Cardiac Diseases

Tracking the blood in the heart using cardiac MRI

We are shaped by our genetic code, our environment, and by our actions. Our multidisciplinary research aims to understand how our genes, environment and lifestyle interact to affect the structure and function of our hearts. We use these insights to understand the factors which lead to and affect the outcomes of heart failure, atrial fibrillation, congenital heart disease, sudden cardiac death and myocardial infarction.

Theme Lead

Dr Davor Pavlovic

Associate Professor in Cardiovascular Sciences

View profile

Davor Pavlovic-230x230
Introduction to the Cardiac Disease research theme at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences

Theme Lead

Mr Nigel Drury

Clinician Scientist in Paediatric Cardiac Surgery

View profile

Nigel Drury

About our theme

In our Cardiac Diseases Theme we have a strong team of experienced clinical and non-clinical academics with multidisciplinary expertise in epidemiological research, data analysis, clinical trials, and translational (laboratory and clinical) science. Together, we develop approaches for integrated models of care and precision medicine for patients with cardiovascular conditions.

The cardiac diseases theme is made up of 25 individual PI-led research groups, bringing together experienced clinical and non-clinical academics with multidisciplinary expertise in epidemiological research, clinical trials, translational science and data analysis.

Our world leading researchers use clinical and translational approaches to address some of the key challenges in cardiovascular disease, from identifying the causes of disease through to improving the treatment options for patients. Our main areas of focus are atrial fibrillation, heart failure, structural heart disease, peripheral vascular disease and sudden death. We are also developing precision medicine approaches so that specific treatment can be adapted to the individual patient to improve prevention and treatment of these conditions. 

We work closely with the major NHS trusts across Birmingham including University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, and Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust, and through Birmingham Health Partners which greatly enhances our translational capabilities.

Our Principal Investigators and Research Groups

Principal Investigators
Principal InvestigatorResearch Interest
Professor Andrew Bradbury  Clinical trials in vascular surgery.
Professor Dipak Kotecha  Big data in cardiology clinical trials.
Professor Melanie Madhani Identifying novel targets and interventions for hypertension; myocardial infarction and heart failure
Professor Jonathan Townend The relationship between chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease. Mechanisms underlying the increased cardiovascular risks of patients with CKD and potential treatments to reduce this risk
Dr Karina Bunting  Improving the assessment of heart function in patients with atrial fibrillation and heart failure
Mr Nigel Drury Surgery for congenital heart disease, clinical trials, and myocardial protection
Dr Ingrid Dumitriu Targeting inflammation in cardiovascular disease - focus on atherosclerosis and atrial fibrillation
Dr Katja Gehmlich Inherited cardiac diseases (cardiomyopathies), biomechanical stress signalling, disease modelling
Dr Christopher O'Shea Clinical and pre-clinical cardiac mapping
Dr Davor Pavlovic

Understanding molecular mechanisms and regulation of ion transport in cardiac muscle in health and disease

Honorary Principal Investigators
Honorary Principal InvestigatorResearch Interest
Professor Larissa Fabritz Translational research into heart failure and arrhythmias; inherited cardiac conditions
Professor Charles Ferro Cardiovascular disease associated kidney disease
Professor Paulus Kirchhof Translational research into heart failure and arrhythmias; atrial fibrillation
Professor Rick Steeds Cardiovascular Imaging
Dr Paul Clift Pulmonary hypertension, congenital heart disease and arrhythmias.
Dr Rami Dhillion Cardiopulmonary adaptation following correction of structural heart disease
Mr Tim Jones Congenital cardiac surgery; myocardial protection; cardiopulmonary bypass
Dr Manish Kalla Cardiac electrophysiology, assessment, treatment and catheter ablation of arrhythmia including supraventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia.
Dr Sern Lim Heart failure, transplantation and mechanical circulatory support
Dr Gillian Lowe Inherited platelet disorders
Dr Anne Seale  Prenatal diagnosis
Associate/Affiliate Principal Investigators
Associate/Affiliate Principal InvestigatorsResearch Interest
Professor Davide Calebiro Adrenergic receptor signalling in cardiomyocytes, advanced optical methods
Professor Claudio Mauro Interconnections between metabolic and inflammatory pathways
Professor Georgios Gkoutos Health Data Science, Bioinformatics, Artificial Intelligence for Health, Multmodal multiomics integrative analytics, Translational comparative phenomics, Precision Medicine
Professor Gareth Lavery  
Dr Maria Chiara Arno The development of cell engineering technologies with polymeric materials that find application as cancer therapeutics and cell-based materials.
Miss Ruth Benson Research into surgery and epidemiology of vascular disease; sex based disparities in vascular pathology
Dr Keith Brain Autonomic cardiovascular regulation
Dr Andrew Holmes Hypoxia, ion channel dysfunction and cardiac arrhythmias
Dr Clare Ray Cardiorespiratory Integration and Control
Dr Robert Stephenson Structural remodeling of the heart in health and disease
Professor Daniel Tennant  

Research Groups

Translational Research on Heart Failure and Arrhythmias Cluster
Congential Heart Disease Research Group
Birmingham Cardio-Renal Research Group

DaRe2THINK is a transformational project that will test a new way of running clinical trials at General Practices in the NHS. The trial will use health information already collected in the NHS to reduce the time taken for research, both for the patients and NHS staff. This will allow the NHS to reach new and larger groups of patients that could benefit from new treatments opening the possibility of research to populations that would not have previously taken part.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Early Detection of Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation (MAESTRIA) is a major international research programme which will develop a precise method to diagnose atrial cardiomyopathy, thereby providing clinicians with individualised clinical patient data to predict a patient's likelihood of suffering from subclinical AF, their future risk of AF and their overall risk of ischemic stroke with an accuracy that surpasses any currently available instrument.