6th December 2022 – Remarkable Feedback from Recent Horizon GP Meeting

The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute Horizon GP’s conference was held on 9th November at the Royal College of Physicians in London, UK. This one-day medical education meeting brings together a notable faculty of diabetes experts who present and discuss new horizons in diabetes management in primary care to an audience of General Practitioners.

This more recent meeting saw a return to an entirely face-to-face format, a welcome change after the many virtual meetings over the last couple of years. The Royal College of Physicians welcomed over 100 primary care delegates from across the UK to listen to a variety of presentations detailing the latest in diabetes care and research. Always an engaging and interactive meeting, the feedback received from the attendees proved just how important such gatherings are for medical education.

Of note from the post-meeting survey there was an 87% response of which:

  • 99% of respondents say the event was useful for their professional activity
  • 99% of respondents say their overall impression of the programme was good or excellent
  • 100% of respondents say the presented information was well balanced and consistently supported by a valid scientific evidence base
  • 100% of respondents say there was adequate time available for discussions, questions & answers and learner engagement
  • 100% of respondents would be interested in attending in the future
  • 100% of respondents would recommend this meeting to colleagues

With such positive feedback, the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute hopes to continue with this education programme and looks forward to new and exciting meetings in 2023.

1st December 2022 – Another Successful SpR Case Study MDT Grand Rounds Meeting

The final SpR Case Study MDT Grand Rounds Meeting was held on Friday, 25th November at The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute. Building on an educational programme the HCI initiated a few years ago, these meetings target SpR’s in the fields of Cardiovascular, Renal, and Endocrine medicine, also now extending this to include SpR’s in Primary Care & secondary care.

With this new format, SpR’s were encouraged to submit case studies which they felt were interesting, challenging, and relevant to the 3 specialties which were then be assessed by a joint panel of Consultants and SpR’s who selected those for presentation at the meeting. The goal was to stimulate discussion and problem-solving within multi-disciplinary working.

In this final meeting of 2023, we also included Senior Consultants who presented a case report which they used to query the SpR audience for treatment direction. This approach resulted in active and engaging discussions between all, Senior and Junior Specialists, and demonstrated the benefit of MDT learning across these disciplines.

The HCI will begin working on new meetings for 2023, details to follow soon.

30th November 2022 – RIC in Covid-19 Trial Outcomes Paper Published

We are pleased to announce a further publication, specific to COVID-19 research led by the team at the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute, has now been published. Entitled “Effect of Remote Ischaemic Conditioning on the Inflammatory Cytokine Cascade of COVID‑19 (RIC in COVID‑19): a Randomized Controlled Trial” follows on from our study announcement paper (J Cardiovasc Drugs & Therapy 2021) and now details the outcomes of trial. The paper has been published in the recent issue of the journal Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy (published online 29th Nov 2022) and can be read here.

In recent years, The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute (HCI) has been active in investigating the role of the inflammatory system as a cause of significant injury during acute myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke. Importantly our research into methods of alleviating this inflammatory response are similar to events that we saw in the early stages of the COVID-19 disease, i.e. the cellular mechanisms are similar to those seen in patients with sepsis. The phenomenon known as “Remote Ischemic Conditioning” (RIC), which is a simple non-invasive procedure, has been shown to prevent cellular injury following sepsis in preclinical studies. Therefore, based on the evidence from studies investigating sepsis, it was hypothesised that the same benefit may be seen in patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

In April 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute initiated a novel trial to investigate the potential for RIC to reduce the severity of anti-inflammatory cytokines which are responsible the so-called cytokine “storm” that occurs in COVID-19 patients. Approved as part of the fast-track review scheme provided through UCLH and the National Research Ethics Boards to expedite important COVID-19 research, the study included UCLH, The Royal Free Hospital (London) and The Lister Hospital (Stevenage). The aim of the study was ultimately to halt, or at least attenuate, the disease process before patients enter the intensive care units when the situation changes dramatically and may be too late.

In further development of the trial, the HCI 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. The global pandemic presented unique opportunities to collaborate internationally and widen the scope of the research to develop new methods to reduce the heightened inflammatory response essential to halting progression of COVID-19 in patients and reducing the severity of damage.

In the paper, the authors discuss the complex outcomes of the multi-country trial. Due to the rapidly evolving pandemic, quickly changing clinical environment, and patient presentations, the trial results were challenging to draw a clear conclusion from. Study parameters naturally varied from the first to the last recruited patient (total of 80 were recruited). Furthermore due to the evolving nature of the pandemic, dexamethasone for example became standard of care midway through the trail for patients in some countries but not others. Therefore, without being able to standardise all parameters, it was difficult to draw a clear conclusion from the cytokine results observed. While in this instance, RIC was not found to provide a significant reduction in inflammatory cytokines in patients with COVID-19, it did highlight potential for further investigation into this area with a larger patient cohort and standardised conditions.

The HCI would like to thank all of the teams across the UK, Brazil and South Africa who contributed to this research during such challenging circumstances and of course to the -patients who took part. Finally we are also indebted to the Thompson Family Trust and the Hatter Foundation for their support of this study.

15th November, 2022 – Professor Derek Yellon and Professor Sean Davidson listed on Highly Cited Researcher Report by Web of Science for 2022

For the third consecutive year, Professor Derek Yellon has again been named in the annual Web of Science report of highly cited researchers from across the world. We are proud to announce Professor Sean Davidson has also been added for the first time in this year’s rankings.

The 2022 annual report identifies fewer than 7,000 of the world’s most influential researchers, whose highly cited papers rank in the top 1% by citations for a field or fields and publication year in the Web of Science™.  Collated from 21 research fields and across multiple disciplines, the report highlights the top scientists in their disciplines globally.

This distinction represents exceptional research influence and commitment to ongoing excellence in the field of cardiovascular science by both Professor Yellon and Professor Davidson along with their team at The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute. This is reflected in multi-faceted research programmes not only in ischaemic heart disease, but also ischaemic stroke, cardio-toxicity following cancer therapy, cardio-renal syndrome and cardiometabolic disease.

Of the top 50 institutions in this list, University College London is  15th overall with a total of 50 of its scientists making the list. We are pleased that 2 of those 50 are credited to The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute. Harvard remained 1st with 233 individuals, Chinese Academy of Sciences at 2nd (228) and Stanford University 3rd (126).

The report and full list of 2022 recipients can be seen here:



1st November, 2022 – Dr Mira Katsur Awarded PhD

The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute is pleased to congratulate Mira Katsur on successfully passing her PhD viva. Dr Katsur was awarded a MRC PhD Studentship to specifically undertake her PhD under the supervision of Prof Davidson and Prof Yellon at The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute. Dr Katsur’s dissertation, entitled “Investigating the cardioprotective potential of exosomes from different cellular sources”, represents 3 years of dedication and hard work.

Dr Katsur has been a valuable member of our team and has contributed an impressive portfolio of research, notable skills and a team spirit, it has been a pleasure to have her work with our team.  Upon receiving her PhD, Dr Katsur is now moving to a new role applying the knowledge she gained to now working for a UK start-up biotech company in Cambridge. We wish her all the best and look forward to seeing all that she will accomplish in her future.


22nd September, 2022 – Dr Lucie Pearce Awarded AHA Travel Award

The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute is pleased to announce Dr Lucie Pearce, BHF Clinical Research Fellow at the HCI, has been selected by the American Heart Association Council to receive a 2022 Basic Cardiovascular Sciences International Travel Grant. This prestigious award recognises and supports the research efforts of early career investigators and trainees.

The Annual American Heart Association (AHA) Conference will be held 5th – 7th November in Chicago, USA. This meeting is a major event in the Cardiovascular calendar with many forums, lectures and research presentations, all with a focus on improving health by championing scientific discovery and practice-changing educational content.

At the meeting, Dr Pearce will be able to discuss her own research programme she is undertaking at the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute, but importantly also meet other clinical scientists to discuss and debate current challenges in cardiovascular research.

Many congratulations Dr Pearce, another great achievement.

30th August, 2022 – The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute Leads Discussions at the European Society of Cardiology Congress

Several members of The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute (HCI) recently attended the annual European Society of Cardiology congress held in Barcelona. This is the premier international conference on cardiology, with an attendance of approximately 25,000 researchers and clinicians in the cardiovascular field. Throughout the 4 day meeting, attendees addressed all areas of cardiovascular science, sharing vital new insights and knowledge. This meeting is key for the HCI team as it both allows us to showcase our own research across many areas of cardiovascular science but also introduces new ideas and collaborations for us to take forwards.

Shown below is a photo of Prof Sean Davidson leading a discussion about the importance of inter-cellular communication in cardiovascular health and disease.




23rd August 2022– 12th Biennial Hatter Cardiovascular Institute International Workshop on Cardioprotection Publishes Report

Every two years The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute leads an international workshop in which a select group of the world’s leading basic and clinical scientists are invited to discuss and debate the future direction of cardioprotection in the setting of ischaemia-reperfusion injury  Originally scheduled for April 2020 but postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 12th Biennial Workshop was recently held in South Africa. The full report has now been published in the journal Basic Research in Cardiology and can be read here

The workshop discussed how Remote Ischaemia Conditioning onditioning has led to a significant and fundamental understanding of the mechanisms preventing cell death following ischaemia and reperfusion, and the key target cyto-protective pathways utilised by protective interventions, such as both RIC as well as other pharmacological therapies.

Discussion points included how to adapt positive preclinical animal studies to mirror that of th patient presenting with an acute myocardial infarction, as well as how to refine patient selection in clinical studies to account for co-morbidities and ongoing therapy. The workshop also discussed the potential for RIC in other disease settings including ischaemic stroke, cardio-oncology and COVID-19.

While recognising RIC is a powerful cytoprotective intervention in experimental models, challenges remain including definition of the whole RIC cytoprotective signalling arc and understanding how co-morbidities and concomitant medical therapies may interfere with RIC signalling and the downstream cytoprotective signalling in the organ itself. Such fundamental questions will guide continued research for the HCI in these areas as we seek to unravel the enigma of RIC.


19th August 2022– Dr Maryna Basalay Recipient of Two New Research Grants

The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute is pleased to announce Dr Maryna Basalay, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, has been awarded two research grants to continue her work in ischaemic stroke.

Dr Basalay was successful in securing a J Moulton grant for stroke from the British Medical Association (BMA). This prestigious grant is sponsored by the Jon Moulton Charitable Trust and is open to research scientists across the UK to undertake a specific project related to stroke research.  Dr Basalay’s 3 year grant aims to investigate the importance of inflammation in ischaemia-reperfusion injury in the brain during stroke. Further, she will ascertain whether agents that target both the inflammasome and cell death pathway can provide protection to the brain during the reperfusion procedure. This will be invaluable information for researchers working in the field of neuroprotection and stroke and for translation to improved patient care. The announcement from the BMA can be seen here.

Secondly, against strong competition and judged by a panel of her peers, Dr Basalay has also awarded a CRDC Fast Track Grant from the most recent call.   Her project entitled ‘SGLT1 & SGLT2 inhibition – their potential roles in protecting the heart’ will investigate the cardioprotective effect of sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SLGT2) inhibitors and how they can provide benefit in the setting of a heart attack.  Further, she will test her hypothesis that SGLT1 mediates damage to the heart by elevated high blood glucose, as is often seen in the setting of an acute MI , As such , SGLT1 inhibitors should alleviate damage to the heart in these patients using selective SGLT1 inhibitors. Collectively, understanding these mechanisms of both SGLT2 and SGLT1, scientists and clinician can improve patient outcomes from heart attack.

We look forward to seeing the outcomes of these interesting and important areas of research, many congratulations Dr Basalay.


16th August, 2022 – Dr Lucie Pearce Fundraising for CRY

Dr Lucie Pearce, BHF Clinical Research Fellow at the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute, has begun a campaign fundraising for the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young). At the core of the fundraising is sponsorship for the London Marathon, taking place on 2nd October, a daunting 26.2 miles.

In an aim to raise even further funds, Dr Pearce hosted a charity bake sale last week appealing to the sweet cravings of staff and students here at the HCI. Lola’s Cupcakes kindly donated cupcakes to sell along with more goodies provided by our own team. The event was a success and Dr Pearce was able to raise an impressive £221.75.

CRY is a charity which focuses on preventing young sudden cardiac deaths through awareness, screening and research, and supporting affected families. Further information on their valuable work can be found here.

Well done Dr Pearce and good luck at the marathon!