This week we were at the BCS Annual Conference, the UK’s major conference for cardiovascular medicine and research. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Hearts and Genes’. Many of the breakthroughs and studies that were presented are funded by us.
Here’s a round-up of the highlights from the week.
The Conference was opened with an inspiring talk from renowned scientist Lord Robert Winston.
But before any of the sessions started, research into how fat can fight heart disease was in many of the day’s papers including The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail, who reported on how research we funded might mean a new test to detect risk of heart failure after a heart attack.
BHF Professor Hugh Watkins, whose research we funded that led to the biggest breakthroughs in the genetics and testing for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – an inherited heart muscle disease – spoke about the 25 years of progress he’s made.
Read more about the exciting first day.
The second day was dominated by a headline grabbing talk: Music and the Cardiovascular System from former BHF Professor Peter Sleight.
The research looks at how music can be used to lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. Our Associate Medical Directors Professor Jeremy Pearson and Dr Mike Knapton did countless interviews about it, including Sky News, the Daily Mail and the Mirror.
Other research from the conference that made the headlines included research from Glasgow that is trialling a new test to identify heart attack patients most at risk of heart failure and images from Manchester that show how the heart's detailed structure changes after a heart attack.
We also announced funding of more than £900,000 to extend a ground-breaking genetic testing programme for the inherited and potentially deadly high cholesterol condition, Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH).
There was also a whole day of talks around our Alliance activity and support for healthcare professionals, including nurses, looking after heart patients across the country.
You can find out more about the interesting second day here.
BHF Professor David Eisner presented his research into how a faulty gene involved in an abnormal heart rhythm disorder called CPVT can have fatal consequences brought on by exercise. The ground breaking research grabbed headlines and hearts across the UK as Doctor Luigi Venetucci – a clinician in the research team – and 29 year old Daniel Whittaker – who suffers from the genetic condition – opened up to the BBC Breakfast team.
The University of Manchester research was also featured on the Today programme, 5Live and many local newspapers and radio broadcasts.
BHF Professor Steve Humphries was among those who presented talks about familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) – an inherited condition which causes dangerously high levels of cholesterol in the blood from an early age.
Our Associate Medical Director, Dr Mike Knapton, talked about involving patients and the public in research ahead of the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester hosting a cardiovascular disease event next year.
You can find more information about the major stories from the final day here.