Cardiovascular Trials and Epidemiology
What we do
Our section works on questions of immediate, practical value to cardiac patients and their doctors. Our researchers include a wide variety of subspecialties of cardiology, spanning the spectrum from specialists in efficient cardiovascular prevention, to reliable diagnostics (addressing cardiac imaging, human performance enhancement and machine-learning with neural networks), and effective treatments (including medication, coronary stenting, pacemakers and defibrillators and arrhythmia ablation). At almost any hour of day or night, there will be one of our team up to something, somewhere in the university or hospital.
We are happy to address research ideas at any stage where we can make a unique contribution. This could be from their earliest origination, for example, mathematical modelling for population health, through to inventing novel diagnostic or therapeutic techniques, or conducting first-in-human studies, and ultimately managing large-scale clinical trials.
The touchstone of our research is to ensure the results are reliable. This means attention to detail in research design and methodology, and honest and clear reporting of results even when they are not what we hoped for. We would stake our own lives on our research findings, because ultimately we are expecting patients to do so.
Why it is important
“Heart disease is fascinating but is really just a first-world curiosity”, many of us were taught at medical school. At the time, on a global basis, most deaths on planet were indeed from infection or malnutrition, and relatively few from heart disease. How much the world has changed in just a few decades.
Worldwide, cardiovascular disease is now the number one killer. The drivers of this include over nutrition, money to spend on cigarettes and other unhealthy habits (such as sitting on a sofa watching TV) and the long interval between our poor choices and their health consequences.
Our section aims to:
- explain clearly why we get heart disease
- prioritise useful things that people can do to prevent serious heart problems
- help doctors diagnose heart conditions quickly, reliably and cost-effectively
- find treatments that genuinely work (beyond a placebo effect)
Impact of our research
Our research aims to improve and develop new treatment and diagnostic options for patients. We have an international track record in cardiovascular epidemiology and trials, ranging from shorter term evaluation of intervention therapies to long-term morbidity and mortality trials, the outcome of which is likely to change clinical practice. We have influenced actual change as treatments have been put on, or taken off, the market due to our research.
An important part of our work centres around the patient's perspective on their care. Patients are involved throughout the research process in our group, from study design to study completion, and their feedback is actively encouraged and drawn upon at each stage. Previous projects by the group have helped establish the evidence base for diagnostic and treatment guidelines (including national NICE guidelines), and the exciting part of our team's work is that we can see the impact of our research in clinical practice rapidly at the end of our studies.
- Hospital Clinico San Carlos, Spain
- Colombia University, USA
- Duke University, USA
- George Institute, University of Sydney, Australia
- Health Economics Research Group, Brunel University, UK
- Julius Centre, Utrecht, Netherlands
- Monesh University, Australia
- NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney, Australia
- Public Health Foundation of India
- Southampton Health Technology Assessment Centre, University of Southampton, UK
- VU University, Netherlands
- Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care Northwest London (NIHR CLAHRC)
- British Heart Foundation
- St. Jude Medical
- Boston Scientific
- Merck, Sharp and Dohme (MSD)