The British Heart Foundation-funded research team led by world-renowned BHF Professor Alan Williams will be based at Swansea University Medical School from this month.
Ranked 1st for Research Environment in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF), Swansea University Medical School will offer the opportunity for Professor Williams and his team to continue their unprecedented research in Wales with £2.3million of investment from BHF, after 10 successful years at Cardiff University.
BHF Professor Williams and his team study irregular heart rhythms, or arrhythmias that can be inherited, are associated with heart failure, and can be fatal. The cause of some abnormal heart rhythms remains a mystery and current medicines are not effective for all of these conditions.
Undiagnosed heart conditions
Many people in Wales are living with undiagnosed arrhythmias that come from an inherited heart condition that hasn’t been identified. Patients with arrhythmia may be at increased risk of stroke and certain types of arrhythmia can cause sudden cardiac death.
Research is vital
BHF funding enables the research team, now based at Swansea University Medical School, to carry out detailed investigations underpinning the molecular defects that can cause the heart’s rhythm to fall out of sync. With this knowledge, they can predict which medicines are likely to work best against these faults which will enable effective and personalised treatments for frightening and dangerous arrhythmias.
BHF Cymru's commitment
Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “As a country with a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease, BHF Cymru is committed to supporting excellent cardiovascular research in Wales.
With the pioneering work of BHF Professor Alan Williams and his team now based at Swansea, we will now have significant research investment at both Cardiff and Swansea Universities. We hope that the progress of this research, and the science we fund at both of these world-leading Universities, will improve and save lives across Wales and have an impact beyond.
With the generous support we receive from the people of Wales for our mission, the BHF looks forward to continue to support world class cardiovascular research programmes and high-calibre researchers in Welsh universities for years to come.”