Mr Nigel E Drury PhD FRCS(CTh)

Photograph of Nigel Drury

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
Clinician Scientist in Paediatric Cardiac Surgery

Contact details

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Mr Drury is a Clinician Scientist at the University of Birmingham and an Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Cardiac Surgery at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.


  • Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England 2015
  • PhD in Medicine, University of Birmingham 2012
  • Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England 2004
  • Bachelor of Medicine with Honours, University of Southampton 2000


Mr Drury graduated from the University of Southampton in 2000, was awarded his medical degree with Honours and won three undergraduate prizes including the Sutton Prize for Surgery. He completed Basic Surgical Training in Wessex and the South West before commencing his training in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Harefield Hospital, Middlesex and Papworth Hospital, Cambridge. He also gained experience in congenital heart disease at the Wessex Cardiac Centre in Southampton. He moved to Birmingham in 2007 to undertake his doctoral thesis in myocardial protection during cardiac surgery with Professor Domenico Pagano (Cardiac Surgery) and Professor Michael Frenneaux (Cardiovascular Medicine) and later with Professor Nick Freemantle (Epidemiology & Biostatistics) and Professor Mark Viant (Metabolomics). His thesis entitled ‘On perhexiline and its application to myocardial protection during cardiac surgery’ was awarded PhD without correction in June 2012.

Mr Drury won the Ronald Edward medal for best scientific presentation at the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery annual meeting in 2008 and was awarded a Wellcome Trust Value in People award in 2009 to visit Professor John Horowitz and A/Prof Benedetta Sallustio at the University of Adelaide. He was awarded an Overseas Travel grant to present his work at the American Heart Association in 2011 and won the Sankey Research Prize for best presentation at their annual research meeting in 2012.

His main research interests are in surgery for congenital heart disease, clinical trials, adaptations to chronic hypoxia, myocardial protection during cardiac surgery and patient & public involvement in research. He has recently been awarded a British Heart Foundation Intermediate Clinical Research Fellowship to develop and expand research in paediatric cardiac surgery at Birmingham Children's Hospital, one of Europe's leading centres for children's heart surgery.


Mr Drury has taught undergraduates on the MB ChB and BDS courses, examined for the OSCE component of MB ChB course, and supervised research projects for BMedSci and MB ChB students at the University of Birmingham.

Postgraduate supervision

Mr Drury currently has openings for self-funded PhD students in the areas of:

  • the functionally univentricular heart, including Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and the Fontan circulation
  • organ protection during paediatric cardiac surgery, including myocardial and neuroprotection

 Please email


Mr Drury's main research interests are in surgery for congenital heart disease, clinical trials, adaptations to chronic hypoxia, myocardial protection during cardiac surgery and patient & public involvement in research.

Congenital heart disease
Mr Drury is involved in ongoing studies to evaluate the long-term outcomes of children who have undergone the Fontan procedure for single ventricle palliation and the Arterial Switch operation for Transposition of the Great Arteries. He is leading a systematic review of clinical trials in paediatric cardiac surgery to identify areas in need of further investigation and is working with colleagues in the Department of Cardiac Surgery at Birmingham Children's Hospital and patient groups to develop and expand research in children's heart surgery.

Congenital Trials Network
Mr Drury is leading the development of a network for the design, conduct and reporting of multi-centre phase III clinical trials in paediatric cardiac surgery in the UK & Ireland. This network aims to identify and answer those questions of genuine clinical equipoise that are of the greatest importance to all stakeholders in order to change clinical practice and improve patient outcomes.

Myocardial protection
Mr Drury is lead investigator of the Birmingham Remote Ischaemic Conditioning in Children (BRICC) trial, a BHF-funded randomised controlled trial to assess the impact of remote ischaemic preconditioning on myocardial protection in children undergoing open heart surgery, in collaboration with Mr Timothy Jones, Professor Paulus Kirchhof and Dr Melanie Madhani, amongst others. In collaboration with Dr Warwick Dunn and colleagues at Phenome Centre Birmingham, he is using metabolomic techniques to understand the effects of chronic hypoxia on the immature myocardium and how this may affect the recovery of heart function following surgery.

He has previously been involved in three clinical trials of manipulating myocardial metabolism to improve myocardial protection in adults. The HINGE (Hypertrophy INsulin Glucose and Electrolytes) trial recruited over 200 patients and demonstrated that glucose-insulin-potassium infusion improved short-term outcomes in patients undergoing aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis. The CASPER and HYPER trials found that in almost 400 patients, oral perhexiline did not improve myocardial protection during surgery for coronary artery bypass grafting or aortic valve replacement.


Other activities

  • Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (2015- )
  • NTN Specialist Registrar in Cardiothoracic Surgery in the West Midlands (2010-2016)
  • Member of the British Society for Cardiovascular Research (2009- )
  • Member of the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland (2006- )
  • Member of the British Congenital Cardiac Association (2005- )


Mussa S, Drury NE, Stickley J, Khan NE, Jones TJ, Barron DJ and Brawn WJ. Mentoring new surgeons: can we avoid the learning curve? Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2016 (in press).

Chong C-R*, Drury NE*, Licari G, Frenneaux MP, Horowitz JD, Pagano D and Sallustio BC. Stereoselective handling of perhexiline: implications regarding accumulation within the human myocardium. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2015;71:1485-91.

Senanayake EL, Howell NJ, Ranasinghe AM, Drury NE, Freemantle N, Frenneaux MP et al., Oelofse T, Green DH, Wilson IC, Rooney SJ, Mascaro JG, Graham TR, Bhudia SK, Lewis ME and Pagano D. Multi-centre double-blinded randomized controlled trial of perhexiline as a metabolic modulator to augment myocardial protection in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy undergoing cardiac surgery. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2015; 48: 354-62.

Arif S, Borgognone A, Lin EL, O’Sullivan AG, Sharma V, Drury NE, Menon A, Nightingale P, Mascaro J, Bonser RS, Horowitz JD, Feelisch M, Frenneaux MP and Madhani M. Role of aldehyde dehydrogenase in hypoxic vasodilator effects of nitrite in rats and humans. Br J Pharmacol 2015; 172: 3341-52.

Drury NE, Howell NJ, Calvert MJ, Weber RJM, Senanayake EL, Lewis ME, Hyde JAJ, Green DH, Mascaro JG, Wilson IC, Graham TR, Rooney SJ, Viant MR, Freemantle N, Frenneaux MP and Pagano D on behalf of the CASPER trial investigators. The effect of Perhexiline on myocardial protection during coronary artery surgery: a two-centre randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2015; 47: 464-72.

Drury NE, Licari G, Chong C-R, Howell NJ, Frenneaux MP, Horowitz JD, Pagano D and Sallustio BC. Relationship between plasma, atrial and ventricular perhexiline concentrations in humans: insights into factors affecting myocardial uptake. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2014; 77: 789-95.

Drury NE, Maniakis-Grivas G, Rogers VJ, Williams LK, Pagano D and Martin-Ucar AE. The fate of abstracts presented at annual meetings of the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland from 1993 to 2007. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2012; 42: 885-9.

Howell NJ, Ashrafian H, Drury NE, Ranasinghe AM, Contractor H, Isackson H, Calvert M, Williams LK, Freemantle N, Quinn DW, Green D, Frenneaux MP, Bonser RS, Mascaro JG, Graham TR, Rooney SJ, Wilson IC and Pagano D. Glucose-Insulin-Potassium reduces the incidence of low cardiac output episodes after aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy: results from the Hypertrophy, Insulin, Glucose and Electrolytes (HINGE) trial. Circulation 2011; 123: 170-7.

Nassimizadeh M, Ashrafian H, Drury NE, Howell NJ, Digby J, Pagano D, Frenneaux MP and Born GVR. Reduced negative surface charge on arterial endothelium explains accelerated atherosclerosis in type 2 diabetic patients. Diab Vasc Dis Res 2010; 7: 213-5.