BHF Centre of Research Excellence

Promoting innovative, world-leading cardiovascular research

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

The over-arching aim is to advance personalised healthcare for cardiovascular disease. It draws on the internationally recognised strengths of Imperial as a specialised university of science, technology and medicine to stimulate and foster cross-Faculty collaboration and clinical expertise in its partner NHS Trusts to identify tractable challenges in cardiovascular disease and address them using convergent science.

The BHF Imperial Centre adopts and adapts machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to interrogate large patient and population datasets to 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.

The Centre works closely with the Imperial Biomedical Research Centre, the Clinical Academic Training Office, the EPSRC AI for Healthcare Centre for Doctoral Training and the UK Dementia Research Initiative.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a particular impact on cardiovascular health. The BHF Imperial Centre has responded by inviting and reviewing research applications that seek to advance our understanding of the risks to patients with underlying cardiovascular disease and new treatments. The projects chosen for support can be found on the pilot projects page and many will be addressed in our forthcoming symposium.