Author Archives: sara

May 20th, 2021 – Hatter Cardiovascular Institute PhD Student Talks Trash on BBC Radio

Hatter Cardiovascular Institute PhD student, Mira Katsur, can normally be found hard at work in the lab isolating nano-sized exosomes and investigating their protective properties on the heart. However, over lockdown, Mira’s focus turned to much larger objects within her local community.

While out walking one day in Ely (Cambridgeshire), she noticed an individual collecting rubbish along the road. Seeing this opened her eyes to how much litter was present on roadways and in parks throughout her community. This got her thinking about what she could do to help clean up the environment.

Her first mission was to create a Facebook group within the local community to gauge interest from other community spirited individuals who may also be interested in cleaning up Ely. To her surprise she attracted over 50 members in the first day!  Four months later, their membership is over 700 residents and going strong. What began as an initial ad hoc gathering to collect litter, has become an organised group who meet regularly to clean up their parks, playgrounds and streets.

Local businesses have since come on board as well, supplying equipment and materials for the team. Reaching out to other local groups including Scouts and schools, these organisations are now involved and active. Recently, the initiative has spread to nearby villages, and together collectively are affecting a tangible and meaningful improvement in their environments.

This week Mira was interviewed by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to find out more about her grassroots approach and how she’s managed to spearhead a community approach to a shared problem. You can listen to her interview here. Well done Mira!

March 2nd, 2021 – Dr Maryna Basalay from the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute at UCL, awarded as 2021 Paul Dudley White International Scholar

The American Heart Association has recognised the research excellence of Dr Maryna Basalay by announcing her as the 2021 Paul Dudley White International Scholar. This award recognizes all the authors that contributed to the highest ranked abstract from each country; the abstract submitted by Dr Basalay and the team at the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute being the highest ranked abstract submitted from the United Kingdom.

Dr Basalay is the lead for the Neuroprotection research programme at the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute investigating mechanisms to protect the brain from ischaemic stroke. Despite only starting 3 years ago, Dr Basalay has undertaken a substantial amount of research that has enabled us to understand the complexities of neuroprotection.

The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute is very proud of this achievement by Maryna and the whole team and looks forward to seeing further research excellence from this programme.

Dr Basalay will present her abstract to the International Stroke Conference which taking place as a virtual event in March.

To view the award, please click here.

February 9th, 2021 – WEBINAR: The importance of SGLT2 inhibitors & GLP-1 analogues in the management of type 2 diabetes and cardio-renal disease

The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute at University College London is hosting a webinar to discuss & debate SGLT2 inhibitors & GLP-1 analogues in the management of Diabetes & Cardio-Renal disease.

Recognising the importance of informing clinical trainees early in their careers, this is one of a series of meetings created to address this need. Trainees (SpR’s) in the specialities of Cardiology, Nephrology and Diabetes are invited to attend this webinar with leaders in all three fields presenting specific to the topic area in a clinical setting.

To attend, all interested trainees simply need to register their interest and join us on FRIDAY the 19th MARCH, 2021 from 10am -12pm (GMT) for the webinar which should last approximately 2 hours. THERE IS NO CHARGE TO ATTEND.

Please register for the webinar here:

https://ucl.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAtde-trToiEtRPj91GyS2xOzwN05ukUgkD


Webinar Chairpersons:
Professors Derek Yellon, John Cunningham & Stephanie Baldeweg

PROGRAMME:

1. Management of type 2 diabetes – out with the old & in with the new!
Professor Stephanie Baldeweg
University College London, UK

2. New anti-diabetic therapy – their role in renal protection.
Professor David Wheeler, UK
The Royal Free Hospital, University College London

3. The GLP-1 analogues – their role in obesity.
Professor John Wilding
University of Liverpool, UK

4. SGLT2 inhibitors – their role in heart failure.
Professor Theresa McDonagh
Kings College, London, UK

5. SGLT2 inhibitors & GLP-1 analogues – do we understand the mechanisms?
Dr Robert Bell
The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute, University College London, UK

Short concluding responses from SpR’s in Cardiology, Nephrology and Diabetes:
Dr Sarah Qian – SpR in Diabetes
Dr Ali Rauf – SpR in Cardiology
Dr Tamer Rezk – SpR in Nephrology

February 4th, 2021 – Hatter Cardiovascular Institute COVID-19 Research Study Expands Globally

Following approval in April 2020, The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute (HCI) has been undertaking a study in COVID-19 investigating the potential for Remote Conditioning (RIC) to reduce the severity of anti-inflammatory cytokines which are responsible for the so-called cytokine “storm” that occurs in COVID-19 patients. The study, titled ‘Can Remote Ischaemic Conditioning Reduce Inflammatory Markers in COVID-19 Patients – A   Randomised Pilot Study,’ was initially approved at University College London Hospitals but has since been expanded to two additional sites in the UK, the Royal Free Hospital (London) and the Lister Hospital (Stevenage).

In further development, the HCI has forged strong collaborations with two leading teams in South Africa and Brazil to investigate in parallel the use of RIC in COVID-19 patients in their populations. Prof Andrei Sposito is the study lead at the University of Campinas, Brazil and Prof Mpiko Mpiko Ntsekhe is heading up the study at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

 Both South Africa and Brazil find themselves in the similar situation as the UK with extremely high cases of COVID-19 and subsequent deaths. It is the hope of all three study teams that by combining data from our shared protocols, we can develop a new method to reduce the heightened inflammatory response and halt the progression of COVID-19 in patients and reduce the severity of damage, with the ultimate aim of preventing deterioration of patients into intensive care.

February 2nd, 2021 – New CAR T Cell Therapy Study Initiated to Investigate Cardiovascular Outcomes

A new study to investigate the cardiovascular outcomes of patients receiving CAR (CD19-specific chimeric antigen receptor) T cell therapy for the treatment of relapsing or refractory (not responsive to other treatments) blood cancers is now underway at The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute.

CAR T cells are a novel therapy for relapsing or refractory blood cancers, which have delivered a significant improvement in the rates of complete and partial cancer remission. However, they are associated with toxicities, with some of early evidence suggestive of cardiovascular involvement. Despite this, the full extent of cardiovascular toxicity is poorly understood.

This research study, led by Dr Daniel Chen, Prof Malcolm Walker and Prof Derek Yellon, seeks to understand the cardiac safety of CAR T cells in patients who receive this therapy as part of standard care for relapsed/refractory B-cell blood cancer. Patients will be assessed for cardiovascular risk factors using blood biomarkers and cardiovascular imaging such as echocardiographs and MRI. The aim is to be able to accurately predict the patient cohort most at risk of cardiovascular toxicity and define the cardiac safety of CAR T cell therapies.

The study is now active and recruitment will occur over the next 12 months in collaboration with University College London Hospitals Macmillan Cancer Centre. Cardio-Oncology is a rapidly emerging and increasingly important field of medicine and this study will contribute further knowledge to the cardiac care of cancer patients.

 

November 19th, 2020 – Professor Derek Yellon Named on 2020 Highly Cited Researcher Report by Web of Science

The annual report by the Web of Science highlighting the most highly cited researchers worldwide has been released and we are proud to announce Professor Derek Yellon is amongst this elite group.

Identifying the world’s most influential researchers who have been most frequently cited by their peers over the last decade, this report recognises exceptional research influence, as demonstrated by the production of multiple highly-cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in the Web of Science.

In 2020, fewer than 6,200, or about 0.1%, of the world’s researchers, in 21 research fields and across multiple fields, have earned this exclusive distinction.

Such acknowledgment is a tribute to the leadership and hard work of Prof Yellon and his entire research team at the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute.

The report and full list of 2020 recipients can be seen here.

October 20th, 2020 – 2nd Annual Scientific Meeting for Trainees in Nephrology, Diabetes and Cardiology Announced

The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute hosts multiple educational meetings each year. As part of this series, we are pleased to announce the date for a 2nd Annual Scientific Meeting for clinical trainees (SpR’s) in Nephrology, Diabetes and Cardiology.

The meeting titled ‘SGLT2 inhibitors & GLP-1 analogues in the management of type 2 diabetes and cardio-renal disease’ will be held on 15th January, 2021. This meeting will be of particular interest to trainees who are keen to learn more about the scientific advances in SGLT2 and GLP-1 and how this may be of benefit to their patients. The bringing together of basic science and clinical medicine has shown to be advantageous to the SpR community.

While normally held in person at The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute, this year the meeting will be via ZOOM with an abbreviated programme.

Read the programme here.

Register here: here

October 12th, 2020 – New publication of findings from successful collaboration between The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute and University of Lyon

A research collaboration between teams at both the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute and the University of Lyon was established to build on shared strengths in the field of neuroprotection. The group has published a new paper, “Neuroprotection by remote ischemic conditioning in the setting of acute ischemic stroke: a preclinical two-centre study” in the Journal Scientific Reports. While this study is based in fundamental research, it builds on the knowledge base and highlights the potential benefit of this modality in the setting of ischaemic stroke in a clinical environment.

September 23rd, 2020 – On leaving UCL, Dr Dame Nicola Brewer Acknowledges The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute

Dr Dame Nicola Brewer has stepped down from UCL after 6 years as Vice-Provost (International), during which time she made a tremendous impact on advancing UCL’s profile and engagement across the globe. The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute had been fortunate to work with Dame Nicola over her tenure and was honoured to have her attend our medical educational conferences, At the Limits, both in South Africa. In leaving UCL, she acknowledged the important ethos of our programmes and the benefits which have emerged. Our international education programmes in South Africa, Brazil & Canada have benefited from her backing and we would like to thank her for the support she gave during her tenure at UCL.

September 22nd, 2020 – Dr Arjun Ghosh Advances in the Field of Cardio-Oncology

The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute is pleased to announce Dr Arjun Ghosh has taken on further roles in the specialised field of Cardio-Oncology. He has recently received his Fellowship of the International Cardio-Oncology Society (FICOS) as well as accepting a nomination to the Board of the Asian Cardio-Oncology Society. Dr Ghosh continues to disseminate his knowledge in this important domain as new co-host of the ICOS podcast on Spotify. We are very proud of his on-going championing of this area and know he will make a positive contribution to all.