Our top Professors

We support the best researchers in the UK, at all levels. Leading figures in heart research receive our most coveted award, becoming BHF Professors.

They represent the best of the best.

In the news

July 2016: Obesity linked with premature death

Professor John DaneshAn international research collaboration, which we helped to fund, has found that being overweight or obese is associated with increased risk of death before the age of 70.

The findings, published in The Lancet, show that the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer and respiratory disease are all increased. The researchers, led by a University of Cambridge team including BHF Professor John Danesh, also found that the overall excess risk of premature death among the overweight or obese is about three times greater in men than in women.

Find out more about how Professor Danesh used big data to conduct this research.

June 2016: Pioneering Glasgow Professor becomes Dame in Birthday Honours

Picture of BHF Trustee, and former BHF Professor, Dame Professor Anna Dominiczak.A world-leading blood pressure researcher from the University of Glasgow has received a DBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak was a BHF Professor for 13 years.

Professor Dominiczak was recognised for her contribution to cardiovascular and medical science. And this is the second time she has been honoured by the Queen after being given an OBE in 2005.

While a BHF Professor, Dame Anna drove the building of the BHF Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre and was its Director from its opening in 2000 until 2010. 

March 2016: BHF Professor announced as our next Medical Director

Nilesh SamaniThe University of Leicester researcher Professor Sir Nilesh Samani has been announced as our next Medical Director. BHF Professor Samani will take up the role in October 2016 when Professor Peter Weissberg retires after 12 years leading our research funding.

Professor Samani is world-renowned for his research into the genetics of cardiovascular disease and has built a hugely successful cardiovascular research department at the University of Leicester and Glenfield Hospital.

Find out more about Professor Samani's appointment as our next Medical Director.

February 2016: Improving heart attack diagnosis

Professor Dorian HaskardIt could be easier for doctors to identify risky fatty plaques that cause a heart attack or stroke following research, in mice, by an Imperial College London team working with BHF Professor Dorian Haskard (pictured).

The researchers are now working towards trials in people. The technique could eventually be used in hospitals to assess how likely an atherosclerotic plaque is to rupture.

Find out more about how this study could improve diagnosis of heart attacks.

January 2016: Fund launched to boost genetic testing of inherited heart condition

Professor Hugh WatkinsWe launched the Miles Frost Fund, which aims to raise £1.5 million to help make genetic testing available to all families affected by the deadly heart condition hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Miles Frost, the son of broadcaster Sir David Frost, died suddenly of HCM in July 2015. Young, fit and in the prime of his life, Miles was just 31.

Read about the genetic research, by BHF Professor Hugh Watkins (pictured), which led to the test.

December 2015: Our research in Edinburgh recognised with major award 

Professor David Newby

The University of Edinburgh has been awarded The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in recognition of 30 years of research into cardiovascular disease – much of it funded by us.

BHF Professor David Newby directs much of the research we currently fund in Edinburgh. The Edinburgh team’s achievements include proving the link between air pollution and cardiovascular disease and showing how high sensitivity troponin blood tests can improve heart attack diagnosis.

Find out more about the award and the progress made possible by donations to the BHF.

November 2015: What's it like to work in one of our Professor's labs?

Professor Steve HumphriesPhD student Freya Boardman-Pretty is a BHF-funded researcher looking at genetics at University College London (UCL). 

She has recently been part of a UCL team led by BHF Professor Steve Humphries which discovered a gene that is linked to an increased risk of heart disease in women

Read about her research, motivations and how much more there is still to discover in the field of genetics.

October 2015: How have past Nobel Prize winners influenced the work of BHF Professors?

Professor Bernard KeavneyThe 2015 Nobel Prizes have been announced. Christie Norris from our Research Communications looks at how the work of previous Nobel Prize winners has influenced the research of BHF Professors such as BHF Professor Bernard Keavney and BHF Professor Shoumo Bhattacharya.

Read about how Nobel Prize winners have influenced our research.

September 2015: Retired BHF Professor wins prestigious award at major conference

Professor Keith FoxKeith Fox, who was BHF Professor of Cardiology at the University of Edinburgh from 1989 until 2013, was awarded the ESC Gold Medal at their annual conference. The rare accolade was given to recognise his immense contribution to cardiovascular research and medicine.

BHF-funded researchers also presented their work at the conference - the ESC Congress - including the results of a clinical trial that could change clinical practice for treating high blood pressure. 

Read about our highlights from the conference.