Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Reader in Adult Congenital Heart Disease



+44 (0)20 7351 8803s.babu-narayan




NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical RChelsea WingRoyal Brompton Campus





Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan is a Clinical Senior Lecturer at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, Consultant Cardiologist at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, and an Associate Medical Director with the British Heart Foundation.

Dr Babu-Narayan studied medicine at University College London. With the help of a Medical Research Council scholarship she obtained a First Class Honours BSc degree in Neurosciences (1994). She then completed her MB BS medical qualification at which time she was awarded Merit in Clinical Medicine (1998) and the Archibald Ferguson Prize for Personal Qualities in Patient Care (1998). She undertook her adult medicine training in Oxford and was awarded Membership to the Royal College of Physicians; MRCP (UK) in 2001. She is an adult cardiologist  and trained (2005-2010) in cardiology at Chelsea and Westminster, the Royal Brompton Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital (paediatric cardiology) and the Heart Hospital. She was appointed a Senior Lecturer and Consultant Cardiologist in January 2012.

She joined the Adult Congenital Heart Research Programme at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London Royal Brompton campus lead by Professor Michael Gatzoulis in 2002 to study the right heart in congenital heart disease. She completed British Heart Foundation funded (2002-2005) work towards her PhD thesis supervised by Professor Michael Gatzoulis and Dr Philip Kilner. During this time she became level 3 accredited in cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging. She developed CMR as a technique to identify right ventricular fibrosis in congenital heart disease, validated her findings with histological correlation and assessed the effectiveness of anti-fibrotic pharmacotherapy with ACE-inhibitors in a randomised controlled clinical trial of ramipril in repaired tetralogy of Fallot patients with pulmonary regurgitation. She continued to maintain her clinical research after returning to full-time clinical training in 2005. Her main clinical research interests include:

  • Sudden death prevention in congenital heart disease
  • Risk stratification using late gadolinium enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging
  • The role of cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging for timing intervention and assessing outcomes of intervention in congenital heart disease
  • Image integration for transcatheter procedures

Her academic awards for clinical research include an American Heart Association Cardiovascular Disease in the Young Award for Outstanding Contribution to Paediatric Cardiology (2006), and an Outstanding Investigator Award, 18th Annual International Symposium Adult Congenital Heart Disease (Runner-Up 2008). She recently won a British Heart Foundation Supporter Favourite Reflections of Research Video and Image Award (2011). She is an experienced international speaker. She has thus far served 8 years on local Research Ethics Committees

In addition to her academic interests she was a co-applicant for Wellcome Sciart funding for “The Fluent Heart” project in which together with Dr Philip Kilner her imaging specialist colleague, she collaborated with the composer Sir John Tavener, and the choreographer Wayne MacGregor ( She maintains her interest in contemporary arts, philosophy and medical ethics, and particularly, in how seemingly difficult ideas can be shared or exchanged with wider audiences.

Her ambition is to improve the care of adults born with heart defects. This requires maintaining her clinical experience of the real world everyday problems faced by adult congenital heart disease patients and their physicians and also conducting relevant translational clinical research.



Roehl M, Conway M, Ghonim S, et al., 2024, STEAM-SASHA: a novel approach for blood- and fat-suppressed native T1 measurement in the right ventricular myocardium, Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine, Vol:37, ISSN:0968-5243, Pages:295-305

Barradas-Pires A, Merás P, Constantine A, et al., 2023, Repair of aortic regurgitation in young adults: sooner rather than later, Journal of the American Heart Association, Vol:12, ISSN:2047-9980, Pages:1-11

Krishnathasan K, Dimopoulos K, Duncan N, et al., 2023, Advanced heart failure in adult congenital heart disease: the role of renal dysfunction in management and outcomes, European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, Vol:30, ISSN:2047-4873, Pages:1335-1342

O'Connor M, Barbero U, Kramer DB, et al., 2023, Anatomic, histologic, and mechanical features of the right atrium: implications for leadless atrial pacemaker implantation, Europace, Vol:25, ISSN:1099-5129

Chivers S, Cleary A, Knowles R, et al., 2023, COVID-19 in congenital heart disease (COaCHeD) study, Open Heart, Vol:10, ISSN:2053-3624

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