Investing in the future

A scientist looking at test tubes

Over the last 55 years our research has transformed lives across Northern Ireland.

Since 1961, BHF research has driven incredible advances in prevention, diagnosis and treatment and the number of deaths from heart and circulatory disease has fallen by half.

Thanks to the fantastic generosity of our supporters we’ve currently got around £3.1million invested in life saving research at Queens University, Belfast. Our research projects include: 

Heart failure

Dr David Grieve in his lab at QUB

Dr David Grieve and Dr Kevin Edgar at Queen’s University are investigating how the heart responds to stresses which ultimately lead to heart failure. This information is helping them to identify potential new treatments and possibly a cure.

They are specifically interested in studying the role of certain hormones and chemicals in preventing gradual damage to the heart and blood vessels which drives the progression of heart failure.

Stem cells

Dr Andriana Margariti in the lab at QUB

Dr Andriana Margariti, Dr Karla O’Neill, Arya Moez and Rachel Caines are each working with stem cells hoping to make discoveries that could lead to new treatments for heart failure and other diseases.

They are particularly interested in investigating the exciting potential of stem cells to regenerate the damaged heart and blood vessels which could save lives by informing the development of better treatments and cures for heart conditions.

Gum disease and the risk of coronary heart disease

Prof Gerry Linden and his research team at the Centre for Public Health

Professor Gerry Linden and his team at the Centre for Public Health have been researching the same group of two thousand local men for over 15 years looking for causes of heart disease.

Professor Linden and his team are trying to find out if gum disease is linked with an increased chance of coronary heart disease developing.

Because gum disease can be treated and prevented by early advice and intervention, it may reveal a new, simple way of reducing heart disease risk.

The eye

Dr Denise McDonald, Dr Ninu Poulose and Ciara Cunning are investigating what controls growth of new blood vessels in the retina of the eye. Damage to these intricate vessels stops oxygen reaching the retina and can lead to permanent loss of vision.

This research will improve our knowledge of how to control new blood vessel growth to help develop a treatment that restores oxygen and nutrients to damaged tissue – whether in the eye or elsewhere in the body.