Top honours for our Medical Director

16 December 2013        

Category: Research

Professor Weissberg receives an honorary degree from the University of Birmingham

Our Medical Director, Professor Peter Weissberg, has been awarded an honorary degree by the University of Birmingham in honour of his services to science during his illustrious career.

Originally a graduate of the University of Birmingham’s School of Medicine, Professor Weissberg went on to become a Lecturer in Cardiovascular Medicine there in 1983.

His reputation as a scientist, a clinician and a visionary is unrivalled.

After a brief sojourn as a cardiac researcher in Melbourne, Australia in the mid-Eighties, the Professor was awarded the first of many grants from the British Heart Foundation when he returned to the UK to work at the University of Cambridge in 1988.

Meteoric rise

He became the first British Heart Foundation Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine in 1994, a prestigious post where the recipient is given significant funding to pursue promising avenues of heart research.

Professor Weissberg's research focused on the cell and molecular biology of atherosclerosis – the narrowing and hardening of the arteries over time – the major cause of heart attacks and strokes. The post he founded has gone from strength to strength, and we now fund nine separate researchers in similar roles around the UK.

His research has gone on to form the basis of even more pioneering work, such as that of British Heart Foundation researcher Dr Mark Dweck, whose new imaging techniques could help us learn how to predict a heart attack.

In 2004 Professor Weissberg was appointed as our Medical Director, and since then he has overseen the distribution of millions of pounds to fund cutting-edge heart science that saves lives. He has also been an Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge since 1988, and sees heart patients in his weekly clinic.

High accolade

His honorary degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Birmingham celebrates the great strides in cardiovascular medicine that Professor Weissberg has helped pioneer, and the stellar contribution he continues to make towards heart research.

Speaking at the ceremony, Kate Thomas, the University orator said:

“Professor Weissberg’s reputation as a scientist, a clinician and a visionary in seeing what can be done if money is targeted at the very best people and institutions is unrivalled.

“His peers praise his profound understanding of science, his desire to improve patient care through rigorous research and good clinical care and the fact that he remains a people person, understanding scientists, doctors and above all patients.“