Mr Nigel E Drury PhD FRCS(CTh)

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 Consultant in Paediatric Cardiac Surgery at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. He leads the Congenital Heart Disease Research Group within the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences.

 In the below video Nigel talks about some of the exciting research that is taking place within the Cardiac Diseases Theme:


  • 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. In 2015, he was awarded a British Heart Foundation Intermediate Clinical Research Fellowship to develop the research programme in paediatric cardiac surgery at Birmingham Children's Hospital, one of Europe's leading centres for children's heart surgery; this Fellowship has recently been extended to focus on improving the outcomes of complex surgery in neonates.

Mr Nigel Drury and Dr Victoria Stoll speak about how their individual research focuses on improving outcomes for children and adults with Congenital Heart Disease.


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 led a national study to identify priorities for research in single ventricle heart condition and is working with clinical colleagues & patient charities to develop a programme of innovative clinical and translational research in this area. He is leading local 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 and is a collaborator on the International Fontan Registry. He is also involved in development of the cardiac morphology archive at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, to maximise its research potential and impact on patient care.

The Congenital Heart Trials Network

Mr Drury led a systematic review of clinical trials in paediatric cardiac surgery, highlighting the need for large-scale clinical trials to continue to improve the outcomes for children and their families. He is now spearheading 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 is part of the new BHF Clinical Research Collaborative and aims to identify & answer those questions of genuine clinical equipoise that are of the greatest importance to all stakeholders, to change clinical practice and thereby improve patient outcomes.

Myocardial protection

Mr Drury is Chief Investigator of the Bilateral Remote Ischaemic Conditioning in Children (BRICC) trial, the first multi-centre randomised controlled trial in paediatric cardiac surgery in the UK. In collaboration with colleagues in Birmingham and Leeds, this BHF-funded trial is assessing the impact of remote ischaemic preconditioning on myocardial protection in children undergoing open heart surgery. In collaboration with Prof 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- )


Mr Drury’s publications include:

Drury NE, Stoll VM, Bond CJ et al. Research priorities in single ventricle heart conditions: a UK national study. Cardiol Young 2019; 29: 303-9. doi: 10.1017/S104795111800224X.

Barron DJ, Kutty RS, Stickley J, Stümper O, Botha P, Khan NE, Jones TJ, Drury NE, Brawn WJ. Unifocalization cannot rely exclusively on native pulmonary arteries: the importance of recruitment of major aortopulmonary collaterals in 249 cases. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2019; 56: 679-87. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezz070.

Farooqi M, Stickley J, Dhillon R, Barron DJ, Stumper O, Jones TJ, Clift PF, Brawn WJ, Drury NE. Trends in surgical and catheter interventions for isolated congenital shunt lesions in UK & Ireland. Heart 2019; 105: 1103-8. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2018-314428.

Khan SM, Drury NE, Stickley J, Barron DJ, Brawn WJ, Jones TJ, Anderson RH, Crucean A. Tetralogy of Fallot: morphological variations and implications for surgical repair. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2019; 56: 101-9. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezy474.

Stoll VM, Drury NE, Thorne S, Selman T, Clift P, Chong H, Thompson PJ, Morris RK, Hudsmith LE. Pregnancy outcomes in women with transposition of the great arteries after an arterial switch operation. JAMA Cardiol 2018; 3: 1119-22. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2018.2747.

Drury NE, Horsburgh A, Bi R, Willetts RG, Jones TJ. Cardioplegia practice in paediatric cardiac surgery: a UK & Ireland survey. Perfusion 2019; 34: 125-9. doi: 10.1177/0267659118794343.

Drury NE, Yim I, Patel AJ, Oswald NK, Chong CR, Stickley J, Jones TJ. Cardioplegia in paediatric cardiac surgery: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg 2019; 28: 144-50. doi: 10.1093/icvts/ivy199.

Drury NE, Patel AJ, Oswald NK, Chong CR, Stickley J, Barron DJ, Jones TJ. Randomized controlled trials in children's heart surgery in the 21st century: a systematic review. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2018; 53: 724-31. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezx388.

Mussa S, Drury NE, Stickley J, Khan NE, Jones TJ, Barron DJ, Brawn WJ. Mentoring new surgeons: can we avoid the learning curve? Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2017; 51: 291-9. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezw293.

Drury NE, Howell NJ, Calvert MJ et al. The effect of Perhexiline on myocardial protection during coronary artery surgery: a two-centre randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial, the CASPER trial. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2015; 47: 464-72. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezu238.

Senanayake EL, Howell NJ, Ranasinghe AM, Drury NE et al. 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: the HYPER trial. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2015; 48: 354-62. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezu452.

Howell NJ, Ashrafian H, Drury NE et al. 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. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.945170.

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