Clinical and Integrated Cardiovascular Sciences (CICS)

CICS Main Banner Image - 2nd edition - April 2015

Cardiovascular disease remains the single most important cause of death in the UK and Europe.

Clinical cardiovascular medicine and research has made impressive progress in the last decades, based on identification of key pathophysiological events such as coronary artery plaque rupture or the vicious regulatory circles causing systolic heart failure and subsequent rigorous evaluation of new therapeutic interventions in large controlled clinical trials.

The CICS researchers have joined forces to use clinical and basic science approaches to tackle the emerging cardiovascular epidemics, especially atrial fibrillation and heart failure, which often develop in interaction between cardiac dysfunction and concomitant diseases such as chronic kidney disease and diabetes.

Within CICS, we combine a broad range of expertise, ranging from epidemiological and population sciences, the design and conduct of clinical trials to mechanistic and complex physiological studies in animal models. There is particular expertise in the use of novel biomarkers and high level cardiovascular imaging as end-points in clinical studies designed to test new approaches to disease treatment prior to large scale mortality.

We also use models of specific contributors to chronic cardiovascular disease, such as cardiomyopathies, sleep apnoea, diabetes, hypertension and exercise, which can be used to explore disease processes and to challenge genetic modifications known to cause cardiovascular disease. We apply our combined translational research power to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for atrial fibrillation, myocardial infarction, heart failure, hypertension and newly recognised factors including chronic kidney disease; all major current threats to cardiovascular health. Our work also benefits from a wider network of researchers and patients in Birmingham and beyond.


 State of the heart Cardiac CT is able to see the coronary arteries avoiding the need for invasive angiography.

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 Ventricular cardiomyocyte stained with antibodies against cytoplasmic GFP and membraneous sodium pump.

CICS ImageImage supplied by Dr Davor Pavlovic.


Dr Dipak Kotecha presenting paper at the ESC Hotline session in Barcelona September 2014

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Image from The Lancet -


Coronary capillaries of mouse beating heart imaged intravitally. Individual neutrophils (red) can be seen trafficking through these microvessels. This is a novel in vivo imaging technique that we developed in Birmingham. It should shed light on how heart blood vessels are damaged e.g. after a heart attack, and whether stem cells can repair them

CICS Image 5CICS Image 4Images supplied by Neena Kalia from her Research Poster - Improving the delivery of stem cells and their therapeutic benefit within injured organs - intravital microscopy studies