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Gianni Angelini

British Heart Foundation (BHF) Professor of Cardiac Surgery, University of Bristol

Ground-breaking treatments for cardiac patients are being developed via an innovative link between researchers and clinicians at the Bristol Heart Institute, part of the world-leading University of Bristol.

Challenging medical issues faced by patients are being addressed in the science laboratories of the Institute that, over the past two decades, have seen ground-breaking translational cardiovascular research deliver better treatment options for thousands of patients.

Different disciplines

Bristol Heart Institute (BHI) which is part of the University of Bristol was established in the mid-1990s. Director of the Institute, Gianni Angelini, says, in some examples the ground-breaking research has “completely changed practice” in adult and paediatric cardiac surgery.

“The main strength of the Institute is the combination of people from different disciplines – basic scientists, clinicians, engineers, epidemiologists and statisticians,” adds Professor Angelini, who is also BHF Professor of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Bristol.

One of the strengths of the Institute is the combination of people from different disciplines.

The research, often with techniques that started from isolated cells in the laboratory, can see scientists “unravel the mechanisms” of a clinical problem, advance them to clinical trials, and on toward implementation into practice.

Two examples include developing a new approach to reduce heart damage during cardiac surgery and harvesting cells from a mother’s placenta and umbilical cord to support surgery in children born with severe cardiac abnormalities.

The links between research Institute and hospital – which include a laboratory floor in the hospital – enables scientists to work closely with cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and patients.

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