BHF Professor Nilesh Samani Knighted

31 December 2014        

Nilesh Samani

BHF Professor Nilesh Samani has today been knighted in the New Year Honours List for services to medicine and medical research. 

Professor Samani is Head of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Leicester and has been BHF Professor of Cardiology since 2003. 

Our Medical Director, Professor Peter Weissberg, welcomed the news: 

“Professor Samani’s knighthood is richly deserved and testament to his dedication to understanding the genetics behind coronary heart disease being passed down through family generations. These breakthroughs are setting the stage for new prevention and treatment strategies for coronary heart disease and could help protect the hearts of the next generation.”  

Professor Samani has been instrumental in improving understanding of why coronary heart disease is passed down through families. In the 1990s, Professor Samani collaborated with BHF Professor Stephen Ball to start the BHF Family Heart Study – a programme to collect the DNA from 2,000 families affected by heart disease. 

This study set the foundation for an international collaboration using data from the UK, Germany and the USA that identified at least 10 newly identified genes linked to increased heart attack risk. 

Understanding how these genes contribute to disease could help provide new and more effective ways to treat and prevent coronary heart disease.

Celebrity Supporter Esther Rantzen honoured 

BHF Celebrity Supporter, Esther Rantzen, has also been made a Dame for services to children and older people. Esther has supported our Mending Broken Hearts Appeal to find new treatments for heart failure through funding research in to regenerative medicine.  

The TV presenter has visited some of our top heart scientists to learn about the science behind our appeal. Esther’s husband died of heart disease so she feels very passionately about the work we do.

Find out about the Family Heart Study 
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