkins.

The previous Centre built on the success of the original Centre: recruiting high-quality MRes/PhD students, allowing flexibility of approach to a group of internationally renowned scientists to pursue imaginative cardiovascular research, and encouraging scientists outside traditional biomedical research to engage in cardiovascular science.

The renewed Centre draws on the internationally recognised strengths of Imperial College as a specialised university of science, technology and medicine to stimulate and foster cross-Faculty collaboration through convergent science and the close association of the College with the NHS through the Academic Health Sciences Centre to translate into patient benefit. It is organised around three vertical themes, Cardiovascular Engineering (1), Functional Genetics and Genomics (2), and Population Sciences (3), and two cross-cutting themes, Imaging (A) and Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (B).

The over-arching aim is to advance personalised healthcare through robust basic science and advanced interpretation of large data. The BHF Centre adopts and adapts machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to interrogate large patient and population datasets and identify molecular drivers of disease, develop biomarkers for patient stratification and improve diagnostic and patient management pathways. We use cutting edge technologies and computational modelling developed through engineering collaborations to understand blood flow in health and disease, map cardiac arrhythmias, and design devices and interventions that can be tested in the clinical arena. Equally important, we use state-of-the-art data visualisation tools to engage stakeholders and inform the discussion around data use and privacy.

Learn more about heart disease and the science behind our 'Mending Broken Hearts Appeal' at the BHF-funded labs at Imperial College in London.

Research spotlight

Learn more about heart disease and the science behind our 'Mending Broken Hearts Appeal'

Since 2008, the BHF has invested close to £60 million in the top universities in the UK to create six BHF Centres of Excellence. The aim is to secure the UK’s future as a world-leading force in heart research. Find out more about the other BHF Centres of Excellence, located at King's College, University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, and University of Oxford, and the BHF's ambitious Mending Broken Hearts Appeal.