The BHF appoints new Associate Medical Director

10 October 2018        

Category: About BHF

The British Heart Foundation has announced the appointment of Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan as a new Associate Medical Director, taking up her role with immediate effect.

Dr Sonya Babu Narayan (second from left)

Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan (second from left) with BHF Chief Executive Simon Gillespie (L) and Medical Director Professor Sir Nilesh Samani (R)

Dr Babu-Narayan qualified in medicine 20 years ago and currently holds a BHF Intermediate Clinical Research Fellowship. She is also Clinical Senior Lecturer at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. She is internationally recognised for her research to improve the care and quality of life of adults who were born with heart defects (adults with congenital heart disease).

Dr Babu-Narayan will work alongside existing Associate Medical Directors Professor Jeremy Pearson and Professor Metin Avkiran. She will also continue some of her clinical and research activity at Imperial College and the Royal Brompton Hospital.

Associate Medical Directors provide leadership and strategic direction to the vital research mission of the BHF, helping to ensure every pound donated is used to support research with the potential to make the maximum impact for those affected by heart and circulatory diseases. Dr Babu-Narayan will particularly oversee the BHF’s clinical research portfolio.

'A wealth of research knowledge'

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director of the BHF, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have appointed such a talented individual who is absolutely passionate about our mission. Sonya brings years of clinical experience, and a wealth of research knowledge.

“Sonya already has a close relationship with the BHF and understands our vision, particularly around patient involvement. She joins us at a critical time, not just in terms of the work of the BHF and our strategy for the future, but also the wider research environment. I’m confident she will help us continue to grow the scale and scope of our world-leading research.”

Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan said: “It’s a real honour to be joining the BHF. I know how the charity is trusted and valued by the heart and circulatory disease research community, as well as patients and their families – who are at the very centre of everything we do.

“This is an exciting time to be taking on this new challenge; there’s a growing need to foster national and global collaboration to generate world-class cardiovascular research, new technologies – particularly data processing and artificial intelligence – are helping us to think in new ways, and we’re seeing more and more cases where patients have more than one long-term condition, which increases the complexity of both treatment and research.

“I’m proud to have an opportunity to serve the 7 million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases, and to work towards a future where we beat the heartbreak from these devastating conditions.”